Filing a Personal Injury Claim as a Passenger in a Car Accident
If you sustained injuries as a passenger in a car accident, it is unlikely that you were responsible for the collision. Unless you engaged in reckless behavior, such as attempting to take control of the vehicle, you likely played no role in causing the crash and could not have prevented it.
In light of this, you have distinct legal rights under Arizona law. You may be entitled to hold the responsible driver (or drivers) and any other at-fault party accountable for the physical, financial, and emotional losses you sustained as a result of the accident.
The accomplished car accident lawyers at Burg Simpson have substantial experience in a wide range of auto accident claims. We understand the hardships you may be facing, and we are committed to helping you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
What If You Were Involved in a Single Vehicle Collison?
The driver of a vehicle has a duty to ensure his or her passenger’s safety. A driver’s failure to protect his or her passengers could be considered negligence. If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you could have grounds to file a personal injury claim.
If you were a passenger injured in a single-car collision, you must prove that the driver of the vehicle caused the incident by failing to act in a safe and responsible manner. For example, the driver of the vehicle could be considered liable for a passenger’s injuries if he or she crashed the vehicle into a guardrail after losing control of the car while exceeding the speed limit. But if the collision occurred due to an unforeseen event, such as an animal darting out in front of the vehicle, then it would be unlikely that the driver would be held accountable for the accident.
What If You Were Involved in a Multi-Vehicle Collision?
If you were injured as a passenger in a collision involving two or more vehicles, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against multiple drivers.
Although some evidence – such as surveillance camera footage – can offer clear insight into the cause of a multi-vehicle collision, it is often necessary to consider information from multiple sources. Some of the evidence an attorney may examine to prove liability includes:
- Witness statements and testimony
- Vehicle telematics or “black box” data
- Vehicle maintenance records and service history
- Vehicle inspection reports
- Police report
- Photos and videos from the crash site
- Forensic evidence (i.e., skid marks and debris in the roadway)
- Employment records
- Dash cam or traffic camera footage
- Cell phone records
The lawyers at Burg Simpson perform meticulous investigations to uncover the facts in a crash. If you were involved in a multi-vehicle collision, we can help you determine the parties that are liable for your injuries.
What to Do If You Are a Passenger in a Car Accident
If you are the passenger in a car accident, it is important to:
Seek Medical Attention
Your first course of action after sustaining injuries as a passenger in a car accident should be to obtain medical treatment for your injuries. If you sustained severe injuries, you will likely receive emergency treatment at the scene of the crash and be taken to the nearest hospital.
Even if you sustained minor injuries – or believe you may not have suffered any injuries at all – it is still in your best interest to seek medical attention promptly after an accident. This medical attention is critical because certain injuries may not become apparent immediately. Seeking
proactive diagnostic and medical treatment is a safe bet after a crash. Additionally, medical records will play a crucial role in strengthening your personal injury claim.
Contact the Authorities
Under Arizona law, car accidents must be reported to the police if they result in injury, death, or property damage of over $1,000, or in the issuance of a citation (see Arizona Statutes § 28-667). You can request a copy of the accident report online. Not only does an accident report help to avoid any issues with the state, but it will document the crash and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
Get Names and Information
It is crucial to collect the necessary information from other drivers involved in the accident, such as their names, driver’s license numbers, contact information, and insurance details, including the names of their insurance companies and policy numbers. If another driver appears to be angry, dangerous, or unable to provide information, it is advisable to ask a responding officer to assist you. Obtaining the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene can bolster your case, as eyewitness testimony can be highly valuable.
If it is safe to do so, use your mobile phone to take photos and/or videos of the accident scene from various angles and locations. Items to photograph include:
- Traffic signals or stop signs at the location of the crash
- Skid marks on the roadway
- The road or intersection where the collision occurred
- License plates of the vehicles involved
- Damage to both vehicles
Take Detailed Notes
In addition to preserving evidence from the accident scene, it is important to take detailed notes of what happened. Record every detail you can recall regarding the collision and its location. What was the cause of the accident? What were the weather conditions like? What was the traffic like? Did any driver seem to be under the influence or confess to being preoccupied while driving? Any information you can recall is valuable and should be documented and communicated to your attorney.
Do Not Agree to a Settlement With Either Driver’s Insurance Company
It is important to remember that the other party’s insurance company is not looking after your best interests. Do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company until you have spoken with an experienced car accident lawyer.
Call Burg Simpson
Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will help you to obtain the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Burg Simpson have the knowledge, skill, and resources you can trust to achieve a successful resolution to your case. We will communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf and work to negotiate a settlement that reflects the full extent of your current and future losses. If a fair settlement cannot be negotiated, we may recommend taking your case to court. Our experienced lawyers are skilled litigators. We will work diligently to build a strong case on your behalf to recover the damages you need to move forward.
How Much Is My Car Accident Injury Worth?
As a passenger in a car accident, you have rights. The experienced attorneys at Burg Simpson will evaluate your case and work with you to determine the monetary value of your claim by gathering details about the following:
- Total medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Future lost income
- Future medical costs
- The pain and suffering that you have endured
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your losses, the value of your personal injury claim may differ from others. There is no one-size-fits-all amount of compensation in car accident claims. Your lawyer will calculate the full value of your past, current, and future losses and pursue the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled under Arizona law.
The Arizona car accident lawyers at Burg Simpson have a proven history of obtaining results for our clients. We can give you a fighting chance when it comes to investigating a car crash, preparing insurance claims, negotiating settlements, and even litigating in court against the responsible parties. The firm has the experience and resources to fight for you and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today online or at 602-777-7000 for a FREE and confidential case review. We handle car accident cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t owe anything unless we win.