If you were traveling with a friend, co-worker, or acquaintance at the time of an auto accident, you may be wondering what to do. While the driver will likely file a claim for damages to their car (and potential injuries), you have to file your own claim. If you've been injured in an auto accident while riding as a passenger, check out these different ways to file claims.
The At-Fault Driver
As with most auto accidents, the person responsible for the accident is usually responsible for damages and injuries. Therefore, you'd need to file a claim with the at-fault driver, whether it be your friend or the other driver involved in the accident. It's best to collect the insurance and contact information yourself, since you'll be the one filing the claim and speaking to the insurance carrier when needed.
Both Insurance Carriers
Unless the accident was minor and obvious regarding who caused the accident, you'll actually want to file a claim with both insurance carriers. If the accident was severe, the maximum payout for the at-fault driver may not be high enough to pay for the costs of the car damages and injures to you and the driver. However, since the accident was not your fault, you can get the remaining amount (up to the maximum payout) from the insurance carrier of the driver who didn't cause the accident. You should also file a claim with both carriers if it's unclear who is responsible. In some cases, if both drivers are found to be responsible, you'll get a portion of your settlement from one carrier and the rest from the other carrier.
Your Own Auto Insurance
If you have medical payment coverage with your own auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your carrier. The benefit is speed. You don't have to wait for the insurance carriers to determine who was responsible and at what percent before you get paid. Once your other claims go through, however, you may need to repay your insurance carrier. The downside is that the deductible is considerably high, and you only get money for medical expenses, so if an item was damaged in the accident, such as a tablet or cellphone, you won't be reimbursed for the item.
Getting into an accident can be stressful, and when you are the passenger, you may feel lost on what to do. You need to file your own claim, preferably with both insurance carriers. If you would like more information regarding getting a fair settlement for your injury, contact an auto accident lawyer in your area today.