What Are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

what are my rights as a passenger in a car accident

Passengers who suffer injuries during car accidents can seek monetary compensation for their damages. It does not matter which party was responsible for causing the car accident. You can still seek financial compensation for your injuries if the driver of the car you were in caused the crash.

You can seek compensation for both general damages and special damages. In some cases, you may be able to pursue punitive damages. It is important that you establish the elements of negligence to show that the responsible party was liable for your injuries.

Negligence and Liability in Car Accidents in Dallas, Texas

You need to prove the four elements of negligence to establish liability in a car accident injury claim. The four elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Every driver has a duty to operate an automobile in the manner of a reasonably prudent person. Deviating from this standard of care is known as a “breach of duty,” and if this breach causes an individual’s injuries, then the responsible party can be held legally liable for the resulting harm.

Causation is also often further divided into “actual cause” and “proximate cause.” A car accident lawyer can help you understand the nuances involved in negligence claims.

It can be difficult to prove these four elements because many drivers will deny liability and claim that they were not responsible for causing the car accident. However, retaining a skilled car accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your negligence claim.

The Types of Damages You Can Claim in a Car Accident Case

Most auto accident victims claim general damages and special damages in car crash cases. Under certain circumstances, it is plausible for an accident victim to claim punitive damages. General damages (also known as non-economic damages) are non-quantifiable damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Special damages (or economic damages) are generally quantifiable, and these include medical bills, lost earnings, and lost earning capacity, among other such items. Unfortunately, some car accident victims suffer temporary and / or permanent disability as a result of their injuries. These victims can claim monetary compensation for the costs they take on to redesign their homes to make them accessible to a person with disabilities. Speaking with a Dallas car accident attorney can help you understand the damages you can claim in your personal injury case.

Punitive damages are those damages that are reserved for particularly egregious behavior that is likely to harm society as a whole. Punitive damages are also intended to punish the defendant and deter them from committing the same willful, wanton, or malicious conduct in the future. Speaking to an experienced car accident attorney in Dallas can help you learn more about how punitive damages may be relevant to your legal claims.

It is rare for punitive damages to be awarded in the majority of car accident cases. However, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may be able to claim punitive damages. It is important to speak to a knowledgeable car accident attorney who can help you determine which damages you should claim in your particular case.

The Evidence You Need to Establish Liability in a Car Accident Case

One of the most important parts of a car accident or t bone accident case is proving your claims through the presentation of documentary evidence. You may claim that you suffered six different injuries, but if you do not have any medical records to substantiate your claims, the insurance company and its attorneys will claim that you are not actually suffering from those injuries. Therefore, it is essential that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible after suffering injuries during a car accident.

Some of the most important examples of evidence that will help you strengthen your car accident case include:

  • Expense reports and financial reports
  • Medical records
  • Expert consultation reports
  • Reports by accident reconstruction experts
  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Videos of the accident scene
  • Witness statements
  • Traffic collision report

It can be overwhelming to gather all of this evidence on your own. Many car wreck injury victims underestimate how much time, work, and dedication it takes to work up a car accident case. Expert witnesses may have to be retained, and their reports may take weeks or months to produce. It is imperative that a victim who was a passenger in a car accident seek out an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help them substantiate their claims with documentary evidence.

The Benefits of Retaining a Car Accident Attorney

A car accident attorney has years of experience reviewing, analyzing, and making strategic legal decisions about the different factors and circumstances which will dictate how best to pursue your claim as you get ready to initiate a civil lawsuit.

Having a skilled and knowledgeable car accident attorney on your side will help you make the best decisions for you and your family members. You may not understand some aspects of the car accident claim process, and that is perfectly fine. The more information you acquire about your legal rights and the options available to you, the more likely it will be that you can be successful at the end of your case.

The following are some of the benefits of retaining a car accident attorney in Dallas, Texas:

  • Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your car accident case
  • Helping you understand the claims process
  • Establishing negligence and liability
  • Naming all the parties which may be liable for your injuries
  • Retaining expert witnesses
  • Providing you with answers to your legal questions

Retaining a car accident attorney can help you avoid mistakes and omissions that can damage your car accident case. Also, many car accident attorneys – like those at Wolf Law, PLLC – work on a contingency fee basis, and this means that you will not have to pay any legal fees unless and until your case is resolved in a financially favorable way. Our car accident attorneys will deduct legal fees from the settlement or judgment associated with the resolution of your car accident case.

The Legal Rights You Have as a Passenger in a Texas Car Accident

Thousands of people suffer car accident head injuries in car accidents in Texas every year. Being a passenger in a car accident can make you feel conflicted and confused about who may be liable for your injuries. The following are some of the most important rights you have as an injured vehicle passenger in the State of Texas:

Personal Injury Protection Insurance

The driver of the car in which you were injured may have had medical insurance or PIP (personal injury protection) insurance. It is possible for you to seek monetary compensation for your medical bills without establishing that one of the drivers was at fault for the car accident.

Insurance Claim Adjusters

You can refuse to speak to insurance claim adjusters while you are considering whether to retain a car accident attorney. It will benefit you to speak to a skilled trial lawyer before you make any statements to the insurance company. Understanding the options available to you will help you avoid accidentally admitting liability to the insurance company. It is best to avoid making any written statements to the insurance company as well.

Traffic Collision Reports

You have a right to request a traffic collision report from the law enforcement agency responding to the accident scene. A police report will often contain a determination of cause. The traffic collision report number will be important to your car accident case. If you do not currently have a copy of the accident report, you can request one from the applicable law enforcement agency – or, your car accident lawyer can request it for you.

Medical Treatment

You can and should seek immediate medical treatment for the injuries you suffer during a car accident. You need to work with the emergency personnel who respond to the accident scene so you can receive medical treatment that will help you recover from your injuries. The medical records relating to your diagnoses and treatment will to substantiate your legal claims.

Contact Information

As a passenger in a car accident, you have the right to request the insurance information, telephone numbers, and names of the individuals who are involved in the car accident. The law enforcement officers at the accident scene will often gather contact information from individuals who do not wish to share their contact information with you. It is important that you speak to a car accident attorney about the witnesses who may have observed the car accident.

Contact Wolf Law PLLC Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

It can be overwhelming to suffer personal injuries as a passenger in a car accident. Reach out to Wolf Law, PLLC in Dallas, Texas to schedule a free consultation. You can learn more about the legal options available to you. Do not feel afraid to seek financial compensation for your injuries. The Dallas car accident lawyers at Wolf Law, PLLC have years of experience representing clients in car accident cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.