To start with, with most auto accidents you hear about the drivers of the cars involved. And, you want to know how the law compensated the injured driver. But, what about passengers? Particularly, passengers’ rights in an auto accident.
Additionally, under Florida law who is responsible for a passenger’s injuries? Regardless, who the at-fault party is in the accident a passenger should know their rights. So, we put together some information every passenger in Florida should know to help protect their rights after an auto accident.
Basic Steps Even Passengers Should Take After An Accident
First, every driver and passenger needs to know what to do after an accident. Granted, most passengers don’t know all their rights or how to protect them after an accident. So, we put together 7 tips to help you in the event of a car accident:
- Get to safety – This will prevent more damage from occurring.
- Contact the police – It is important to make sure there is a police report. Because you will need this report when you file your claim.
- Exchange Information – Even if they do not have insurance, you will need their contact and vehicle details. Furthermore, you should get the contact information from any witnesses.
- Document the Details – You will need to write down both driver’s vehicle information, time, and location of the accident. As well as, the officer’s name with a badge number. Also, try to document any details that may help when you file your claim.
- Take Pictures – You should take pictures of the accident scene. Include photos of the damage to each car, the license plate of both drivers, and traffic signs.
- Seek medical attention – Often, injuries are not immediately apparent. Don’t wait, seek medical attention at your local emergency room, or by seeing your family physician right away.
- Get Legal Help – Most importantly, consult with an auto accident lawyer.
Who’s Insurance Covers You as a Passenger?
Admittedly, Florida is a no-fault state. Thus, as a car owner, Florida requires you to have PIP (personal injury protection) insurance. In fact, Florida Statute 627.736 states, your PIP coverage will cover injuries up to the policy limit. So, that does not mean as a passenger you are not covered. Luckily, passengers have options when injured in an accident.
- Your PIP Policy – First, Florida law says passengers that have a PIP policy must use it first when injured in an accident.
- A Family Member In Your Household’s Policy – Second, passengers without a PIP policy can use the insurance policy of a household family member. As long as they were not involved in the same accident.
- The Driver’s Policy – Third, a passenger that does not have access to their own or household members’ PIP policy can receive coverage. In fact, you can use the policy of the driver you were riding with.
What if you as a passenger have serious injuries?
Additionally, as a passenger injured in an accident your injuries might exceed the benefits of the PIP policy. In this case, the Florida no-fault rules won’t apply. So, you can make a claim against the at-fault driver. Although, we recommend having an auto accident attorney to review your case. Because they can advise you of all your options.
Passengers Cannot Double Dip
Finally, as a passenger, you may have access to more than one PIP policy for coverage. But, you can only recover damages once. And, what this means is that if you have $4,000 in damages, you can only recover that amount once. So, if your insurance does not cover the full amount of your damages, you can file a claim against the other driver or the vehicle owner. Thus, allowing you to recover the rest of your damages.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.