The roads in Orlando are dangerous. I-4 is downright deadly. Being involved in a serious automobile accident can be one of the most traumatic and stressful experiences of a person’s life. What you do immediately after the crash can make all the difference in the outcome of your case and your future. If you are a passenger injured in a car accident, you may have a number of questions. For example, who is responsible for my injuries? What happens if the insurance company does not believe the driver was at-fault?
It’s one thing to be involved in a car accident as a driver, but another to be blindsided as a passenger in the vehicle with little to no control. It is important to know that you have rights as a passenger injured in an auto accident. You have the right to file a claim and receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
How Is Fault Determined?
Florida is a ‘no-fault’ state, which means you are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage if you are a licensed Florida driver or own a car licensed in the State of Florida. This provides up to $10,000 in coverage for your injuries – whether you are the driver or passenger involved in a car accident.
Considering, the average cost of an emergency room visit can be thousands of dollars, the likelihood of exceeding the $10,000 PIP protection amount is high if you are involved in a serious auto accident. According to Florida law, a passenger is entitled to complete reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages and all other expenses directly related to the accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident as a passenger, there are several avenues you can take to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance
When fault is clear, for example, the other driver was at-fault for the accident, the passenger can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy to receive compensation for injuries and losses.
Claim Against the Driver’s Insurance
You can also file a claim against the person driving the car you were a passenger in. You may be hesitant to pursue this option, if the driver is a friend or ‘non-immediate’ family member, but remember you are not going after them or their money, but rather their insurance company.
Sometimes both drivers play a role in the accident, and in these circumstances, even if the other driver was less at-fault for the accident, the passenger can still collect from the other driver’s insurance policy. All that matters are the combined amount of compensation received is not more than the total value of the passenger’s claim. If the driver’s policy is not enough to compensate the passenger for his or her injuries, and the other driver was found to blame, as well, the passenger can supplement his or her claim from the other driver’s policy.
Claim Against Both Drivers’ Insurance
It’s possible that you will need to file multiple claims to receive adequate compensation for your injuries and losses. For example, if Driver A’s liability policy does not provide enough coverage for your losses, you may need to file a claim under the policy of Driver B to help cover the additional losses. This is assumed that both drivers played a role in the accident.
What About the Passenger’s Insurance Policy?
If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, you can also file a claim under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage provided under your own insurance policy. However, that’s not to say your rates will not go up due to filing a claim. Coverage is limited, however, which means PIP does not include pain and suffering or anything outside of medical bills. Lost wage coverage is available up to 60 percent.
FREE CONSULTATION WITH AN EXPERIENCED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
The Benenati Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its injury clients and accident victims. If you or a loved one were involved in an auto accident and injured through no fault of your own, remember to hit the 7s to reach the personal injury offices of the Benenati Law Firm. Florida personal injury lawyer Walter F. Benenati has successfully represented car accident victims who have been injured due to the inattention or negligence of another. Let him protect you and your rights. Our oath to you is handling your case from start to finish effectively, competently, and aggressively. Allow us the opportunity to give you the personal attention you deserve in your case. You pay us nothing unless we win your case. Please do not hesitate to call our office today at 407-777-7777 for a free legal consultation.
Abogado Hispano con experiencia en juicios sirviendo las necesidades legales de la comunidad de la Florida.