When you are riding as a passenger in someone's car, you never assume you're going to be involved in an accident. But sometimes the worst happens — and there you are, an injured passenger. As a passenger, you don't have to worry about who will pay for repairs to the car, or who will fix any damaged property. But you do need to worry about your own medical bills and lost wages related to the accident. Here is what you need to know about recouping these costs.
The at-fault party's insurance company should pay.
Following an accident, the insurance companies that represent both drivers will examine the circumstances of the accident and determine who is at fault for the collision. Then, the insurance company of the driver who is found to be at-fault will have to pay for the damages caused by the crash -- including your injuries as a passenger.
There are situations in which both drivers may be found partially at-fault. In this case, one company may pay for half of your medical costs, and the other may pay for the remainder.
Sometimes the insurance company may not cover everything.
If all goes well, you'll let the insurance company know how much your medical bills were by sending them a copy. They will then either reimburse you for the bills, or pay the bills directly. Things get a little more complicated if your injuries caused you to miss a lot of work, or if the injuries will have a lasting impact on your health and well being. In this case, the insurance company may offer you an amount of money that is less than your total cost. Whatever you do, do not sign any paperwork agreeing to accept such funds, and do not cash a check issued to you that does not fully account for your bills.
You may need to sue the insurance company.
If the amount offered to you does not fully cover your expenses related to the injury, then you will need to contact a car accident lawyer and sue the insurance company. Sometimes, after a letter or two from your lawyer, the insurance company will just agree to increase your settlement. Other times, you may actually need to go to court and fight for what is yours. In either case, remember that you are suing the insurance company -- not your friend whose car you were riding in. There's no shame in fighting to get what's owed to you.
For more information, contact companies like Siben & Siben LLP.Share
22 September 2019
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