If you are a passenger in a car accident, you may be scared and confused if you are hurt. You may not understand whose insurance policy will cover you. Will you be covered by your insurance, your driver’s or the other driver’s policy? The matter can be complicated if a friend or relative was driving the car in which you were hurt.
Filing a Claim With the Other Driver’s Insurance Policy
If you are hurt as a passenger in a car accident and want compensation, you may want to sue the other driver’s insurance policy. All states have required liability coverage. For many states, the minimum is $25,000 for each person and $50,000 per accident.
There are some obstacles to getting compensated in this situation. Does the other driver have enough coverage to pay for your injuries? If you were the only one hurt, it could be enough. If there were several people hurt, the money has to be divided several ways. The more people hurt, the less money you can get. If you have bills of $60,000 and several others were hurt, you might see only a few thousand dollars of compensation.
Trying to get compensation this way can be difficult if fault for the accident is being contested. If the accident had several drivers and cars, it may take months to figure out, so you could take much longer to receive compensation.
Filing a Claim Through Your Car Driver’s Policy
You may be compensated through the policy of the person driving your vehicle. The easiest way to get compensated is through the driver’s personal injury protection or PIP coverage. This type of insurance is also known as first party benefits insurance. If your driver files a claim, no matter who was at fault in the crash, each party will receive a pay out for medical costs. As a passenger, this is your best choice for quick compensation. You will see fast reimbursement for your medical expenses and it will not affect your own rates. Not every state has a PIP requirement.
You also could file a claim through the driver’s bodily injury coverage. You may not want to do this if your driver is a friend. But you are not really suing the driver, but rather their insurance policy.
Filing a Claim On Your Insurance Policy
If you were not driving, should you be filing a claim on your policy? If you have PIP or MedPay on your policy, you may want to do this. But if you file the claim on your policy, it will affect your rates. PIP and MedPay are limited in coverage, so if you have a lot of injuries, this may not be enough to cover you.
Your last option is to tap your own health insurance policy.
So, you do have options to get compensated if you are injured as a passenger in a car accident. Talk to a personal injury attorney if you have questions, because determining the best avenue for compensation in this scenario can be confusing.