New Orleans, LA Car Accident Compensation Lawyer
Car accidents, even minor ones, are unsettling and tend to shake one’s confidence in the world. This may be particularly true for passengers who are injured in an auto collision. Fortunately, passengers who have been injured because of another party’s negligent driving behavior hold the right to pursue compensation for damages.
In most two-vehicle accidents, proving liability is not an issue for injured passengers — one or the other of the drivers is likely to be liable for the injuries. In a one-car crash, the driver who collides with a stationary object is generally liable for a passenger’s injuries, although there are some exceptions, such as when a deer suddenly bounds into the road, making the accident unavoidable.
How Do Passengers Obtain Compensation for Car Accident Injuries?
Injured passengers have several possible avenues to pursue compensation. The route you take may depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident. If your injuries are serious, consult with an experienced injury attorney. Your options may include:
- Filing a third-party claim against the policy of the driver or owner of the vehicle in which you were a passenger: Not all auto accidents involve more than one vehicle. A driver who is speeding or distracted, or otherwise driving negligently, can lose control of the vehicle and cause a one-car crash. Also, the driver you were riding with may have caused a collision with another vehicle. In either case, you have the right to file a claim against the insurance policy for the vehicle in which you were a passenger. If you are related to and live with the driver, however, you will probably be considered insured under that policy, and therefore barred from pursuing a liability claim.
- Filing a third-party claim against the driver or owner of another vehicle involved in the accident: If another driver was at fault for an accident with a vehicle in which you were a passenger, you may file a claim against that driver’s insurance policy. You may also need to file a third-party claim against the other driver if the driver whose vehicle you were riding in does not have insurance policy limits that are sufficient to cover your medical expenses. In that case, you may attempt to recover the balance of your medical expenses from the other driver’s policy.
- Using Med Pay for your medical expenses: Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage does not depend on fault and claims, and can therefore be processed much faster. If you have pressing medical bills that must be paid, you can choose to use your Med Pay coverage. Med Pay will not cover pain and suffering, lost wages, or other similar damages, but it will cover your medical expenses up to the policy limits, and you can still file a claim for pain and suffering and other damages against the negligent party’s insurance company.
Call Us Today
If you have been seriously injured as a passenger in an auto accident, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced accident attorney. At Herman Herman & Katz, LLC, our injury lawyers have recovered more than $35 billion for our clients. Our firm has been fighting for personal injury victims for more than 70 years. Contact us today for a free case review.