When you’re a passenger that’s hurt in an auto accident, it’s important to remember that you have rights. You have the same right to recover as a driver might have when they’re hurt in a car crash because of the actions of someone else.
In fact, in some ways, it’s easier for you to recover for your injuries as a passenger because it’s very unlikely that you’re at fault for the accident. It’s essential for passengers who have been hurt in a car accident to understand these rights and the procedures for getting the compensation necessary to make a full recovery. Here’s what you need to know about passenger injuries after an auto accident.
Passengers Have Legal Rights When They’re in an Auto Accident
Drivers on the road owe a duty to their passengers. The person whose vehicle you’re in owes you a duty to drive carefully. The other driver also owes you a duty to be reasonably cautious on the road.
When you’re hurt because a driver isn’t careful enough, you have the right to recover from the responsible party. Nevada is an at-fault state. Nevada law allows you to bring a claim against the responsible driver or drivers for your injuries.
One-Vehicle and Multiple-Vehicle Accidents
Whether you’re in a one-vehicle accident or an accident involving two or more vehicles, you can bring your claim against the responsible drivers. In most cases, a driver of a one-vehicle crash is to blame. The only exception might be where a deer or other object comes into the roadway without time to react. In the case of a one-vehicle accident, you bring your claim against the driver of the vehicle that you’re in.
In a two-vehicle crash or a crash with many vehicles, you can bring your claim against all of the drivers involved. In almost all cases, there’s someone to blame for the accident. You don’t need to worry much about which driver is to blame for the crash. That’s up to the drivers to debate, and the jury can apportion blame between them if the drivers can’t agree on who bears what fault for the crash. Once you’ve identified the drivers involved, you’re well on your way to having what you need to bring a claim for recovery.
What Do I Have to Do to Recover?
To recover from injuries as a passenger in a car accident claim, you have to prove that the driver or drivers caused an accident. You must also prove that you have injuries and other damages. You might negotiate directly with the insurance companies to agree on a settlement.
If you can’t agree, you may have to file a claim in a Nevada court. Remember that insurance companies profit when they minimize valid claims or deny them outright. Your attorney can help you decide what path to take and follow the right steps to bring your claim.
Losses Beyond Insurance Limits
Nevada’s car insurance requirements aren’t very high. There’s a good chance that even with minor injuries, your damages can exceed the driver’s insurance limits. If the driver’s insurance doesn’t cover it, you might have to collect the remaining damages directly from the other driver.
They may or may not have sufficient assets to collect. When multiple passengers are injured, you might all be looking towards the same insurance policies for recovery. You should keep these considerations in mind when you’re making decisions in your case.
What Happens If the Driver of My Vehicle Is a Relative?
If you’re in a vehicle with a family member, you may be able to recover from the family member’s insurance without having to prove they’re at fault. If the family member has personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, you may be an insured party under the policy. If you are, you can recover from their insurance without much difficulty.
Comparative Negligence Issues
In Nevada, it’s up to the jury to decide who’s at fault for the crash. It’s possible that both drivers may have played a role in the accident. When that’s the case, it’s essential to make both of the drivers party to your lawsuit. The jury decides how to place blame between the drivers. Whatever happens in your case, to make a full recovery, you need to make sure you involve all of the parties that might be responsible for your recovery.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?
You may not have been a party to the car accident, but if you bring a claim for recovery, you’re a party to the claim. That means, what you say to the insurance company is fair game in court. You can bet that the insurance company is going to use it against you if they think it’s going to help their case. Your best bet is not to talk to the insurance company without the help of an attorney.
But Don’t Wait to Get Started
However, you need to make contact with the insurance company as quickly as possible. They often impose very short time limitations before they’ll refuse to consider a settlement without a lawsuit. That makes it a good idea to get a lawyer on your side as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer can handle the negotiations with the insurance companies without you having to worry about saying the right things. In addition to managing negotiations with the insurance company, your lawyer can make sure that you don’t miss any deadlines to file your claim because of insurance company delay tactics.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
When you’re an injured passenger in an auto accident, a skilled car accident attorney can help you evaluate the case and avoid the errors that might stand in the way of your success. They can make sure that you bring your claim against the appropriate party.
If there are particular considerations in your case like PIP insurance, insurance policy limits or multiple injured passengers, your attorney can take those factors into account when they help you build your case. At each stage, your attorney can help you maximize the strengths of your case and avoid errors as you work towards a fair result.