Riding Shotgun in a Crash: What Every Passenger Should Know

passenger in a car accident

Being a passenger in a car accident can leave you feeling powerless and vulnerable. Even if you did nothing wrong, a crash can result in devastating injuries with costly medical bills and lost wages.

Unfortunately, many passengers don’t fully understand their rights or how to protect themselves financially after an accident.

In this blog post, our personal injury lawyers overview what passengers need to know if they are involved in a car accident. We’ll cover your options for making an injury claim, legal protections you may be entitled to, and steps to take immediately after a crash occurs.

You Have The Right to Compensation in Ohio Car Accidents

If injured while riding with a negligent driver, you have every right under Ohio law to pursue monetary damages from available insurance policies connected to the at-fault motorist.

Mandatory liability coverage exists to compensate victims for losses they have suffered, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering tied directly to the crash

Because the driver’s choice to act carelessly directly endangered you, their insurer shoulders responsibility for making things right again. But they won’t volunteer funds out of kindness. Injured passengers must take proactive legal steps, filing an appropriate claim against the policy at play. And knowing exactly how and when to initiate requests separates routine settlements from fruitless financial frustration dragging on for years.

That’s where enlisting an experienced passenger accident attorney pays dividends. Our team at The Jones Firm helps you navigate each phase of the legal process.

Insurance companies often try to deny fair payouts, but we’ve repeatedly won six-figure settlements for clients initially told to expect pennies. Don’t leave life-changing outcomes to chance. The right guidance changes everything.

Insurance Adjusters May Try to Unlawfully Deny Your Accident Claim

When seeking compensation for injuries sustained as a passenger, you may face unreasonable denial reasons by insurance companies looking to avoid payouts.

Some of the tactics they may use to deny your claim include:

  • Pre-existing injury – The insurance company claims you already had the injury before the accident.
  • Lack of medical documentation – The insurance company says you don’t have enough documentation from doctors detailing your injuries.
  • Missed work unrelated – The insurance company tries to claim the time you missed from work was unrelated to the accident injuries.
  • Not covered under policy – The insurance company argues your injuries aren’t covered under the policy type.

As your car accident lawyer, we have seen many examples of unfair claim denials, including insurers alleging pre-existing conditions without proof, questioning old medical history, and lining up medical reviews with insurance-friendly doctors.

We can help appeal these denials by gathering police reports clearly assigning fault, medical records corroborating your injuries, and accident scene photos establishing severity.

Don’t Get Discouraged – Our Car Accident Lawyers Are In Your Corner

Even in straightforward accidents with police reports assigning clear fault, getting insurers to pay your just due is an uphill battle. We often see insurance companies deny passenger claims for trivial reasons unrelated to their contractual duty to cover damages.

Without legal representation, passengers may wrongly accept an initial claim denial. Having us negotiate with insurers prevents this and fights for the compensation passengers deserve.

What Happens If The At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Car Insurance?

If the at-fault driver in a car accident does not have insurance, check if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage through your own auto policy or another policy in your household.

If so, file a claim with your own insurer seeking compensation for injuries and damages caused by the uninsured/underinsured driver. This coverage can help protect you when the liable driver has no insurance or does not have enough coverage.

Our attorneys can help identify all potential sources of compensation in these situations through further investigation and legal discovery.

What to Do if You Were Involved in a Car Accident as a Passenger

The actions you take immediately following a car accident can significantly impact any future injury claim. Nothing sinks your chances of fair compensation faster than failing to seek prompt medical attention or document evidence from the scene.

Here’s what we immediately advise to build a strong claim for full medical reimbursement, lost wages, and pain and suffering:

  1. Seek emergency medical transport from the scene when needed or seek emergency medical care immediately following the accident. Ambulance run reports and ER records help document the seriousness of your injuries.
  2. Meticulously document accident circumstances, vehicle damage, and visible injuries through photos, capturing the severity right away. Insurance adjusters seek ways to downplay wreck impact. Vivid images rebut attempts at lowball offers.
  3. Collect driver insurance details, vehicle information, and eyewitness accounts onsite. Memories fade quickly. But locked-in statements detailing what happened counter opposing motorist attempts to shift fault percentages later to reduce payouts.

Our attorneys will help you document details and handle communication from the early stages. We have negotiated countless accident settlements, so we can anticipate insurer strategies and pushback when lowball offers are made. Securing representation right away arms passengers with the experience needed to obtain fair compensation down the road.

Take Control Again – Let Us Shoulder Your Burden

If you were injured as a passenger, don’t go through it alone. We understand the uncertainty and stress caused by mounting medical bills, lost wages, and time away from family. Our experienced team makes it our mission to help passengers secure a fair settlement while reducing burdens and providing peace of mind along the way.

Take control of your case by connecting with our legal team today. We have the knowledge and determination to negotiate the compensation you deserve after a passenger accident injury. Contact us now, and let us put our experience to work for you during this challenging time.

Author Bio

Geoff Jones is the CEO and Managing Partner of The Jones Firm, a personal injury law firm in Columbus, Ohio. With years of experience in personal injury law, he has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, wrongful death, and other cases.

Geoff received his Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is a member of the Columbus Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars for 2022-2023.

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