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What Are My Rights if I Was Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger?

As a passenger getting in a vehicle with anyone, you should be aware of your rights if an accident occurs so you can be empowered to pursue legal action to receive compensation. Knowing before an accident allows you to take action as soon as possible, even immediately after you are injured in a car accident as a passenger.  

What should passengers do when an accident occurs

These are the steps you should take after the accident has occurred. 

  • Immediately after the accident, ensure that you and all parties involved are safe from harm.
  • Call the police to report the incident.
  • Take pictures of yourself and the area of the accident.
  • Gather contact information of any witnesses to the accident. 
  • Get a physical assessment of any injuries you sustain.
  • Contact an attorney specializing in car accidents to understand what your rights are as a passenger and what you will be compensated. They will help you navigate working with the attorney of the driver at fault and their insurance company. 

Passenger rights

When you are injured in a Indiana car accident as a passenger, you have rights and are entitled to pursue compensation.

You have a right to:

  • Assume drivers are using reasonable caution while driving.
  • Collect contact and insurance information of all parties involved.
  • Collect witness contact information.
  • Take photos and view the accident (when deemed safe).
  • Speak to an attorney and seek compensation.
  • If injured, receive compensation for medical expenses.

Who’s liable?

Firstly when pursuing compensation, it is vital to know which driver is at fault for the accident. This is because this person’s insurance will cover your financial compensation, if applicable. 

Although the driver found at fault will be liable to pay for your compensation, their insurance company typically will pay out for damage claims. In the event that liability is unclear, the insurance company may push back, and further measures will need to be taken. 

You may be found at fault if you contributed to the accident or were negligent to your safety. Below are examples of ways you could be found at fault. 

  • You weren’t wearing a seatbelt.
  • You contributed to the driver being distracted.
  • You caused the driver physical harm while driving.
  • You were aware the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

How much can a passenger get in a car accident?

Once you’ve identified who was at fault and ultimately held liable, the next step will be a settlement agreement. Settlement amounts vary depending on injuries sustained, damages, loss of pay, etc. It will also depend on the state you live in. 

You can be compensated for:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss and damages
  • Missed pay due to the accident

There is no guarantee of how much compensation a passenger is eligible for after a car accident. Attorneys are dedicated to ensuring you get the most compensation from your claim.

  • The average insurance claim for minor injuries is generally between $10,000-$15,000.
  • The average insurance claim for severe injuries is $40,000-$50,000. 

What passengers in accidents in Indiana should know

Passengers should be aware of the following:

  • Indiana is an “at-fault state” meaning the driver at fault will be held liable to cover the costs resulting from the accident.
  • The driver at fault could be driving the vehicle you were in or another vehicle involved in the accident. In addition, due to Indiana’s shared fault law, both drivers to be listed as partially at fault.
  • Indiana implements a shared fault system, meaning if you are found to have been partially at fault for the accident, it may reduce your compensation. Not making statements regarding the accident until speaking to an attorney can avoid undue fault. 
  • Indiana Code 34-30-11 limits your ability to file a claim for compensation from spouses, children (including stepchildren), parents, and siblings. If you are a passenger in a car accident in Indiana with one of these relatives, you will not be eligible for compensation.
  • Hitchhikers do not have the right to compensation if they are a passenger in an accident.
  • In Indiana, the statute of limitations for making a claim is two years from the day of the accident.

Multiple passenger accidents

If you are in a car accident that involves other passengers, speak to a legal expert to understand what rights you have. When more than one person requests converge or compensation from a single person, fewer funds are available to cover all parties. Each person will make a claim, but the compensation is more likely to be disputed.

At Crossen Law firm, we understand that accidents happen and when they do, it can be stressful to navigate filing claims correctly in order to get the best outcome. We are dedicated to holding insurance companies accountable and aren’t afraid to fight for your full compensation. If you or a loved one have were a passenger in an accident and are seeking legal help, let us help you today. Call us at 317-401-8626