When you're injured in a car accident as a passenger, it can be a complicated and emotional process to ensure you're compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages and if applicable, disability benefits. People who live in no-fault states like Florida typically have a lot of questions about suing since the purpose of the no-fault system is to reduce the number of lawsuits. But if you're a passenger who's injured, suing the at-fault driver may still be an option, though there are a few things you have to consider first.
Who is at fault?
We often hear from injured passengers that they are concerned about making a claim against the driver, due to their friendship. This is a common misunderstanding. Sometimes their friend is not the at fault party. When their host driver is at fault, the claim is typically filed with their insurance company and not directly against them personally. There are multiple factors that determine who is responsible following a car crash. As every situation is different, it’s best not to assume how things work, but to seek advice from an expert. We are here to help should you have any questions.
See a Doctor
One of the most important things is that you must see a doctor with 14 days of the accident. We recommend that you see a doctor and get a thorough examination immediately following a car accident. This will document your physical complaints and ensure that any injuries you may have sustained are treated properly. Your health should always be the first priority.
Who pays the medical bills?
In the state of Florida, all drivers are required to carry two types of insurance: property damage liability and personal injury protection. PIP covers the driver of the vehicle and usually any passengers riding in the vehicle. If you own a vehicle, this means you have your own personal injury protection. Even if you weren't driving and were traveling in someone else's car, your injuries in the accident are covered by your own PIP insurance.
But if your PIP isn't sufficient (There are limits and PIP generally does not cover 100%, unless additional coverage was purchased), or if you don't own a vehicle (and therefore don't have your own PIP), you may have to file on the PIP of the driver of the vehicle they were riding in. If you have a serious or permanent injury, this may not cover the total of your medical bills, lost wages and disability.
Should you sustain a permanent injury, you may be able to pursue a claim against the at fault drivers bodily injury coverage (if any), or uninsured coverage (if you purchased this additional coverage).
Filing a Lawsuit As a Passenger
The entire process can be very complex, but a Kissimmee car accident attorney can help you navigate the complex legal issues. If you've been injured in a car accident when you were a passenger, call the Kissimmee, Florida, personal injury attorneys at Draper Law Offices at 866.767.4711 for a free, no-obligation consultation.