Being seriously injured as a passenger in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, and it can turn someone’s life upside down. If someone has suffered a serious injury that was caused by negligent or reckless driving, then they have legal rights.
If a passenger is seriously injured in a car or tractor trailer accident, there are two scenarios where that person would be able to recover damages for those injuries. The first is where the driver of the other vehicle is negligent. The second is where the driver of the vehicle in which they were a passenger caused the accident. Here are some ways a negligent driver can cause a car accident:
- Driving too fast. Some drivers go too fast to the point where the driver loses control of the vehicle or cannot stop in time to prevent an accident.
- Distracted driving. Many car accidents are caused by distracted driving. Drivers looking at their smartphone can easily cause an accident. It only takes a split second of looking at a text message to become distracted and hit an object or vehicle.
- Driving aggressively. Similar to driving too fast, aggressive driving can also be dangerous. Aggressive driving consists of switching lanes quickly, suddenly pulling out in front of a car, and driving too close behind another vehicle.
- Violating the rules of the road. Not paying attention or purposely driving through stop signs or red lights without stopping are common causes of car accidents. Violating other traffic rules can cause a dangerous situation where a car crash can happen.
- Driving under the influence. Driving under the influence is one of the most dangerous ways to cause a car accident. When the driver is impaired due to alcohol or drugs, either illegal or prescribed, then the driver’s reaction time is significantly slowed, and their driving can become erratic. This type of driving can lead to a severe accident and injury.
What Should an Injured Passenger Do After a Car Accident?
There are many steps that a passenger should do if they are involved in a car accident, no matter who is at fault. Listed below are steps to follow after a collision of any kind.
The first step to do is call 911 as quickly as possible so that police, fire, and other emergency first responders can get to the accident scene to help anyone who is injured. Also, the police and firefighters can help direct traffic so that secondary accidents do not occur.
The police will investigate the accident and interview witnesses and people involved in the collision. The officer will write up everything in a police accident investigation report that can be very useful later on if litigation is necessary.
Get Information From Witnesses
Obtain the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all witnesses involved. Over time, memories can fade, and the witnesses may not remember all of the details of the collision if enough time passes. The witness information can be given to a lawyer who can quickly take the recorded statements.
Take Photographs and Videos
If possible, take photographs and videos of the car accident scene. Most people have a smartphone on them with a camera. Use the cellphone to record the scene of the crash. Make sure to take pictures of the positions of the vehicles, the property damage, and anything that might have contributed to the cause of the accident.
Obtain Insurance information
Get the insurance information of everyone involved in the accident, no matter whether the driver of the vehicle is responsible or not. If there is an injured passenger, that person can possibly obtain compensation from different insurance companies, even the insurance company that covers the vehicle in which they were a passenger.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
If a passenger is injured in a car accident, they should not put off seeking medical care. That person should go to the emergency room or see a doctor immediately. Not only is it important to get examined to determine the extent of the injuries and possible treatment, it is also important to have medical records that confirm the injuries in order to help recover the proper amount of compensation.
Contact a Lawyer Right Away
A severely injured passenger should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer who has handled similar cases knows what to do in order to obtain the most compensation for their client. A lawyer will evaluate the case and protect the rights of their client.
What if a Loved One is the At-Fault Driver?
Sometimes, when a passenger is injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver is a friend or relative and is responsible for the injuries. Some passengers can rightfully be hesitant to file a claim or lawsuit against their friend or relative. In most instances, a lawsuit naming the friend or relative will not be necessary. If the lawyer is knowledgeable about car accident cases, they will be able to file a claim and negotiate fair compensation from the insurance company without the need to file a lawsuit against the loved one.
Mount Laurel Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Fight for the Rights of Injured Passengers
If you were a passenger and were seriously injured in a car accident, it is important to discuss your legal rights with a lawyer. The Mount Laurel car accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman will explain your rights and fight on your behalf. Call 856-751-2345 or complete an online form for a free consultation today. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, the firm serves clients throughout the surrounding areas.