Many times drivers are not the only ones involved in car accidents. They may be carrying passengers who also get injured and have to seek medical care. If you have been hurt in a Colorado car crash where you were a passenger, you may wonder how you can seek compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Because Colorado is an at-fault state, you cannot file a no-fault claim with your own insurance for your medical expenses and lost wages. Instead, you must file a third-party claim with one or both drivers’ insurance companies. There are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of a successful third-party claim.
What Steps Should You Take After an Accident?
Similar to a driver involved in a car crash, your first action should be to ensure that you and anyone involved in the collision are safe and have gotten the medical attention they need. After that, if you are physically able, it can improve your chances of receiving compensation if you perform these actions:
- Call the police to report the accident
- Give a clear, concise statement to the police on what happened
- Collect contact information from any witnesses
- Get insurance information from all drivers involved
- Take pictures of the accident scene
- Get prompt medical attention, even if you feel ok
- Get a copy of the police report once it is available
- Contact a personal injury lawyer for more advice
Do not make statements to anyone except the police until you have had a chance to consult with your lawyer. In your police statement, stick to facts and avoid discussing who might be at fault for the accident. You should resist the urge to tell anyone that you feel ok, even if you feel lucky to have escaped the accident unharmed. You may find out later that you had injuries that weren’t apparent at the time, and your previous statements could be used against you if you have to take your claim to court.
How Do You File an Insurance Claim?
As a passenger involved in a car accident, you have a couple of options when it comes to filing a claim for your injuries. Both involve filing a third-party injury claim. A third-party claim is filed against someone else’s auto insurance, as opposed to your own. The two main choices for filing a claim when you have been injured in a two-vehicle accident as a passenger are to file with the insurance of the driver whose car you were riding in or file with the other driver’s insurance. However, you may choose to do both, depending on the circumstances of the crash.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
To have a valid third-party personal injury claim, you must show that someone else was at fault and you suffered provable injuries from their negligent actions. Obviously, you were not at fault for the accident because you were just an occupant of the vehicle, so you should be able to receive full compensation for your damages if you can prove what injuries you sustained. However, it can be confusing to figure out your best course of action when it comes to filing a claim because the insurance payout may depend on which driver is determined to be at fault for the accident. Passengers often file against both of the drivers’ insurances to cover all of their medical bills. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in navigating these complex claims. They will thoroughly investigate the crash and its circumstances to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation: 303-500-1376.