When you’re a passenger in a motor vehicle, it’s difficult to take evasive action to avoid injury in an accident. As a result, injuries more serious than those suffered by your driver can result. The only good news is that you’re highly unlikely to be at fault for the accident. Although, questions about your accident and injuries are going to arise. Especially, if the crash involved one or more vehicles in the Tampa area.
Passenger Injury Call 911
First, even if your driver didn’t suffer any injuries, you will need the accident and your injuries documented. Call 911, request paramedics and report the accident. Don’t get talked out of reporting the accident to the police under any circumstances. Without a police report, you stand little chance of receiving compensation for your damages.
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment for Injuries
The paramedics at the scene of your crash can treat you and transport you to the nearest emergency room. They will make a record of that. Their record will be the first in a long line of medical records regarding the treatment that you as a passenger underwent for your injuries. Those records are critical in any personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. So, this requires you to use personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. But, this is for the first $10,000 of medical bills and lost earnings. Assuming that you own a car, you’ll make that claim under your own PIP coverage. If you don’t own a car and don’t have PIP coverage, Florida law provides for what driver’s PIP coverage applies. If you fail to treat for your injuries within 14 days of the date of your accident, it’s likely that PIP coverage will be denied. It’s also likely that the value of any personal injury claim or lawsuit that you file could be reduced. Seek immediate medical treatment for any car accident injuries.
Am I Limited to $10,000?
If you meet one or more of four thresholds you can pursue additional compensation for your injuries and damages. Here are the thresholds:
- You suffered a significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
- That within a reasonable degree of certainty, you suffered a permanent injury.
- You suffered permanent scarring, disfigurement or disability.
- You died in the accident. Your estate can seek damages.
Beyond the Threshold
You can proceed with a lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages once your claim meets one or more of the thresholds. Those damages might consist of the following:
- Past and future medical bills.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Any permanent disfigurement.
- Any permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of a normal life.
- In the event of a wrongful death, other significant and valuable damages.
Who to Claim Passenger Injury Against
However, involvement in a single-car accident like hitting a stationary object or rolling over, as a passenger your injury claim is against the insurer of your driver. If the accident involved multiple vehicles, the recommendation to make claims against the insurers of all drivers involved in the accident.
Shortly after your accident, an adjuster from an opposing insurance company might contact you “just to see how you’re feeling now.” That’s a pretext. That adjuster wants a recorded statement from you. Politely refuse to give such a statement. Then, call us. You’re not required to give any type of a statement in Florida without an attorney being present on your behalf. You don’t want to have your own words used against you in the future.
Contact a Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer
RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head-on!”
Whether you were injured as a passenger, the driver of another motor vehicle, a bicyclist or a pedestrian, contact our personal injury team right away after being injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of another driver. Each accident and injury case is different. Seek the advice and counsel of an experienced Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer from our office by contacting us and arranging for a free consultation and case evaluation.