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Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident? Our Attorneys Can Help
Car accidents are an everyday occurrence on Illinois roads, especially in the Chicago metropolitan area. While drivers worry about who will be found liable and how much the accident will cause their car insurance to spike, passengers are often left in the lurch. After all, they had no role in the accident, so who will pay for their medical bills or their time away from work?
If you were injured in a car accident as a passenger in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, you need a car accident attorney whose only goal is to protect your best interests. That’s where our passenger injury lawyers come in. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 today. We offer free initial consultations and work on a no win, no fee basis.
Figuring Out Who’s At Fault
The first step is the same, regardless of whether you are the driver or the passenger. You must figure out who is at fault. You need an attorney to navigate this process; they know what evidence is necessary to determine liability and how to secure that evidence for your personal injury claim. What you do to recover damages depends entirely on who is liable for the accident.
The Driver of the Car You Were in Caused the Accident
If you were driving with a friend and they are found to have caused the accident, you will have to file a lawsuit against the driver. This is a tough pill to swallow since many people do not want to take legal action against a friend.
However, your medical expenses and time away from work still must be paid. Luckily, you don’t have to choose between seeking damages and maintaining your friendship. If you bring a suit against your friend, their insurance company will be responsible for providing legal representation and paying a fair settlement. While your friend’s car insurance rates may go up slightly, they will not be financially ruined by your choice to seek compensation.
The Other Driver Caused the Accident
The process is the same if the other driver caused the accident. You will work with a passenger injury attorney to ask the other party’s insurance company for compensation. For many people, this is a much easier situation than having to take legal action against someone they know. You can recover the same types of damages as a driver injured by another driver’s actions.
What if the Passenger is Related to the Driver?
If the driver of the car you were in caused the accident and lives with you, you may be unable to seek damages. Most car insurance policies have a household exclusion. This exclusion prevents a family member in the same household as the driver from filing a claim against the insurance company.
However, if the driver is a family member who does not live in your household, you should still be able to recover damages. You can work with your Chicago car accident attorney to understand the details of the driver’s insurance policy and find out whether or not you can seek compensation.
Getting the Medical Care You Need
Passengers hurt in accidents often worry about seeking medical care after a crash, unsure about whether or not their health insurance will pay for it or if the other party’s insurance will cover their expenses. However, you absolutely need to get checked out by a doctor after a crash.
This is crucial for documenting your injuries and gathering evidence for your personal injury case. Your health insurance may pay for the claims and seek reimbursement from your personal injury award, or you may be able to delay payments until your case settles. Discuss your options with your attorney.
What Damages Can a Passenger Recover?
The amount and types of compensation you recover depend on the details of your accident. You may be able to ask for damages for:
- Medical expenses. This includes medical bills, co-pays, prescription medication expenses, trips to and from the doctor, and other expenses associated with your ongoing care.
- Time away from work. This may cover a wide range of expenses. If you have to take a few days off of work to handle the accident and get emergency medical care, you should be compensated for that. If your injury is severe enough to temporarily or permanently alter your ability to work, your settlement should reflect that loss.
- Disability or disfigurement. Serious accidents can leave victims with permanent disability or disfigurement. If you suffered permanent loss in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for disability or disfigurement.
- Pain and suffering. The financial value of the pain and suffering associated with a car accident is decided primarily by the extent of your injuries and how much they will impact your life.
Let an Experienced Passenger Injury Lawyer Handle Your Case
Before you talk to an insurance adjuster about the car accident you were involved in, reach out to Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Insurance companies do not have your health or wellbeing in mind; they just want to pay you as little as possible and close the case file. We are dedicated to fighting for you every step of the way and helping you get the compensation you deserve, no win no fee.
Fill out our online form or call us at (312) 236-2900 to explore your legal options.