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Steps to Take If You Were Injured in a Car Accident As a Passenger

What to Do As a Passenger in a Car Accident

If you are a passenger who was involved in a car accident, passenger liability usually doesn’t apply. You may be left with injuries that require immediate medical attention. Since you were not the driver in this situation, it’s important to know what you can do to get your medical bills, lost wages and other damages covered.

Immediate Steps to Take After an Accident

Immediately after the accident, you must take certain steps. If you are able to get up and move, get out of the vehicle, and make your way to a safe spot that’s out of the road and away from traffic. Gather as much valuable information as possible from the accident scene. You should obtain the insurance information of the driver in whose car you were riding as well as the other driver's. If the former is a friend or family member, you will, obviously, already have his or her contact information. Get the other driver’s name and contact information as well. Take pictures of the scene, including the vehicles and the road. Make note of the weather and road conditions as well as traffic signs and signals in the area. It’s also a good idea to speak with witnesses to get their sides of the event. Make sure to get their names and contact information, and record their statements if possible. Speak to the police officer who arrives at the scene and ask about obtaining a copy of the accident report. You will need it when you file a personal injury claim. It will be good evidence that your Allentown personal injury attorney can use in building your case.

Who Is Responsible for Paying?

Knowing who is responsible for the accident is important. Your personal injury passenger claim should be filed against the party who was at fault. This may be the driver in whose vehicle you were riding or the other driver involved in the accident. There are different scenarios that may be present depending on the circumstances. However, Pennsylvania has no-fault laws for car accidents, which means that any driver involved in a collision is required to pay for their own damages through their auto insurance policy. Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, coverage is required to cover medical expenses for any injuries suffered during an accident. As a result, even as a passenger, it’s possible for you to file a claim with your own PIP insurance coverage. Unfortunately, in some cases, that coverage may not be enough to pay for the costs of your medical bills and other expenses, and you may have to also rely on your health insurance to pick up the remainder. If the driver of the vehicle in which you were riding is at fault or partially at fault, you could file a claim with their insurance carrier. Following the no-fault laws of the state, that driver’s auto insurance policy could compensate you for your medical bills and other out-of-pocket damages. If this individual's coverage isn’t enough to pay for all your expenses, you may, again, have to rely on your own health insurance.

What If the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

One of the worst situations after a car accident resulting in injuries is that the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. In this case, you would have no choice but to rely on your own insurance coverage to pay for your damages. However, there’s another option available to you if the driver lacks insurance. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against him or her. A personal injury lawsuit may be your only option if you suffered significant injuries and damages. It’s important to consult with an experienced Allentown personal injury attorney who can help you decide the best course of action to take in your case. If you have suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident in Pennsylvania, contact the law firm of Metzger & Kleiner at your earliest convenience.

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