Can You Claim Compensation As A Passenger In A Vehicle Accident?

claim compensation

Yes, it is possible to claim compensation if you’re a passenger in a car involved in an accident. While statistics are showing better crash results and roads are getting safer, accidents continue to occur.

Every year thousands of individuals are involved in accidents related to road traffic. If you’re a passenger and you sustain injuries in an accident, it can be infuriating. Passengers have little control over situations and circumstances in accidents. They cannot take evasive action.

In most cases, passengers sustain injuries through totally no fault of their own. Since they don’t interact with the traffic, they’re injured unexpectedly. Usually, they don’t have time to prepare for the impact or even shield themselves. This leads to serious injuries and they may want to seek claims for the damages they suffer.

Is A Passenger Ever At-Fault?

Being a passenger, you’re normally not responsible for an accident. This means it’s possible to get full compensation regardless of the person found to be at-fault for the road accident. That said, there are some situations where the insurance policy of the driver may decide to dispel your claim.

For example, if you ride in a vehicle with a driver under the influence, it can be difficult to receive compensation after an accident. Although you aren’t at fault, you’re held accountable for your decision to ride in a vehicle with a driver who you knew couldn’t drive safely. However, it can be that you got into the car not knowing the driver was under the influence.

Drivers Should Drive Carefully To Prevent Passenger Injury

When you look at road accidents from a legal perspective, a driver has an obligation to steer the car safely and carefully to ensure the safety of passengers. A driver should drive safely to prevent causing injuries to passengers. They should also drive carefully to minimize the risk of knocking down other road users.

If a driver fails to show that they were careful enough to ensure passenger safety and reckless driving causes serious injury, the passenger has a right to sue for damages. The passenger can pursue compensation for damages arising due to a direct result of their injuries.

Also, if the driver of another vehicle is responsible for an accident that causes injuries to the passenger, the passenger has a right to claim compensation.

Who Can A Passenger Sue To Claim Compensation?

A passenger in a road accident may sue different parties. They can sue the driver of the vehicle they were in. They can also sue the other driver if the accident involves more than one vehicle.

Also, the passenger can sue both drivers. It depends on the circumstances of the accident when it occurs. At other times, the passenger can sue the vehicle manufacturer if a malfunction causes the accident.

It’s usually easier for passengers to claim compensation following a road traffic accident compared to a driver. However, cases, where the passenger sustains injuries, can get complex quickly, so it’s important that you, as the passenger, know your rights.

Enlisting an experienced lawyer helps a passenger understand his or her options. The lawyer assists the passenger in obtaining fair compensation. The passenger may claim compensation for medical as well as rehabilitation costs likely to arise in the future. They may also pursue compensation for lost wages, repair fees, and overall pain as well as suffering.

What To Do If You’re In An Accident As An Uber Or Lyft Passenger

uber or lyft

Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies provide a convenient and inexpensive means of transportation for people in urban areas all over the U.S. Unfortunately, ride-sharing company drivers occasionally get into accidents that result in injuries to their passengers, other drivers or pedestrians. Understanding how ride-sharing companies insure their drivers is important to recovering damages you may have an entitlement to.

Ride-share services typically have insurance policies for their drivers that apply when the drivers have passengers. For example, Uber uses a $1 million liability/$1 million uninsured/under-insured coverage policy for its drivers when they have passengers. This means that if an Uber driver has a passenger and then has an accident, the Uber insurance will pay the claim.

When ride-sharing service drivers don’t have a passenger, they are often covered only by their personal auto insurance. So, if they’re in an accident going to or from a fare, the Uber policy does not cover them. Only their own personal policy will cover them.

However, personal policies may exclude coverage of work activities such as driving for a ride-sharing company. Because ride-sharing company drivers are third-party contractors, it may limit the ability of victims to recover directly from the company.

Therefore, if you’re in an accident as a passenger of an Uber, Lyft, or another ride-sharing car, you need to talk to a lawyer. This is because receiving compensation can be complicated.

Can You Claim Damages For Pain And Suffering If In A Vehicle Accident?

damages for pain and suffering

If you’re involved in a car accident can you claim damages for pain and suffering? The answer to this is a definite yes. When you’re in a car accident and are not at fault, you have the right to receive compensation for the accident. You have the right to compensation for damages to your vehicle, for lost wages, for medical bills, and also for pain and suffering.

Determining fair compensation for pain and suffering is a little more challenging than for the other areas. It’s easy to look at the damages to your car, your medical bills, and your lost wages and figure out how much money you should receive. It’s not so easy to determines how much you should be rewarded for pain and suffering.

Damages For Pain And Suffering Can Include Compensation For Mental And Physical Pain

Pain and suffering are defined by mental or physical distress. If you are in a car accident and suffer injuries, then you have physical pain due to those injuries. If those injuries were significant, then you probably also suffer mental distress as well.

Your mental distress was likely the result of fear over the injuries, concern over losing work, upset over the loss or damage to your car, and overall anxiety from the entire situation.

How Are Damages For Pain And Suffering Calculated?

Pain and suffering is something that is personal and impossible for anyone but the victim to understand. Different people have different thresholds for pain. For some people, an injury might be a minor inconvenience. For others, that injury could cause them an extreme amount of pain. This could prevent them from moving around or working.

Because pain and suffering is a personal issue, there are some legal guidelines that help determine what kind of damages should be awarded.

Pain and suffering damages are often calculated by combining the damages awarded for injuries, lost wages, and damages to personal property. Then, multiplying that figure by a number. What number do they as the multiplier? That depends.

Today, companies use complex software. This takes into consideration a number of factors when determining how much you suffered as a result of your injuries. Injuries such as a broken bone that require multiple surgeries have more weight than relatively minor injuries. Especially ones that require no surgical intervention.

