When you are injured while riding as a passenger in a vehicle that is involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may not be sure who to turn to for compensation for your injuries and damages – all you know is that, as a passenger, you certainly were not to blame for the accident. As a passenger injured in a motor vehicle collision, you have options for pursuing compensation, depending on who was at fault for the crash.
Filing a Claim against Another At-Fault Driver
If another vehicle caused the collision that injured you, the obvious course of action would be to file a claim against that driver’s insurance policy. Drivers in Florida are required to carry insurance coverage of, at a minimum, $10,000 per person/$20,000 per accident in bodily injury and death liability coverage, and $10,000 per accident of property damage coverage.
Of course, if the at fault driver is carrying the minimum required coverage, there is a risk that his or her insurance won’t be sufficient to cover the full extent of your injuries and damages, especially there will be at least one more person involved in the accident who may suffer injuries and damages (namely, the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in). If multiple people make sizable claims against the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, you only may receive a portion of your total damages; if you wait too long to make a claim, it might be denied outright if coverage has already been exhausted.
Filing a Claim against the Driver of Your Vehicle
You may also be entitled to file a claim against the driver of your vehicle and his or her policy. First, as a passenger you are entitled to file a claim for medical treatments under the driver’s personal injury protection coverage in his or her auto policy.
You may also be entitled to file a claim against the bodily injury coverage of your driver’s auto insurance policy, especially if he or she is determined to have been at fault for the accident.
However, many auto insurance policies have various exclusions for immediate family members or members of your household, so if you are related to or live with the driver of your vehicle, you will need to check his or her policy language to confirm whether you are excluded from coverage.
Filing a Claim with Your Insurer
Finally, if you have your own auto insurance policy, you may be entitled to file a claim against your policy, although it can seem counterintuitive to file a claim with your insurance when you weren’t even in your own car. You may be entitled to file a claim for medical treatment expenses under the personal injury protection coverage in your policy. Alternatively, you can use your health insurance to help pay for your treatment costs.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t sufficient to cover all your losses, or if the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance, you may also try filing a claim with the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your own auto insurance policy.
Of course, if you decide to file a claim with your auto insurance, you should be aware that filing a claim might cause your insurance premiums to go up, so you may want to check with your insurer as to whether filing a claim, even for an accident that wasn’t your fault, will affect your rates.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured because of car accidents in Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, Weston, Coconut Creek, and throughout Florida. Call 954-525-2345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.