Car accidents don’t just cause injuries to drivers. Statistics show that about one-third of all people involved in car accidents are passengers.
In Seattle, passengers injured in truck, car, or motorcycle accidents can file an insurance claim or sue the at-fault driver to cover their medical costs and other accident-caused damages.
Injured passengers need to remember that compensation is not guaranteed in these cases. They need to be careful because some insurance companies may attempt to blame the victim riding in the passenger’s seat for causing the accident.
At Bernard Law Group, we understand your questions as an injured passenger. Our experienced car accident attorneys can help you understand and protect your rights to compensation. The first step is to call our office to schedule a free initial consultation.
Your Rights as a Passenger
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially for passengers who have no control over the vehicle’s movements. Passengers who suffer injuries in car accidents have specific rights that protect them and ensure they receive the appropriate compensation for their damages.
It’s crucial to understand these rights and know when to seek the expertise of a car accident lawyer.
The Right to Safety and Care
The foremost right of a passenger in any vehicle is the right to safety. Drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers, meaning they must drive responsibly to prevent accidents. If you are injured as a passenger, the responsibility often falls on the driver of your vehicle or another vehicle involved in the accident.
Right to File an Insurance Claim
You can file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy as an injured passenger. In Washington State, this is typically the first step in seeking compensation. This process involves the at-fault driver’s insurance, but in cases where the driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Right to Compensation
Injured passengers can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The extent of these damages can vary, so it’s crucial to document everything meticulously. A skilled car accident lawyer can help you assess the full extent of your damages and ensure you receive fair compensation.
Right to Legal Representation
You have the right to seek legal representation to navigate the complexities of your case. A car accident lawyer specializing in personal injury cases can offer invaluable assistance. They will handle negotiations with insurance companies, gather evidence, and, if necessary, represent you in court.
Right to a Timely Claim
Washington State law imposes a statute of limitations of three years on personal injury claims. This means you have a limited time to file a lawsuit after a car accident injury. Understanding these timelines is crucial to ensuring your rights are protected.
Right to be Free from Pressure
As a victim, you can be free from pressure from insurance companies or other parties involved. It’s common for insurance adjusters to offer quick settlements, but these initial offers may not fully cover your damages. A car accident lawyer can negotiate to ensure you’re not pressured into accepting an unfair settlement.
Right to Privacy and Respect
Your privacy and dignity should be respected throughout the process. This means confidential handling of your medical records and personal information. A professional car accident lawyer will uphold these standards, giving you the respect and confidentiality you deserve.
Right to Understand Your Case
You have the right to clear, understandable communication about your case. A reputable car accident lawyer will keep you informed and ensure you understand each step of the legal process.
Right to a Fair Trial
You have the right to a fair hearing if your case goes to trial. This includes presenting evidence, calling witnesses, and having a competent attorney represent you. A trial might be necessary if a negotiation cannot reach an agreement.
Right to Appeal
You can appeal the decision if dissatisfied with the trial’s outcome. This step is complex and requires the guidance of an experienced car accident lawyer.
Understanding Your Rights as an Injured Passenger
As a passenger injured in a car accident, you have rights that protect you and ensure fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Understanding these rights is crucial in the aftermath of an accident.
Seeking the expertise of a car accident lawyer is a vital step in protecting your rights and interests. At Bernard Law Group, we are committed to providing professional and compassionate legal assistance to ensure your rights are upheld, and you receive the justice you deserve.
Contact our office today to schedule a risk-free consultation.