Car accidents are an unfortunate reality on our busy highways, and they can cause injuries to drivers and passengers alike. The severity of these accidents range from simple fender benders to multi-car collisions that result in severe injuries and even death. Negligent driving, poor weather conditions, vehicle malfunction, and confusion can all cause car accidents. Even in the best circumstances, people can suffer serious and long-term injuries. Though most attention is on the drivers and determining who is at fault, passengers also have rights after suffering injuries in car accidents.
If you are a passenger in a car accident, you may suffer from severe, life-altering injuries that limit your ability to engage in day-to-day tasks. You may have missed work to recover from your injuries. If you or a loved one suffered harm in a car accident, talk to our San Jose auto accident lawyers. Henshaw & Henry, PC has compiled this list to help you collect necessary evidence in the moments following a car accident. By gathering this information immediately, you can support and defend your personal injury claim with insurance companies or in the courtroom.
A car accident can shock and devastate passengers and drivers alike. If you are physically able, call the police after the accident. This will send medical attention and police officers directly to your location, and you can gather reports to support your claim from these individuals. After the police officers arrive and discuss the accident with you, ask them for a copy of the police report.
While waiting for the police, talk to witnesses around the area. If they seem like credible witnesses, ask them for their contact information. Even the most straightforward car accident cases can change due to an eyewitness testimony.
Taking pictures at the scene of an accident will help provide evidence and may offer a reminder of small details. Take photos of the car you were riding in, the other driver’s car, and the accident scene – if it’s safe to do so.
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, see a medical professional. Many injuries don’t reveal themselves immediately. Additionally, medical professionals will provide you with a detailed report of your injuries that can help you with your claim or lawsuit. Make sure to save your medical bills – not only will this help collect damages, they may prove the severity of your injuries as well.
Keep a list of any physical, financial, and psychological losses you suffered in the collision. This list will help your attorney seek paths to compensation during a personal injury lawsuit. You can claim damages for:
In California, you have two options for legal action following a car accident as a passenger:
While insurance claims provide a seemingly easier route to compensation, insurance companies are constrained by their policy limits. To recover maximum damages, discuss your case with an accident attorney. Your best option may be to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. During this suit, the court will determine liability and will award you a settlement based on the extent of your losses.
Passengers may not feel as if they have the same rights to compensation as drivers after an accident, but the law does protect them after an accident with a negligent driver. For help after an accident, even if your driver was the one at fault, talk to our firm. Our legal experts will work closely with you to determine the facts of the accident.