Every year, millions of American drivers end up in car accidents, and with extra occupants, a compounding factor in many accidents, plenty of passengers also end up seriously injured.
What do you do when you’re a passenger in a car accident in California? Whose insurance do you contact – your driver or the other driver? Are you going to get reimbursed for any medical bills?
Get to Safety and Get Medical Attention
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to get to a safe area after the crash and get medical care. If the accident isn’t serious, your driver and the other party may be able to pull to the side of the road away from traffic. Call the police and medical emergency services. Everyone involved in the crash should be evaluated and treated for any injuries.
File a Claim as a Car Accident Passenger
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and want to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your medical bills and suffering, who do you sue? Determining fault in a car accident can be complex in California.
Determine Who is at Fault for Your Personal Injury Claim
If you are riding in the car with another person, they are partly responsible for your safety. If your driver is at fault for the crash, they may be liable for any injuries resulting from the accident – including yours.
Your driver’s PIP (or Personal Injury Protection) insurance may have to pay for some of your injuries. If your driver was uninsured at the time of the accident, or their insurance finds them to be not at fault, you’ll need to file with the other driver’s insurance- and ideally, you should get a personal injury lawyer.
In the case that the other driver is at fault or both drivers share liability for the car accident, you can file a personal injury claim with both of their insurance companies to cover medical costs.
How Does a Car Accident Attorney Help?
Experienced car accident lawyers will oversee your personal injury claim filing process with the insurance companies, communicate with authorities to establish fault, investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident, and, should your case go to court, assist you in obtaining proper restitution.
In California, if the claims you’ve been awarded don’t provide enough to cover your medical care, provided you are not at fault for the accident (yes, passengers can be held liable, though it is rare), you can file a claim for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Find an Attorney as a Passenger in a Car Accident in California
If you suffered an injury as a passenger in a car accident in California, it is important to know where you can turn for help. Fortunately, you can call a car accident lawyer at Bonjour, Thorman, Burns & Dahm in Pleasanton, Oakland, or Fremont.
We know that injured accident survivors need help during this difficult time and we have the experience to get you the compensation you need. Fill out our online contact form for a free initial consultation.