If you were driving your car and got hurt in an accident and want to get the most recovery from filing an injured passenger claim, your medical bills would likely be paid by your insurance provider or covered by another driver’s policy.
But what happens if you hop in your friend’s car, head down the road, and get into a wreck?
When a passenger is hurt in a crash, it is easier for them to collect damages than other personal injury victims. It’s not so much a matter of whether there will be any compensation, but rather how much they will get.
Here are the factors that determine compensation in an injured passenger case and how you can get the most out of your claim.
What Facts Must Be Proven in a Personal Injury Claim?
You need to prove two facts in a personal injury claim that involves a passenger getting hurt in a car accident.
The first step is proving liability. You have to show someone else was at fault and caused your injuries. This is usually not hard to do because you were not the one behind the wheel. If there was another car involved in the crash, you could file a claim against your driver and the other driver if they were both at fault.
The second step is proving damages. You can show the severity of your injuries through documentation of your medical bills and lost wages. You may also be able to display evidence of pain and suffering. This can include physical pain, physical discomfort, and mental anguish.
How Do Damages Determine the Amount of Compensation?
The amount of compensation you receive as an injured passenger in a car accident will be based on two types of damages: economic and non-economic.
To determine your compensation as an injured passenger, you’ll need to start with economic damages. This includes adding up your medical expenses such as testing, treatment, emergency room visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, and any other type of care that can be linked to the accident.
You may be entitled to compensation for future medical costs as well. If you suffered long-term injuries or permanent disability, you will likely need (and have to pay for) medical attention for the rest of your life. Common residual or permanent injuries include scars, disfigurement, and back or joint injuries.
If you temporarily cannot work because of your injury, you will be owed money for lost wages. Whether you used paid time off (PTO) or received no paycheck at all during recovery, you can seek reimbursement. If you can no longer work because of your injury, a financial expert can estimate your future lost income and lost earning capacity.
Putting a dollar amount on non-economic damages can be more subjective. You have the right to seek reparations for pain and suffering (as well as emotional distress). The type of injury and nature of treatment usually determines the degree of compensation that will be granted by an insurance company or jury.
Typically, the longer your recovery takes, the greater pain and suffering you’re thought to endure. The best way to document this type of damage is to have your doctor explain in writing how long it will be before you get back to normal and which activities are off-limits during your recovery.
How Can a Lawyer Help With My Injured Passenger Claim?
An experienced car accident attorney will assist you in determining an accurate figure of compensation for your economic and non-economic damages based upon the severity of your injuries, percentage of fault, and available insurance coverage. They can research similar personal injury cases, as well as recent settlements and verdicts. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will be able to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf so you can focus on recovery.
How Much Can You Get From a Car Accident as a Passenger?
Now you know which factors determine your compensation as an injured passenger in a car accident and what you need to do to get the settlement you deserve.
Every case is different, but each decision is based on a calculation of economic damages—such as medical bills and lost wages—and a degree of non-economic damages—such as pain and suffering.
You can get the most money out of your injured passenger claim by hiring an experienced Florida car accident attorney. At Bulluck Law Group, we can help defend your right to full compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, and more. Contact us today!