Car accidents can be terrifying. So much is happening…and you want to make sure that your needs are addressed, especially if you’re a passenger. There are a few critical steps to follow so that your injuries are taken care of.
Whether the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault or not, you have to collect information. After all, you need answers to the questions going through your head. Mainly, are you covered by your insurance, the driver’s insurance, or the other driver’s insurance?
At Allan Berger & Associates, we are committed to helping you get the legal assistance you need. It ensures that you’ve thought of everything. Someone has to look out for you. As the passenger, you’re often the forgotten part of the equation. Drivers are focused on themselves and their vehicles.
By following a few steps, you can ensure that you have what’s needed to file a claim when it’s necessary. It ensures that you’re
Step 1: Collect Information
Your goal should be to collect as much information as possible, preferably while you’re still at the scene of the accident. Collect the insurance information from both drivers. If you can get a copy of the accident report filed by the police, that can help, too. If there are witnesses, try to get statements from them. If the witnesses cannot stay until the police show up, collect their contact information.
You never know how much of the information can be useful when filing claims. While most of the information is shared between drivers, you have rights, too. Take photos if you can as they can help to strengthen your case.
There may be situations where you don’t know the driver of the vehicle you’re in, either. For example, if you’re using a rideshare app, you only have basic information. Ask questions so that you can get all of the necessary details. After all, you’re a victim. As a passenger, you shouldn’t be responsible for the injuries sustained from an injury that wasn’t your fault.
Step 2: File a Claim with the Other Driver’s Insurance
You have the ability to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Regardless of which driver was responsible (the vehicle you were in or the other vehicle), they should have bodily injury liability. It’s a requirement for auto insurance in Louisiana – and most drivers aren’t going to risk the fines involved by not having the coverage.
Bodily injury liability is considered third-party insurance since it will only cover the other driver and passengers, not the person actually responsible for the accident.
While $15,000 is the minimum level of coverage required in Louisiana, many drivers have more. It’s designed to cover various expenses:
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
The biggest issue that you may face is that the total extent of your injuries may be a lot higher than what the driver’s coverage allows. It may also be difficult to determine who caused the accident.
Just because you’re a passenger doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. You simply have to explore all of your options, including working with a personal injury lawyer.
Step 3: File a Claim with Your Driver’s Insurance
It may be difficult to know who was at fault – and police officers on the scene may not be able to figure it out, either. Whether your driver was the one responsible for the accident or not, it may be advantageous to file a claim. Depending on the coverage they have in place, it can help to cover some of the expenses involved with getting you back to where you need to be.
This is one of the main reasons why you’ll want to collect information. By having insurance information on both drivers, you can reach out to both insurance companies to seek financial assistance.
Step 4: File a Claim with Your Own Insurance
It may be necessary for you to file a claim with your own insurance. Whether you file through your auto insurance or medical insurance, it may be a necessity to ensure you get the health care that is needed. If the at-fault party is underinsured, it may also help to cover costs so that they don’t become a financial burden.
While your own insurance policies can help to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses, it’s also important to note that if you do receive compensation from one of the other insurance companies or a settlement, your health insurance company has to be reimbursed for those expenses.
It can be overwhelming to keep track of all of this, which is why it can be beneficial to get legal assistance.
Step 5: Discuss Your Options with a Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can lead to all sorts of injuries. When you’ve been injured, there’s often no easy way to navigate the process. At Allan Berger & Associates, we are familiar with the laws of Louisiana. We have helped our New Orleans clients in a number of ways – and we look forward to helping you.
You should never accept an insurance company’s settlement without first discussing your options with a lawyer. The moment you accept a settlement, you sign your rights away from ever going back to claim more. This is when you have to ask yourself if you are getting enough.
Our firm’s lawyers can talk to you about the various “what-if” scenarios. What if you need to get physical therapy down the road? What if you are unable to go back to work right away? We’ll work to establish a settlement amount that covers those “what-if” scenarios and work with the driver who was at fault and their insurance company on your behalf. It can help you to focus on getting better without dealing with the stress of a legal battle.
Call the firm today at 504-526-2222 or contact us online so that you can set up a consultation. We’ll talk to you about your options and help you to proceed in order to get the best possible results.