When a car accident happens, the focus is usually on the drivers involved and how they will be compensated for their losses and injuries. But what if you’re riding as a passenger and are hurt in a crash?
Can you make a claim for personal injuries and/or damages if you were not in the driver’s seat? The truth is that you can get fairly compensated as an injured passenger, but it depends on several factors relating to your case.
This is where a Florida personal injury attorney can help–you can discuss what your claim may be worth and your options for getting a successful recovery. If you need this information, call for a no-cost consultation at 813.755.9500 or go online to get started.
At The Scene Of The Crash
Some of the most important steps to make your claim successful start right at the scene of the accident. If you are able to stay at the location where the collision occurred, you can call the police, collect evidence by taking pictures, talk to witnesses, gather contact details, get medical care, and more.
Visit our blog post on what to say or mistakes to avoid after an accident for more details. Taking action as soon as possible can go a very long way in case you do decide to file an injury claim later.
Can I Sue the Driver of the I Was In?
If the driver of the car you occupied was at-fault (partially or completely) and they are not resident relatives, you could file a claim against the driver of the car you occupied.
PIP Benefits And Insurance
Florida is called a ‘no-fault’ state, meaning that it uses a no-fault system for insurance benefits to pay for accident-related expenses like medical bills, death benefits, and lost wages. Within this system, injured parties can get losses covered without having to prove who was the at-fault driver.
The no-fault framework is made possible because drivers are required to purchase PIP, or ‘Personal Injury Protection’ at the time they register their cars in the State of Florida. The minimum amount available for coverage is $10,000, which is often the cutoff for benefits.
Does PIP Protect Me As A Passenger?
If PIP benefits are tied to a driver’s vehicle, how does it apply to passengers? You can still have PIP coverage while riding in someone else’s car.
If you purchased PIP alongside your auto insurance policy then you ‘carry the benefits’ of that coverage with you, even while a passenger in another driver’s vehicle. If that is the case, and you’ve been hurt, you could then have the option of making a claim with your own insurance company.
If you don’t have car insurance then you also would not carry PIP since it is required in Florida with your policy. However, you may still be able to claim PIP benefits using another person’s policy.
For instance, having a family member in your household with an auto insurance policy may entitle you to their PIP benefits, even if they were not with you when the accident took place.
Another alternative is to tap into the PIP coverage of the driver with whom you were riding at the time of the accident. This scenario is usually considered if the two options above are not possible.
If you have questions about insurance coverage after being injured, we can help you understand. Consider getting a free case review with us via our online form or by calling 813.755.9500.
What If PIP Is Not Enough?
If the PIP insurance payout is not enough to cover your accident losses, you may want to file a lawsuit for the difference. At this point, an experienced accident attorney may be the best person to have by your side.
A lawyer can guide you through the process, represent your legal rights, and work to get you the best possible outcome for your recovery and compensation. Call for your free consultation with Injury Attorney Martin Hernandez if you’ve been hurt at 813.755.9500 or complete the online form today.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may also be able to bypass the no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the crash. Of course, this is only possible if you have suffered what is considered a serious injury or injuries under Florida law.
Speak with a Florida attorney with experience in personal injury cases for more details on serious accident injuries and filing a claim outside of PIP benefits.
Call If You’ve Been Hurt In An Accident
If you’re recovering from a crash, figuring out whether you will be fairly compensated can be a nightmare. Many victims are unsure of whether they should hire an attorney if they have accident injuries.
This is why we offer free case evaluations–to explain how we’ve helped so many clients get the compensation they really deserve. From legal paperwork to deadlines, negotiations with major insurance companies and trials, we have the experience to help you.
If you were hurt as a passenger, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Set up your no-cost consultation today–call 813.755.9500 or visit the online form today.