Not everyone injured in a car accident is sitting behind the wheel. Auto passengers can also suffer serious injuries, especially in the back seat. Studies show that motorists in the back often suffer more serious neck and chest injuries than those driving the car or riding in shotgun, which experts attribute to the lack of airbags and chest restraints in the back.
Regardless of where you were sitting, any passenger injured in a crash might have a claim for compensation. The key in these types of cases will be determining who is at fault—the person driving your vehicle or the operator of another car.
For help with your case, contact Ladah Law Firm today. We have helped many injured passengers get compensation after a crash, and one of our Las Vegas car accident lawyers will be happy to meet with you.
Nevada is a fault state. This means that when it comes to car accidents, the motorist who caused the crash must pay compensation to victims. If a person is not at fault, they do not have to pay compensation, so insurance companies take a keen interest in determining who or what caused the crash.
A defect in the road causes a collision. For example, there might be construction debris left in the road, which causes your driver to lose control of the vehicle. Here, the party responsible for the construction debris is probably at fault for the accident.
Sometimes, fault is clear, as when one vehicle runs a red light and slams into another car. However, in other cases, it isn’t apparent at all who or what is to blame. If not, you will need to perform an investigation, which might include interviewing witnesses and looking for surveillance video which might have captured the accident. Investigation is necessary, otherwise you will not be able to convince the insurer that your claim has merit.
As a passenger, you need to collect quite a bit of information after an accident. Because your driver might be to blame for the crash, you can’t count on him or her to get this information for you. Instead, gather the following:
If you were paying for a ride, then remember to keep your receipt, which will show that you were in the vehicle at the time and date of the collision.
If the insurance company calls you, then you should avoid going into detail about the accident. Insurers are often looking for information they can use against someone to reduce their own liability. As an example, the insurer might try to get you to admit that your injuries are not as serious as you are claiming, or that you didn’t seek out immediate medical treatment. Instead of getting into a long chat with the insurer, simply state that they should speak with your attorney and hang up.
Even if the insurance company claims it is entitled to a recorded statement, it isn’t. No Nevada law gives insurers a right to record a statement. You can control when and how you relay what you remember about the accident to the insurance companies by hiring an attorney to represent you.
Receive medical care as soon as possible. If you are so badly injured that you cannot move, then ask for an ambulance to come pick you up. Otherwise, you should go to the hospital as soon as you feel well.
Remember to keep all copies of medical bills and prescription drug receipts. You can receive compensation for these expenses, even if you have insurance which picks up the bulk of the costs. You should also keep copies of medical records and lab results, if you were given them. If not, your attorney can obtain copies.
If you were injured in a rideshare accident, then you will make a claim with Uber or Lyft’s insurer if their driver is to blame. Generally, these companies have very large insurance policies up to $1 million, which should cover most injuries.
However, if another motorist is to blame, you make a claim with them. The average driver in Nevada probably only carries the state’s minimum insurance, which is $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance, up to $50,000 per accident. If your injuries are serious, then this is probably not enough to cover your full economic and non-economic losses.
Here is where things get interesting. Both Uber and Lyft have underinsured motorist insurance that will kick in up to $1 million. This is on top of the amount that the at-fault driver will cover. So someone injured in a ridesharing accident should be able to receive maximum compensation for their injuries.
We are a prominent Las Vegas car insurance law firm that has built its reputation by providing detailed, compassionate legal services to injured members of our community. For help with your case, give us a call, 702-252-0055. We offer a free, confidential consultation where you can learn more about bringing a claim for compensation. Please avoid delay.
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