We often get asked the question here at The Law Place, “I was a passenger in a car accident, can I make a claim?” and the answer is yes. If you have been in an accident that was not your fault, you should not be liable for your medical costs, and you have every right to seek fair and reasonable compensation for your damages, be they emotional or physical.
Nobody wants to be the victim of a car accident. In the aftermath, with the injuries and the chaos, it can be hard to think straight. This often means that people might not seek the help of a skilled attorney immediately, and this can hamper their chances of a successful claim in the long run.
Here at The Law Place, we offer a free consultation, case evaluation, and immediate legal advice on the spot when you ring our 24-hour phone lines. We can send investigators to the scene, advise you on how to conduct yourself, what not to say and what evidence to collect and from the first instance, and take the burden off your shoulders.
We deal with the insurance companies, fill out your paperwork, and fight to the fullest extent of our abilities to win your case. Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.
What to Do at the Scene of an Accident
Firstly, your priority after any car accident should be your own health and safety. Whether you are injured or not, you should try and call for the emergency services or the police as soon as possible. They will be able to make the scene safe, check you over for injuries, and provide police reports that are a great unbiased piece of evidence.
If you are injured in a car accident, being seen by the paramedics will also provide you with your first documented medical treatment.
If your injuries allow it, you should make sure that you start collecting as much evidence as possible as well as giving your attorney a call. They will remind you to take photos of the car accident scene, witness statements, write a statement of your own regarding what happened, and will be able to send additional investigators if you cannot do this yourself.
Remember to get every possible detail from your witnesses as it will make it harder for them to disappear at a later date when called upon. As a passenger, you will likely have a different perspective from your driver, so make sure you both write down in your own words how the accident happened. It is also a good idea to draw a sketch of the roads and cars and the directions they were traveling.
For a free legal consultation, call 941-444-4444
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
While the above are definitely things that you should do at the scene of any car accident, there are a few things you should avoid doing as well.
Do Not Admit Fault or Apologize
Make sure that you never apologize or make a statement that could be construed as guilt after a car accident. The insurance companies or other parties involved in the car crash may use your words against you.
Do Not Sign Paperwork
It goes without saying that you should never sign any paperwork that the other driver’s insurance policy providers send you without running it by your attorney.
Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents
Under Florida Statute 95.11, it states that you have four years from any accident to make a claim relating to the incident before being barred from doing so. The only exception is if the accident resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one, in that tragic situation, you only have two years.
It is worth bearing in mind that although you have these time periods, personal injury claims are time-sensitive and are much easier to win if you seek help immediately. The longer you leave it, the harder it is to present accurate evidence.
Determining Who Is at Fault
A massively important step in seeking compensation in a claim is laying blame and liability with the at-fault party. Every user of the road has a duty of care to the other users, and this means they should act in a reasonable way. This means they should act in the way that any reasonable person would act. If you can prove they did not do this, they have broken their duty of care to you, and this should mean they are liable for your damages.
To do this, you and your attorney will need as much evidence as possible. The more, the better. This is where the evidence you collect at the scene, the police reports, and the witnesses will prove instrumental.
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Proving Your Injury Claim
As a passenger in a car crash, you must be able to show that you have received injuries and damages as a result. This makes it important to seek medical help, follow up with any treatment, document your pain and suffering and keep all medical records.
Depending on your situation, an attorney can assist you in seeking compensation for:
If you have received injuries that require you to take time off work, you shouldn’t be out of pocket for any wages that you lose. You can seek compensation for any past, current, or future loss of wages. If your injury means you can no longer work in the same capacity as before, then you will be able to seek compensation for all future loss of wages as a result.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering charges relate to all of the damages that cannot be quantified. This can include things like the loss of enjoyment of life. This is when you no longer enjoy things like doing hobbies because of your injuries or because of the emotional distress you are in. This could include a fear of getting in cars, for example.
You will be able to seek compensation via your personal injury claim for any past, future, or present medical bills that you have incurred as a result of an accident where you were a passenger in a car. This is why it is monumentally important that you keep a result of all of your receipts and records of your costs. This includes transport to and from the hospital and any correspondence from your health insurance.
What Can a Personal Injury Claim Attorney Do For You?
Getting in touch with a skilled personal injury attorney is the smartest decision you can make. They will be able to give you a free case evaluation, deal with the other driver and the other driver’s insurance company.
The other insurance company will most likely be trying to reduce its liability. As an insurance company, their success depends upon their ability to reduce how much they pay you and devalue your claim. This means that their car accident team will be fighting you every step of the way.
Your attorney will be able to take things like the medical expenses you have incurred from the car accident, the evidence you can provide, witness statements, and their own investigation and turn it into an air-tight case that will be hard to dispute.
They will use all of the damages above to calculate how much compensation they think you deserve as a result of your car accident. They will then send this figure to the other driver’s insurance company. If they decide to argue this, they will file a claim on your behalf. This is where an attorney really shines. In court, they will use your case to convince the judge and jury that you are fully deserving of any compensation they have calculated.
Contract The Law Place Today
Here at The Law Place, our team of personal injury lawyers is experienced and skilled at dealing with car accidents and personal injury cases. We offer a free legal consultation and a free case review, meaning you can rest easy knowing a passionate lawyer is on your side.
We aren’t afraid to fight against the other driver’s insurance company. We don’t back down from a fight. Get in touch today, and let us fight for you.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.