A car accident can be a scary experience for everyone involved. If you were injured as a passenger in an auto accident, you may be especially confused about the legal process you must follow in accordance with Nebraska law. On the bright side, passengers generally don’t have to worry about liability, so the legal process should be a little less stressful for you—provided you take the proper steps. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) What to do first and foremost
If you believe you or someone else has been injured in the accident, your number one priority is to get medical attention for yourself and anyone else who needs it. Do your best to stay calm while you wait for help, and don’t attempt to move if it feels like you can’t. Make sure the local police and 911 responders are aware of the accident and any other injured drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
Keep in mind that even if you don’t feel like anything is wrong, it’s still possible that you were injured in the accident. Be sensitive about your symptoms and how you feel, and make sure you visit your doctor as soon as possible if you feel the symptoms associated with concussions, whiplash, and internal injuries that you or the emergency crew may have missed.
2) Who you need to discuss the accident with
As a passenger involved in a car accident, Nebraska law requires you to exchange certain information with the other involved parties. The same is true for drivers, pedestrians, and other passengers. You may be asked for your contact information, in case you need to testify in the future. If you’re not sure what to say, it may be best to contact your lawyer for guidance.
3) How the accident happened
Before you file a claim, you need to know if one party’s actions (or inaction) was the main cause of the collision. You can only successfully pursue compensation for your injuries against a negligent driver (meaning a driver who contributed fault to the accident).
Your personal injury claim may be filed against one driver, or against multiple drivers if it was a two-car accident with the fault shared between them. For example, if you were injured as a passenger in a car that was rear-ended, the fault will probably lie with the other driver, so you would file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company (but not with the one who was driving the car you were in).
4) What types of damages you can claim
You may be wondering what kinds of damages you can claim for compensation if you have a viable claim,, and rightly so. The answer will depend on the circumstances of the collision, like the cause and the extent of your injuries. Potential damages may include medical bills (including future medical bills), property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, and permanent injury or disability.
5) How you can build a strong case
To make sure your claim is successful, you’ll have to gather up documents and evidence pertaining to the car accident and your injuries. These may include photographs of the scene, medical records, witness statements, and police reports, to name a few.
6) What happens with multiple passenger injuries
Sometimes car accident claims can get complicated, like when multiple passengers were injured in the collision. When that happens, and every injured passenger files a claim against the negligent driver, it’s possible that the combined value of the injury cases will exceed the driver’s insurance. In that case, each injured person might have to settle for less money.
7) How to maximize your chances
If you really want the best possible chance at filing a successful injury claim, leaving you with more compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages, you should hire a competent attorney to assist you. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Inkelaar Law are dedicated to helping injury victims through the complex legal process. Contact us today for all the answers to your pressing questions.