Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”
Being in a car crash as a passenger is not only scary and frustrating because you have no control over the accident, but also confusing because it may not be immediately clear how to get compensated for your personal injury.
Passengers are rarely at fault in single-vehicle crashes or accidents that involve two or more cars. Despite this, how does a passenger recover damages after an auto collision in Charlotte or other parts of North Carolina?
Whose insurance coverage is responsible for paying a passenger for his or her medical bills, damages, losses, and all expenses associated with the crash? Our Charlotte personal injury attorney can help you understand your options for compensation as an injured passenger and assist in pursuing monetary recovery.
“How do I get compensated for my injury as an injured passenger in a car crash?” at least one person in Charlotte had this question on his mind last Saturday when a passenger was injured in a single-vehicle collision.
According to WBTV, the accident occurred just before midnight when a man operating without a driver’s license and under the influence of alcohol ran off the road and slammed into a power pole. As a result, the passenger in his Ford F-150 was seriously injured in the crash that occurred in the 2700 block of Kilborne Drive.
Police officers discovered open containers of alcoholic beverages in the driver’s vehicle. The driver of the Ford drove at a high rate of speed before losing control. His passenger, who was wearing a seatbelt, was in critical condition. The report does not detail the severity of the driver’s injury, though it is known that he was not wearing a seatbelt.
The driver of the Ford was charged with driving while impaired (DWI), reckless driving, felony serious injury, and operating without a driver’s license.
How can an Injured Passenger Seek Compensation After a Car Crash?
So, what options does an injured passenger have following a car wreck to recover damages? Contrary to popular belief, obtaining compensation as an injured passenger does not necessarily mean suing the driver of the vehicle the passenger was in.
File a Claim Against Your Driver’s Insurance
When the driver of the car you were in was at fault for causing the crash, you can recover damages through his or her insurance policy.
Liability coverage on a driver’s insurance usually covers their passengers’ medical expenses, loss of income, as well as pain and suffering up to the policy limits.
Note: since you are filing a claim against the driver’s insurance policy, it is not a lawsuit filed against this person who may be your friend, relative, co-worker, or someone you would not want to sue. In other words, you are merely seeking compensation from their insurance policy. That is as simple as that.
File a Claim Against the Other Motorist’s Insurance
When the vehicle you were in is not the only car involved in your accident, you may be able to recover damages through the other driver’s insurance as long as the other motorist is found liable. If both drivers share liability for the crash, you might be able to seek compensation by filing a claim against both insurance policies.
File a Claim Against Your Policy
The third option is to seek compensation through your own policy if you have one. However, since the passenger’s policy is not based on liability, you can recover only medical expenses. Typically, pain and suffering and lost wages are not included in this type of coverage.
You might be able to obtain compensation through the uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or the passenger’s auto policy if the car was uninsured in a single-vehicle crash.
Speak with our Charlotte personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to pursue compensation in your case if you are an injured passenger in a car accident. Our attorneys will find all available sources of financial recovery. Call us at 704-370-2828 for a consultation or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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