Tag Archive for: passenger

Passenger Accident Claims And Insurance

If you are a passenger in a car accident, you will potentially have numerous options available to compensate you for your personal injury claim. Except for in limited circumstances, passengers are not at fault for car accidents. This means liability (who is at fault) will not be contested. Instead, your claim will be fought over the injuries and which insurance company should pay for those injuries.

Pursuing Your Passenger Accident Claim

Working with a personal injury law firm will protect your rights as you attempt to recover from your injuries from a car accident. The personal injury lawyer will also help you sort through the liability associated with the accident. The first thing the lawyer will ask for is a copy of the police report from the accident.  Typically, the police report will contain statements from both drivers, together with a diagram of the accident. There are numerous sections of the police report where the attending officer makes notes which help tell the story of the accident. These notes contain everything from the estimated speed of the vehicles upon impact, to the road conditions. Lastly, the police report will also make note of any citations given to either driver, which can dramatically help or affect your case depending upon the citation.

If you do not have a police report from the accident, we can assist you with obtaining one at no cost. Just click HERE to request one.

Starting Your Personal Injury Passenger Accident Claim

Assuming the police report indicates the other driver is at fault, the most logical entity to pursue is the insurance company for the other driver. In North Carolina, there are insurance minimums that each driver must carry. The minimums in North Carolina are $30,000 for one person for bodily injury (“Personal Injury”) and $60,000 for injuries to two or more people in a single accident. Additionally, each driver must have $25,000 in property damage coverage; however, if you are a passenger the property damage aspect will most likely not affect you.

If you are a passenger, this means that the driver of your vehicle may also be injured. You can see how, depending upon the severity of the injury, the injuries for all individuals in your vehicle may exceed the amount of insurance the at-fault driver carries. If this is the case, you can also pursue an Underinsured Motorist Claim by starting a second claim with the insurance of the driver of your vehicle.

Your personal injury attorney will advise you as to the specifics of this claim, and you must be careful not to settle for less than the full policy amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy if you intend to pursue an Underinsured Motorist Claim. Lastly, the underinsured motorist limits must exceed the limits of the policy of the at-fault driver. If your claim comes to this crossroads, your personal injury attorney’s skill set in navigating underinsured motorist coverage will help you tremendously.

What If Your Driver Is At Fault?

If the driver of your vehicle is at fault, this will not prevent you from recovering from your injuries. Provided you did not contribute to the accident, your lawyer can start a claim with the insurance company for your driver. The minimums mentioned above will still be in effect.

Recovering With Medical Payments Coverage In Passenger Accident Claims

Your personal injury lawyer can also pursue a medical payments claim for you. If you or the driver of your vehicle have medical payments coverage on your auto policies, you can submit medical bills from the accident. You will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary medical expenses which stem from the accident. While these amounts are typically $1,000-$5,000 they can make all the difference in settling a personal injury claim. This is particularly true of a smaller claim.

If you are able to recover medical payments coverage, your lawyer should be able to successfully argue for you that your medical payments coverage is not subject to the Medical Liens in personal injury created by N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which helps you to retain more of your settlement funds.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today About Passenger Accident Claims

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article “Passenger Accident Claims And Insurance” was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

Friendly Charlotte Personal Injury Firm

It may seem counter-intuitive to desire a friendly Charlotte personal injury firm, but in our opinion that is exactly what you need for your Charlotte personal injury. We all often forget that working with a law firm means interacting with that law firm on a routine basis. While you want your Charlotte personal injury lawyer to be aggressive for you when pursuing compensation for your personal injury claim or personal injury lawsuit, you also want them to be easy to work with. For that reason, finding a friendly Charlotte personal injury firm is important.

Responsive Staff And Attorneys

One of the most frequent complaints about Charlotte’s personal injury firms—even those rated as Charlotte’s best personal injury firms—is a failure to communicate effectively with clients. Part of this failure is due to the heavy workload that Charlotte personal injury law firms take on; however, there’s no excuse for not responding to a client’s inquiry or desire to be kept up to date.