3 Things To Do If You’re Involved In A Wreck While Renting A Vehicle

renting a vehicle

Millions of Americans rent vehicles each year to provide temporary transportation for business or vacation trips or when their primary vehicle is in the shop. Unfortunately, a number of these drivers will get into accidents while renting a vehicle. Understanding how insurance coverage for rented vehicles such as SUVs, pickup trucks, motorcycles, sedans, vans, and buses works and your responsibility when accidents involving rented vehicles occur, will make these unfortunate accidents less stressful.

Check Your Insurance Cover

Rental companies will usually ask you for your insurance card if you do not take their auto insurance coverage in order to confirm that you’re covered. Talk to your insurance agent about rental coverage before renting a vehicle. Your coverage is a lot cheaper than the coverage the rental company may provide.

If you decide not to opt for rental car insurance, at least make sure your own car insurance covers rental vehicles. If it doesn’t and you get into an accident, you could personally be on the hook for some major costs. Before you rent, you should speak to your auto insurance agent to determine what type of coverage you have, if any, regarding car rentals.

Depending on your existing auto insurance, you will want to choose your own auto insurance since it comes with the maximum coverage limits. It’s never cheaper to take the rental company’s insurance coverage unless your own policy will not protect you. For starters, if you’re considering renting a car, go ahead and talk to an auto insurance agent. Ask whether it’s smart to purchase the insurance offered by the rental company or not.

If an accident does occur when you’re driving a rental car, remember these tips:

1. Never admit fault. Ever.

2. Call the rental company as soon as possible. If you didn’t purchase the rental company’s insurance, call your own insurer ASAP, too.

3. Be prepared to contact a personal injury lawyer. Especially if you suffer injuries as a result of the negligence of another driver.

What Is A Phantom Vehicle In Relation To Automobile Insurance?

phantom vehicle

What is a phantom vehicle? A phantom vehicle most commonly refers to a vehicle that causes an accident without making contact with a victim or a victim’s vehicle. How can a car cause an accident without hitting anyone or anything?

Simple. A phantom vehicle is at fault in an accident when they perform a dangerous or unlawful maneuver that causes another vehicle or vehicles to have to take evasive action to avoid being struck. This evasive action leads to the other vehicle suffering some kind of damage due to hitting another car, hitting a stationary object, hitting a person, or skidding off of the road.

Phantom Vehicles Often Leave The Scene Of An Accident

One of the most problematic issues with phantom vehicles is the fact that they often leave the scene of the accident. In some cases, this could be the result of an honest mistake. If the driver of a phantom vehicle doesn’t make contact with another car, they may not even realize that they have caused an accident.

They may also realize that there was an accident, but since they didn’t strike another car they may not realize that they can still be held liable for causing the accident. In many cases though, phantom drivers choose to leave the scene of an accident so that they won’t be accused of causing it. They are attempting to escape responsibility, and in many instances they do.

A Phantom Vehicle Can Also Refer To A Hit And Run Driver

Sometimes a hit and run driver is also a phantom vehicle. Why? Because they were the cause of an accident and have disappeared after the accident. While phantom vehicles that don’t hit another car could mistakenly believe they weren’t the cause of an accident, hit and run drivers can’t make this claim. A hit and run driver strikes another car, knows they did it, then still chooses to leave the scene anyway.

When Do You Consider A Car A Phantom Vehicle?

In order to be considered a phantom vehicle, a car has to meet certain criteria. First of all, they had to have been engaging in an illegal and dangerous act that caused your accident. For example, if a car veers into your lane and forces you to turn out of the way causing you to hit something, they would be considered a phantom vehicle.

Secondly, their vehicle could not have made contact with your car during the accident. Thirdly, the at-fault driver left the scene of the accident. The final criteria are that the at-fault vehicle cannot be identified.

Do You Know What’s Under Your Umbrella Policy?

Umbrella policy

An umbrella policy provides coverage beyond the monetary limits established by traditional home and auto policies. They also cover many circumstances not included in these policies. If you’ve been involved in an accident, assessing the level of coverage available from the other party’s insurers is important, to recover the compensation and damages you deserve.

Many people with substantial assets obtain personal umbrella policies to provide protection for these assets should they ever be involved in a lawsuit. Insurance agents can help their clients determine whether an umbrella policy is right for them.

Here’s an example of how umbrella policies work:

If you’re in an auto accident that injures another driver, your auto policy will provide coverage up to the policy limit you’ve chosen. If claims exceed that amount, you may be on the hook for those costs. That’s unless you have an umbrella policy offering further protection.

Consider another example of how umbrella policies work:

Let’s say that your dog gets loose and bites one of your neighbors. This causes injuries requiring medical treatment and physical therapy. Your homeowner’s policy may not cover this occurrence but many umbrella policies do provide coverage for these situations. Umbrella policies can help protect your assets against many unexpected events that may befall you or your family.

Should you get involved in an accident, ascertaining the extent of the other party’s insurance policies is important. Especially if the case ends up in court. An experienced accident lawyer can find this information and make the right recommendations concerning litigation and settlement.

An Experienced Lawyer Can Help You To Get Fair Compensation

The most important thing you need to remember is that to get fair compensation for damages for pain and suffering you will need a lawyer. The insurance company for the other driver isn’t going to just offer you a fair settlement. They are going to lowball you, so you must refuse to accept any offer before you speak to a lawyer.

While the offer they make to you might seem generous, the truth is that they are almost certainly trying to take advantage of you. An experienced lawyer can make sure this doesn’t happen.

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You can entrust your case to the seasoned car accident lawyers at Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We serve the entire Chicago area, including Arlington Heights, Bensenville, Cicero, Joliet, Maywood, Rosemont, Orland Park, Schaumburg, Streamwood and Villa Park.

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