Your Passenger Rights after a Car Accident

Have you been recently injured in a car accident where you were a passenger? If so, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Continue reading to learn how you can file a claim for car accident injuries as a passenger. For more information, request a consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Your Next Steps

The first thing to do when you’re involved in a car accident is to have the driver of the car move the vehicles involved out of the way of traffic. The police should be called even if the accident is minor, as often the police report plays a role in the insurance process.

As a passenger, your account of the accident is important. Assist the driver in taking down important details and take pictures of the area if you can. Be sure that the car is in a safe place to disembark before you get out of the vehicle, however.

A car accident attorney will be able to review the facts of your case to determine your next steps. For example, we can help you file a claim against the auto insurance policy of the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver is your friend, it may help to remember that the insurance company is responsible for paying–not them. If the at-fault driver was a family member you live with, you’re most likely considered an insured under their policy.

READ MORE: Should I Talk with an Insurance Agent After a Car Accident? >>

Florida Statute of Limitations

It’s important that you seek compensation for medical bills and other damages before you run out of time. The Florida statute of limitations gives you 4 years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury claim. You won’t be eligible to receive compensation once this deadline passes–no matter how deserving your claim. Our car accident lawyers can help you meet deadlines so you can hold negligent drivers and their insurance companies accountable.

Seatbelt Laws

In Florida, it’s illegal for front-seat passengers to not wear seatbelts. If you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the car accident, you may be found partially responsible for your own injuries.

Florida is a “Comparative Negligence” state, which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company may argue that your injuries wouldn’t have been as severe had you worn a seatbelt. While you can still file a claim, the compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage amount you are found responsible for your own car accident injuries.

Seatbelts save lives by keeping the driver and passengers restrained so they’re not thrown from the vehicle. If you didn’t wear your seatbelt, you run the risk of not getting full compensation you would have otherwise received for car accident injuries. That’s why it’s important to hire a car accident attorney as soon as possible to fight for your rights.

Driving without Insurance

Florida law requires drivers to have auto insurance. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone follows the law. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, your car accident attorney may recommend filing a claim with the not-at-fault driver’s policy. However, this won’t be an option if you were the at-fault driver’s passenger. In that case, your car accident attorney may recommend you look to your own insurance for coverage as some policies cover you even if you’re a passenger.

We recommend hiring a car accident attorney as soon as possible to represent your case. Lack of insurance, not wearing a seatbelt, and other factors can make your case more complicated. Fortunately, our car accident lawyers can help you understand your rights as an injured passenger so you receive the compensation you deserve.

Need More Advice?

Our Florida car accident lawyers are proud to serve clients near Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. To request a consultation with one of our car accident lawyers, call Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano PA at (800) 283-7442.

This blog post has been updated.

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