According to statistics, approximately 254,853 people sustained injuries in car accidents in 2017. In an auto accident, the drivers of the cars involved are not the only people the accident impacts. If there were passengers in either of the vehicles, they would most probably have sustained injuries. Passengers who are not aware or do not understand their rights are susceptible to financial losses from medical expenses and lost wages. They could also suffer from pain and emotional trauma.
If you have been involved in a car accident as a passenger, contact a Houston auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Here’s what you should know if involved in an auto accident as a passenger.
Proving liability for passenger injury
Texas is a “fault” state, meaning that the liable party assumes responsibility for any injuries sustained during the accident. These damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. The claim a passenger can file depends on the type of collision.
Single car collisions
These accidents happen when a vehicle crashes into an unmoving object such as a pole, a tree, a parked car, a guardrail, and so on. Most of these accidents are caused by impaired or distracted driving. If you sustained injuries as a passenger in such a collision, you may file a personal injury claim against the driver of the moving vehicle. However, you will need to prove that the driver was negligent and that you sustained injuries due to the negligent actions.
Multiple car collisions
Apportioning liability is not often straightforward when multiple cars are involved in an accident. Your Houston auto accident attorney may prove that more than one driver was responsible for the accident in which case you can file a claim against each of the liable parties. Texas’ apportioned negligence laws will help each party’s fault percentage to determine the settlement amount you are eligible for.
In such a situation, the insurance companies involved will often seek to attribute a higher degree of fault to each other. Hiring an experienced Houston auto accident attorney will ensure that your legal rights are protected so that you receive a fair settlement.
How to file a passenger injury claim
Passenger injury claims are treated the same as other injury claims. Therefore, it is important that you collect such information as the driver(s)’s names, contacts, insurance company along with the policy number(s), and the vehicle(s)’s description. A competent Houston auto accident attorney will help you successfully file a passenger claim.
Contact Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris
If you have suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident, contact the attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris today. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we will review your case at no cost, recommend suitable legal options, and help you pursue fair and maximum compensation.