One of the most common causes of injury and death is car accidents. Whether you’re behind the wheel or you’re just along for the ride, having any part in a car accident is a traumatic experience.
However, for a passenger who has no control over the vehicle—one who is unable to do anything but watch it all happen—it could make you feel helpless from start to finish. What you didn’t know is that you can do something, at least, to cushion the blow. And to do that, you can receive compensation after filing a passenger injury claim.
How to Be Compensated
On top of dealing with trauma, you will have to face a lot of bills in the aftermath because you can’t expect yourself to hop out of a car accident without getting a scratch. So, what you’ll need is money. Since you’re just the passenger in all of this, that makes you eligible to claim compensation. But how would you do that?
1. Gather Your Bearings
In an emergency, calling for help should be your top priority as soon as you get your bearings. Check on your driver to see if they’re still okay after the accident. Try to get out of the vehicle if you didn’t sustain any broken bones.
Once you’ve done that, go to the other car (if you got into a collision) and check the people inside it as well. Avoid saying anything they might use against you later on, such as ‘I didn’t see you.’ Although these words are meant to comfort them, the other party could twist it around and put you and your driver at fault. Instead, remain quiet as you help them recover.
With medical assistance on the way, collect your evidence instead of waiting idly. If you have a paper and pencil at hand or your phone is still in working order, take note of the ‘scene of the crime’ by jotting down the answers to these questions:
What time did the accident happen?
Where did the accident happen?
How was the weather?
Was it a collision, or did your vehicle swerve out of the way and crash into something else?
If there’s another car involved, who are its occupants?
What does the other party look like if they don’t want to give their contact information?
What condition was your driver in while at the wheel?
That last one may be difficult to swallow, especially if you’re starting to realize how irresponsibility is what got you in that mess. But if your party’s not the one at fault, you should have no reservations in recalling what happened.
2. Get Professional Advice
As you recover, you might still struggle to figure out what your next move should be. Of course, your insurance can only do so much. So, with the bills continuing to pile up due to your current state, you’ll need to think of something fast.
By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can turn to someone who can help resolve problems related to your car accident. Using the evidence you’ve gathered, you’re already on your way to building a claim against whoever’s at fault.
But to build more from it, you (or your lawyer) can further investigate what happened. Eyewitnesses, the emergency personnel who got everyone to the hospital—interrogate whoever’s willing to cooperate to get the complete picture.
3. Consider Damages
Since no person is the same, you might be coping with the aftermath differently. Be it mental or physical, collect medical records from your doctor because you can use them to solidify your claim further. Connect your evidence with what aspects of your life got damaged by the accident, as well. This can be a noticeable change in family dynamics or your inability to keep up with your employment.
By identifying the extent of the car accident, it’ll be somewhat more manageable for you to deal with third parties, such as the insurance companies of the party at fault or the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) if uninsured.
4. Set Down Boundaries
As mentioned earlier, these companies will be sending in someone (also called the ‘claims adjuster’) to negotiate with you. Although it’s highly recommended that your lawyer accompanies you during these negotiations. Since the adjuster works for their respective company, they may only focus on spending as little money as possible on your claim. So, despite their disarming behaviour, you need to remember you’re negotiating and not talking to a friend.
The same goes for the one at fault, especially if they’re a loved one. Never feel guilty for filing a claim against them. They compromised your health and safety, so it’s only justified for you to receive compensation for what happened.
Being involved in a car accident can be distressing for anyone. And although you might recover, the aftermath will carry out for the rest of your life. Therefore, as someone considered a victim in this scenario, you have every right to claim compensation for getting injured.