While traveling in a vehicle, if anyone is injured, it is natural to panic. But it is an offense to flee from the accident scene in most of the states. It is natural to be worried about getting proper medical treatment to the injured, getting your car repaired or replaced or how to deal with the insurance adjusters if you have an auto insurance policy. Even when you are not at fault you are now suffering injuries to self and your passengers if any. Be aware that passengers traveling in a car that met with an accident have the same rights as any other accident victim and are entitled to get compensated for their medical bills and loss of income.
Your health insurance policy will cover your medical expenses caused by the accident if you have one. Otherwise you can claim the compensation for the medical expenses from the other driver’s insurance company as he will have liability insurance coverage that is meant for this purpose to the limit that policy allows. The passengers in a car are at fault rarely and so they have a good reason to file a claim against the driver responsible for the accident.
The following are the steps that you should take when the passengers in your car are injured in an accident:
1. Stop your vehicle at the side of the road and see if anyone of the passengers is injured.
2. If anyone is injured severely call an ambulance and do not try to move the injured person. To prevent further injuries you should make your vehicle visible to others by turning on the hazard lights or raising the hood of the vehicle.
3. You should exchange information with the other driver involved such as name, address, contact number, license plate number, driver’s license number and complete auto insurance information.
4. Collect the same information from witnesses. Note down the details of the accident such as the weather condition at the time of the accident, circumstances of the accident, speed limit on the road, your driving speed at the time of the crash, the estimated speed of the other driver’s speed and other relevant details. This information will be helpful if there is a dispute or lawsuit.
5. Never admit fault and do not sign in any documents offered by the other driver or his insurance company.
6. When the police officials come cooperate with them by giving them all the information on injuries and witnesses if any. You can ask for the accident number to be able to get a copy of the accident report from them later on. Do not leave the scene unless the police officers say it is ok to leave.
7. Get examined by a doctor as some injuries do not show immediately. Your insurance company may also hold you responsible for aggravating the injury by not seeking emergency medical treatment. They may even refuse to agree that the injury is not from the accident.
8. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. An experienced attorney will be able to help you to recover all your losses resulting from the accident.
Generally an injured passenger and victim of a car accident will be eligible for
1. Payment of medical bills irrespective of your having insurance or not
2. Compensation for the future medical care
3. Compensation for lost income and future losses
4. Reimbursement for rental car
5. Compensation for pain and suffering
Talk to your auto insurance agent when taking out your policy about how much policy limit will be right for you and read your policy to know about what the policy covers and what it does not.