Georgia Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

What to Do If You Were a Passenger in a Car Accident

By: Fry | Goehring

passenger in car accident

Passengers involved in serious car accidents often end up suffering lasting consequences. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, occupants of passenger vehicles account for a significant percentage of the reported auto injuries in Georgia.

As a passenger in a car crash, it’s natural to feel anxious and uncertain about what to do next after an accident. Do you file your car accident passenger claim with your driver’s insurance company? What if the other driver was at fault?

Knowing the steps to take if you were a passenger in a car wreck can make a world of difference in protecting your rights and getting the justice and recovery you deserve. You’re not alone. The experienced legal team at Fry | Goehring is here to guide you at every step after your car accident in Atlanta.

Gathering Information and Evidence

The moments following a crash can be disconcerting and disorienting for car accident victims, making it difficult for many victims to remember what they should be doing next. Besides, the arrival of first responders and the police at the accident scene can make an already stressful situation even more chaotic. While the last thing on your mind at this time is filing a car accident passenger claim for injuries and damages suffered, it is crucial to remember that the most valuable evidence is collected at the accident scene.

Critical Evidence To Collect

The necessary evidence for filing and winning a passenger car accident claim should be gathered at the scene and after leaving the accident scene. The evidence collected can be helpful in various ways, including showing the extent of your injuries. Some crucial types of evidence that can be collected to help build a compelling personal injury case include the following:

  • Photographs and videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, road conditions, and injuries
  • Witness statements and contact information
  • Police report detailing the incident, statements, and observations
  • Medical records documenting injuries, treatments, and medical expenses,
  • Receipts of accident-related expenses and proof of lost wages
  • Vehicle damage assessment, including repair estimates and receipts
  • Expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts, if necessary

After an Atlanta car accident, the more evidence and documentation you have demonstrating the other driver’s fault in causing the crash and the full extent of losses suffered after the crash, the better. You can speak with a skilled Atlanta car accident lawyer to determine what additional evidence may be needed to file your insurance claim successfully.

Legal Rights and Options for Compensation

Often, passengers are considered innocent parties, with limited control over the circumstances leading to the accident. As a result, there are several legal avenues for injured passengers to pursue compensation for any damage, injuries, or losses incurred due to the crash. These options include:

The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Policy

Georgia is a fault state. In other words, if you are a passenger involved in a car accident, you have the legal right to seek compensation for any damages or injuries sustained through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses resulting from the accident. This allows you to file an injury claim with either your driver’s insurance company or the other driver’s insurance, depending on who was to blame for the accident.

If the At-Fault Driver Is Uninsured

In scenarios where the at-fault driver lacks insurance coverage, as a passenger in a car crash, you still have other avenues for seeking compensation.

  • Personal injury lawsuits. In such instances, you can sue the at-fault driver to recover damages directly. The legal recourse empowers you to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses through the judicial system.
  • Your vehicle or health insurance. You may leverage your personal vehicle or health insurance policy to address expenses arising from the accident. These encompass medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and other medical costs incurred due to the accident.

Understanding Insurance Claims as a Passenger

Again, in Georgia, passengers injured in car accidents have several avenues available to pursue compensation through insurance claims. Familiarizing yourself with these options is essential for safeguarding your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.

  • Medical payments coverage:If you’re a passenger in a car crash, you may also utilize medical payments (MedPay) coverage under your auto insurance policy or the policy covering the vehicle you were traveling in. MedPay coverage can help cover medical expenses up to the policy limits, regardless of fault.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage, also known as “no-fault” coverage, is optional in Georgia but can provide benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you’re a passenger in a car accident, you may be eligible for PIP benefits under your auto insurance policy or the policy covering the vehicle you were traveling in.
  • Third-party claims. In cases where another driver is at fault for the accident, a passenger may file third-party claims against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. This allows you to seek compensation directly from the negligent driver’s insurance company for their injuries and losses.

Have you sustained injuries as a passenger in a car accident? You have several options for compensation. At Fry | Goehring, we have the experience to determine liability, uncover applicable insurance benefits, and guarantee fair treatment for injured victims post-collision.

Dealing With Injuries and Medical Treatment

Car accident injuries can have life-long implications, often impacting various aspects of life. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, passenger injuries constitute a significant chunk of the total injury cases reported in the state each year.

Some of the injuries passengers may suffer in auto accidents include neck, head, and back injuries. These injuries can be particularly devastating, sometimes resulting in permanent disability. Understanding the common injuries passengers suffer is crucial for seeking appropriate medical care and treatment after an accident.

Common injuries passengers suffer in car accidents include:

  • Whiplash. Neck injuries due to sudden acceleration or deceleration
  • Head injuries. Concussions, traumatic brain injuries, or skull fractures
  • Back injuries. Spinal cord injuries, herniated discs, or vertebral fractures
  • Chest injuries: Rib fractures, lung contusions, or internal organ damage
  • Soft tissue injuries. Sprains, strains, or bruises to muscles, ligaments, and tendons
  • Fractures. Broken bones in the arms, legs, ribs, or pelvis
  • Facial injuries. Cuts, bruises, or fractures to the face, jaw, or teeth
  • Psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression

Contact Fry | Goehring’s Attorneys for Help as a Passenger in a Car Crash

If you or a loved one was a passenger and suffered injuries in a car accident, we can help. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys in Atlanta are here to collect the evidence needed to support your case, deal with insurance companies on your behalf, help you get the medical treatment you need, and ultimately get you back on your feet. At Fry | Goehring, our experienced legal team will carefully evaluate your case, advocate for your rights, and fight fearlessly to obtain a favorable outcome for your case.Contact us online or call us at 404-969-1284 to schedule a free consultation for your car accident passenger claim in Atlanta. Let our experienced car accident lawyers help you navigate the complex claims process as we negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.