At The Layton Law Firm, we end each conversation by agreeing with you on the next time you can expect an update from us. This helps us, and it helps you. From our perspective, it ensures that we have it marked on our calendar to reach out to you when the future date arrives. From your perspective, it gives you peace of mind that you know you will be updated at the agreed-upon time.

Mutual Respect Is A Critical Part Of Success

The personal injury law firm and the client must work as a team to reach a successful result on a personal injury claim. This means the client must also commit to responding in a timely manner to their lawyer or paralegal. Quite often, the insurance adjuster in a car accident will request additional support for lost wages or medical records. We need our clients to assist us in quickly gathering that information so the claim can move forward.

On our end, we do our best to keep in mind that most clients have never filed a personal injury claim before working with us. They are not the type of individuals who sue people. So, the experience can be stressful. Not only is it an emotionally draining process, but it’s also hard to understand how long a personal injury settlement will take. We do our best to maintain compassion, empathy, and understanding for what our clients are going through. After all, they are working with us because they were harmed in an often life-changing motor vehicle accident, slip and fall injury, or workers’ compensation-related injury.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.


What To Do If You’re A Passenger In A Car Accident

We are happy to speak to you over the phone if you have questions about being a passenger in a car accident. We get phone calls every week from people who are still at the scene of an accident, wondering what they should do to protect their rights. We are proud they think to call us. We can be reached at 704.749.7747 or you can click here for a FREE CASE EVALUATION.

Passengers In Car Accidents Have Extensive Rights

If you’re a passenger in a car accident, the news is good. The accident was not your fault. This means there are options for you in terms of financial recovery. The path to personal injury compensation may involve disputing with multiple insurance carriers regarding liability (who is responsible). Generally, either the driver of your vehicle will be responsible, or the driver of the vehicle who collided with you. But again, as a passenger, there should not be any liability for you. There are exceptions to this rule and those exceptions include:

Knowingly Driving With A Drunk Driver

Knowingly Driving With A Driver Known To Be Irresponsible

Engaging In Behavior Contributing To The Accident

Getting Medical Treatment For Your Injuries

After documenting the accident with a police report, the next thing a passenger in a car accident needs to do is get appropriate medical treatment. We recommend you receive medical treatment on the day of the accident and preferably go directly from the accident scene to the emergency room. Sometimes this isn’t convenient, or you may not feel you are injured. Quite often, you don’t feel your injuries immediately after the car accident. This is a combination of adrenaline and the time it takes for injuries to reveal themselves.

You will generally not compromise your passenger claim by seeking medical treatment for the first time a day or two after the accident. If you wait more than a week after the accident to receive treatment for the first time, you can expect the insurance company to put up resistance regarding the value of your injuries.

Once you have been seen by a physician at the emergency room or hospital, you will be given follow-up recommendations. Be sure to follow up with your doctor as recommended. If you have what are known as ‘soft tissue’ injuries (back, neck, and shoulder strains) you may consider seeking Chiropractic Treatment for those injuries. Generally, your treatment, if reasonable and not excessive, will be honored by the insurance company analyzing your claim.

Who Will Pay Your Passenger Claim?

Your personal injury attorney will review your police report and send a letter of representation to the party believed to be at fault. If there is a dispute between two insurance companies as to fault, the easiest solution is to file a lawsuit against both parties. Or at least to threaten to file a lawsuit against both insurance companies. The theory is that you as the passenger were not responsible and that a jury can decide how the two insurance companies should share fault.

Typically, even if there is resistance, your personal injury attorney will be able to successfully encourage the insurance companies to work out an arrangement that will lead to you being paid the full value of your passenger car accident claim.

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you can typically file an uninsured motorist claim. These situations are discussed routinely on Avvo.com

Filing Your Passenger Claim Against The Insurance Company

Passenger claims are filed like most other claims. You must reach out to the insurance company to start a claim. Generally, you’ll need your police report on hand to do this. The intake officer will want to know details about the accident and the police report number. Lastly, the intake officer will need to establish there was insurance coverage on the at-fault driver at the time of the accident. At the end of the conversation, you should be assigned a claim number and be given contact information for an adjuster.

