Blogs

Featuring news articles and press releases, blog posts, and legal publications, firm attorneys and developments in the law.

Can I Recover Compensation as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

Can I Recover Compensation as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

Being a passenger in a car accident can be a frightening experience. You may be wondering if you can recover compensation for your injuries. The good news is that you can seek compensation as a passenger.

A car crash accident attorney in New York can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. As a passenger, you are not at fault for the accident, so it is important to seek legal assistance to ensure your rights are protected.

This blog will discuss how to recover compensation as a passenger in a car accident and why hiring an experienced attorney is crucial.

Leverage New York’s No-Fault Insurance System

New York has a no-fault insurance system, making it easier for passengers to get compensation after a car accident. Your Long Island car accident attorney can file a claim under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of the insurance policy of the car you were riding in.

This can cover medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and other reasonable and necessary expenses, regardless of who was at fault.

Here are some things covered under New York’s no-fault insurance:

  • Medical bills for treatments and hospital stays
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
  • A portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Necessary transportation expenses to medical appointments

Using the no-fault insurance system lets you get much-needed financial help quickly. Your attorney will guide you through the process to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Document Your Presence and Injuries

To ensure you can recover compensation as a passenger, it is important to have proof that you were in the car during the accident. Obtain a copy of the police report; this report will include details of the accident and confirm you were a passenger. Make sure your name is listed as a passenger in the report.

It is equally important to document your injuries. Seek medical attention immediately and get detailed records of your injuries and treatment. Take photographs of any visible injuries and keep copies of all medical reports. These documents are crucial as they provide evidence of the harm you suffered in the accident.

Understand the Serious Injury Threshold

You must prove that your injuries meet the state-defined “serious injury” threshold to step outside the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver in New York. This threshold includes specific criteria that classify an injury as serious enough to warrant a lawsuit. Working with a car crash accident attorney in New York can help you understand these criteria and build a strong case for your claim.

Criteria for Serious Injury

In New York, serious injury includes a range of different conditions. This includes significant disfigurement, bone fractures, and loss of a fetus. Understanding these criteria is essential for pursuing further compensation.

Permanent Consequences

Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system can also qualify as a severe injury. A permanent consequential limitation of using a body organ or member is included. These conditions require substantial medical evidence to prove.

Limitation of Use

A significant limitation of using a body function or system is that it can meet the threshold. This is different from permanent loss and includes long-term effects. Proving this will require detailed medical records and expert testimony.

Temporary Injuries

Temporary injuries that prevent you from performing your usual activities for at least 90 days within the first 180 days following the accident may qualify. These injuries must be well-documented and substantiated by a physician. Your Long Island car accident attorney will help gather the necessary proof.

Identify All Potential Sources of Recovery

When recovering compensation as a passenger, it is essential to identify all potential sources of recovery. This includes the insurance of the driver of the vehicle you were in. Their insurance policy will likely be the first source of compensation. Other sources may be needed if their coverage is insufficient to cover all your expenses.

Another source could be the insurance of any other drivers involved in the accident. Their liability insurance may provide additional coverage for your injuries. Your own insurance may also come into play if you have purchased additional coverage, such as underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. Working with a car crash accident attorney can help identify all potential sources of recovery and ensure you receive the maximum compensation available.

Collect Evidence Relating to the Accident

Gathering evidence after a car accident is crucial for building a strong case. As a passenger, you should collect or request access to all pertinent evidence supporting your claim.

These pieces of evidence can provide a clear picture of what happened and establish the extent of your injuries and the damage caused.

Here are some steps to collect evidence effectively:

  • Traffic Camera Footage: Request footage from any traffic cameras in the area. This can show the accident as it happened and identify fault.
  • Witness Statements: Talk to people who saw the accident and ask them to provide written statements. These accounts can support your version of events.
  • Accident Scene Photographs: Take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
  • Police Report: Obtain a copy of the police report because it contains crucial information about the accident and confirms your presence as a passenger.

Collecting comprehensive evidence can significantly strengthen your claim and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can assist you in gathering and organizing this information to build a solid case.

Prepare for Settlement Negotiations

Most car accident claims are resolved through settlements. This means that instead of going to court, you and the other party agree on a fair amount of money that covers your damages. It’s important to be prepared for these negotiations.

Working with a Long Island car accident attorney can help you understand what to expect and ensure you have all the necessary documents to support your claim. Your attorney can also handle the negotiations, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries.

Contact Our Car Crash Accident Attorneys New York

Have you been injured as a passenger in a car accident? Our team of experienced New York car crash accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Share it

Related Blogs