You may be familiar with the steps to take if you’re in a car accident in Pennsylvania. But, do you know what to do if you’re injured as a passenger? Knowing what steps to take as an injured passenger can help you recover the money you need to cover your medical bills and related expenses.
Important Steps to Take Following a Car Accident as a Passenger
You may feel like you have less control over the steps immediately following an accident in which you’re not the driver. Here are a few important steps to take as a passenger:
1. Evaluate Your Condition and Receive Medical Care
Immediately take note of any injuries and call for help, if necessary. Even if you decide that you’re fine right now, you should still follow up shortly after with a medical evaluation. Many car accident injuries such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries may not manifest symptoms right away.
2. Report the Car Accident
If the driver or one of the other drivers hasn’t already, you’ll want to notify and report the accident to the local police department. This creates official documentation of the accident, which may be important if you need to file a claim later on. Furthermore, your police report may be able to indicate who was at fault for the accident.
3. Collect Evidence
If possible, begin collecting any evidence as soon as possible. This includes a copy of everyone’s license plate, insurance, a copy of the police report, photographs, and videos of the property damage, weather conditions, road signs, and accident scene. If there were any witnesses present, it may be a good idea to collect their information, too.
4. File an Insurance Claim
If you’re injured, the first place to seek coverage is with the driver’s insurance company. You should already have their information. Pennsylvania is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that all drivers are required to carry a type of coverage that protects passengers.
If the other driver was at fault, you’ll file a claim with their insurance company rather than the driver’s. Each state, including Pennsylvania, has a minimum coverage required for bodily and property damage. However, filing a claim as a passenger with the other driver’s insurance policy can be difficult.
There tend to be strict rules in place, including the total cost of your damages meeting certain statute limits. It’s also possible that the other driver won’t have enough coverage to fully cover your injuries. If the insurance company does cover your damages, you can expect a long investigation process where they attempt to identify who’s responsible for the accident.
In some cases, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation with your insurance company. If you have a policy that includes personal injury protection, it may follow you as a passenger to other vehicles. If your insurance company does approve your claim, however, they may also increase your rates, or drop your coverage. Some people may also turn to their health insurance for coverage.
When to Work With a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer
It can feel overwhelming to navigate an accident when you were a passenger. Insurance companies may ignore your phone calls, or try to minimize your injuries to pay less. If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, and you’re having a hard time filing a claim, it may be worth it to reach out to a lawyer.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Mark A. Smith represent clients injured because of an accident in Pittsburgh, Homestead, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 368-8398 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 355 Fifth Avenue, The Park Building, Suite 205, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.