You can submit a claim as a passenger, although many people aren’t sure how to manage it because you’re not calling your insurance company to report the wreck. How can you file a claim if you don’t go through your insurance policy? Don’t worry, because you can get your claim files, and get the compensation that you need for your passenger injuries, and for your property damage.
Reaching out to a local Richmond car accident lawyer might seem scary, but you should report the crash and take action. Hiring a lawyer is your way of saying, “My claim is important, and I won’t be pushed to the side.” You don’t have an insurance rep working on your behalf, so getting an attorney is often the primary way that passengers have someone working with their benefit in mind.
Contributory Negligence in Relation to Passengers and Passenger Injuries
Virginia uses a contributory negligence law that means that each person could play a role in contributing to the wreck. That contribution can result in a drop in monetary compensation by that percentage. Now, the common myth is that passengers aren’t responsible, but by contributory negligence, you can argue that a sign or nearby construction is partially responsible, and drivers can certainly argue that passengers are responsible.
What if Your Driver Was the At-Fault Driver?
If your driver was at-fault, it doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong, and even if they only have liability insurance, their passenger injuries are covered. That means that you will need to file a demand letter through that driver’s insurance coverage. Your demand letter will outline what you experienced in terms of damages and what you expect to help your recovery.
For example, if you shattered your arm in a crash, you might need compensation for the evaluation, surgery, and physical therapy. But you might also want to include in your demand letter the time that you spent out of work, or unable to work full-time. After that, you might also include the value of your cell phone that broke in the crash.
Many people worry that suing their driver or filing a claim with their policy will make for bad blood between you and the driver. If your friend or family member doesn’t understand that you need financial relief, then you have other problems to address between the two of you. If someone becomes aggressive or threatens you after you inform them that you’ll file a claim, then you need to include that in your statement so that if anything happens then, everyone involved is aware of that threat.
What Happens When the Other Driver Was At-Fault?
When the other driver is the person who primarily caused the wreck, then you have a much more direct resolution. Typically in your claim, the driver of the car you were in will support that claim, but they may also try to lump them together. It’s all too easy for a driver to say, “Oh, you have to talk to my insurance about the guy who hit us.” But the problem is that their insurance is looking out for their driver, not the passengers in the car.
While you will need to supply some information to that insurance company, you should do so through your own attorney. Having someone represent you explicitly gives you the advantage of not being the second in place or runner up in terms of focus and attention. Get everything that you deserve in terms of attention and getting the right information out there with your lawyer in charge.
They can also help you explore any claim that you contributed to the fault and support that you are purely a victim of this wreck. They may look at different elements of the wreck and create a case for you.
Can You Get Your Own Richmond Car Accident Attorney?
Yes, you can get your own attorney, and it might be best because if you piggy-back on someone else’s legal help, they won’t speak out for you. The thing is, someone else’s attorney isn’t working for you. They don’t really care how much compensation you get or not. But with your own attorney, they will fight for you because you are their primary focus. As a passenger, you can put in a lawsuit against either the driver of your vehicle and the other driver.
Passengers are hardly ever held at fault, and for that, they often fall to the wayside in terms of victim help and recovery. In Richmond, you can visit the law offices of Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, or CAIL, where you will be the primary focus of our team’s attention to get your financial compensation.
Let's get started with your free consultation!