Establishing The Value Of Your Passenger Claim

We have written extensively on this site about establishing the value of your personal injury claim. As a passenger, not much is different. The value of your claim will be a combination of your medical bills, injuries supported by medical records, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any special damages which might exist. If the at-fault driver was texting, racing, or driving under the influence, you may be able to recover punitive damages meant to punish the driver for that activity. Your personal injury lawyer’s job is to maximize the value of your passenger claim and make sure you’re treated fairly, all things considered.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have questions about working with a personal injury lawyer, or if you have questions about a passenger claim from a car accident, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

When you are rear-ended by a company vehicle, it’s important to understand your rights. Your claim for damages can often be dramatically different when you’re rear-ended by a company vehicle. The reason for this is the potential for punitive damages, which increase the value of your personal injury case. Punitive damages are codified by the NC General Statutes in N.C.G.S. sec. 1D.

As a Charlotte personal injury law firm, our firm has experience representing individuals who have been in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Sometimes those clients are pedestrians who have been struck by a work vehicle. Other times, our client was rear-ended by a company vehicle while driving their own personal vehicle.

How Your Case Is Different When A Commercial Vehicle Is Involved

In a typical car accident, both drivers are operating their personal vehicles. Ideally, both drivers are insured at the time of the accident. The at-fault party can expect to pay damages to the other driver if they were injured in the accident. In these cases, each driver should carry the NC state minimum insurance requirements. In the event the injuries exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver, our firm can typically recover additional funds from our client’s insurance company under the Underinsured Motorist coverage on our client’s policy.

In the commercial setting, if someone is rear-ended by a company vehicle, a few things are different. First, the insurance limits covering the company driver will typically be much higher than those carried by most private motorists. Second, as a personal injury law firm, we will investigate the facts surrounding the accident to determine if the company itself is at fault. For example:

Did the company driver have a prior history of accidents?

Did a failure to maintain the company vehicle contribute to the accident?

Does the company have a history of negligent retention of employees?

In the corporate setting, when you are rear-ended by a company vehicle, your case may be a good case for additional damages. Juries are often asked to consider punitive damages in these cases. This changes the nature of the jury’s deliberation. Usually, a jury is awarding the injured party an amount of money meant to compensate the injured party for their loss. When punitive damages are considered by a jury, the jury is considering an amount that will discourage the at-fault company and all other companies from engaging in similar behavior. This is why a failure to maintain a vehicle or knowledge surrounding an employee’s prior driving record is relevant.

Negotiating A Claim When Rear-Ended By A Company Vehicle

The available insurance coverage and the public policy to prevent companies from knowingly engaging in negligent behavior change the negotiation. Your personal injury lawyer will present your case to the insurance adjuster or their attorney in a manner that reflects this. By citing recent case law which supports the damages requested, your lawyer can build the value of your case so that you are adequately compensated.

Ultimately, your personal injury settlement should reflect all circumstances surrounding your accident. Our staff will walk you through the demand package we are submitting to the insurance company to be sure you understand the process as we request a settlement from the insurance adjuster.

Investigating The At-Fault Company

Another distinguishing factor in rear-end collisions involving commercial vehicles is the tendency for the personal injury law firm to employ an investigator to research the company’s history. This investigation will include uncovering past accidents, corporate policies, and finally whether the company complies with state and federal regulations. In cases like these, quite often the case is as much about your injury as it is about the company’s failure to abide by the rules for doing business in the state. If a failure to follow those rules contributed to the accident, it becomes a key factor in achieving full value for your claim.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Most of our clients have never sued another individual. Most of our clients have never been seriously injured in a car accident before. We understand this is all new territory to you, and your primary focus is on recovery from your injuries. In our opinion, it makes sense to partner with a personal injury law firm to be sure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly.

If you’d like to speak with us about your accident, call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out to discuss your case today.