Many people hire a Houston accident injury attorney after a car crash, but what about passengers injured in an accident? Passengers are also typically entitled to compensation for their damages and injuries from car accidents. If you were a passenger injured during a car accident, you might need a lawyer to help you with your case. It’s a common misconception that passengers don’t need an attorney after an accident, but they can help your case in many ways. You should talk to a lawyer about the particulars of your case, but there are some things to keep in mind specifically about compensation for car accident passengers and how attorneys can help.
Should Injured Passengers Hire a Houston Accident Injury Attorney After a Car Accident?
When talking about personal injury cases after a car accident, you might immediately think of the drivers involved with the crash. However, passengers are often just as vulnerable to car crash injuries, meaning they can also seek compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages. A Houston car injury attorney can help injured passengers navigate the legal jungle of recovering damages after a car accident.
Many passengers try to handle their case alone. This is often because passengers are rarely considered at fault for the accident, so there’s a misconception that they don’t need an attorney. However, an attorney can help in many ways with your injury case.
Your Houston Accident Injury Attorney Helps You Determine Who to File a Claim Against
Passenger personal injury cases can be incredibly complex. Even if you’re likely not liable for the accident as a passenger (unless you did something reckless like pulling the wheel or intentionally obstructing the driver’s view), you still generally must explore who is at fault to determine who to file a claim.
Depending on your case, you may be able to file an insurance claim against the driver in the car you were in, the driver of the other car, or even both. If your driver was at fault for the accident, you typically need to file a claim with their auto insurance. If the other person was at fault, you file a claim with theirs. However, in many cases both drivers may share some of the fault. For example, let’s say that car A makes a left turn and hits car B, which was speeding. While car A is likely mostly at fault for causing the accident, car B may share some percentage of fault because they were speeding and may have avoided the accident by driving the speed limit. Where there is shared fault, you may be able to file a claim against both drivers’ insurances.
If you file multiple insurance claims for one car accident, keep in mind that you can’t “double dip” for compensation. You can only recoup what your case is worth. If your damages, for example, equal $100,000, you can’t get $100,000 from both insurance companies. However, you can typically settle for $40,000 from insurance company A and then $60,000 from company B for this example case.
Coverage Limits May Affect Your Case
It’s also important to keep in mind that most auto insurance policies have coverage limits. These are generally maximum amounts the insurance company will pay. For example, in Texas minimum auto insurance coverage is $30,000 per person for injuries and up to $60,000 per accident for injuries. The problem is, this may not cover all your accident-related costs, depending on the specifics of your case. While the drivers may have more in coverage than the mandated minimums, those limits still may not be enough to cover damages.
For instance, it’s common for multiple people to experience injuries in a car accident. Yet, if the at-fault driver only has minimum auto insurance coverage, that means that the insurance company will only pay $60,000 for the accident in total, even if several people were injured. This may not pay for everyone’s damages.
Also, severe accidents, like Houston head on collisions, can have devastating effects and may cause extreme injuries. The more severe the injuries, often the higher the related costs, such as medical bills. For major accidents, coverage limits may be a concern for injured passengers. Policy limits may not cover all your damages. Therefore, it’s important to discuss your case with your Houston accident injury attorney to explore your options for compensation. There may be other courses of action, such as filing claims against other involved drivers or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
How a Houston Car Injury Attorney Helps Injured Passengers
If you were injured in a car crash as a passenger, you may be entitled to compensation. An attorney can help guide you through the process of seeking compensation. Hiring a Houston accident injury attorney for your case can help take a lot of the burden off your shoulders. It may also help you receive a better settlement from the insurance company. An experienced legal professional can work on your behalf to defend your rights after a car accident.
Filing Your Car Accident Claim
Most car accident cases begin with filing a claim against the auto insurance. If you were injured as a passenger, you may want to file with one or both drivers’ insurance companies. Your attorney can help you determine where to file a claim based on the specific circumstances of your case, as we’ve mentioned. However, they can also help handle the paperwork for you. This is often helpful as lawyers generally know which forms and documents to submit for an insurance claim. Filling out the forms correctly, filing the right forms, and sending the right documents can all help reduce the time it takes to reach a settlement offer and can also help reduce the risk of claim denial due to errors in the paperwork.
Your Houston Accident Injury Attorney Calculates Your Damages
In addition, your Houston car injury attorney can help you calculate your accident-related costs. This might sound straightforward, but in many cases it is anything but. For instance, typically it involves calculating total medical costs (including future costs), lost wages (current and future), as well as non-economic things like pain and suffering. Your attorney helps you determine what your case is worth based on the details of your case.
Gathering Evidence for Your Claim
Your Houston accident injury attorney can also help you gather evidence for your case to submit to the insurance company or use in the lawsuit. Remember, even if you’re a passenger, you still have to prove fault for your case. Your attorney can gather evidence like video footage, witness statements, and police reports to help prove your personal injury case.
Your Houston Accident Injury Attorney Negotiates with the Insurance Adjuster
Another way your Houston car injury attorney can help with your case is negotiating with the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters try to settle claims for the least amount if money possible. They often resort to unfair tactics to try to get victims to take lower settlements than their case is worth. An experienced personal injury attorney generally knows many of the “tricks” adjusters may use to try to devalue your claim. Your lawyer can work on your behalf with the adjuster to help you get fair compensation for your injuries.
DeSimone Attorneys Advocate for You after a Car Crash
When you need an experienced personal injury attorney, our team at DeSimone Law Office is here to help. We’ve helped settle thousands of car accident cases. Our attorneys advocate for your right to compensation after a car crash. Get in touch now for a free car crash case evaluation with our attorneys.