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What to Do if I Was Hit in Someone Else’s Car?

Couple Involved In Car Crash With Female Driver Suffering With Whiplash Injury

If you were hurt while riding in someone else’s car, you are still entitled to compensation. It’s important to take the right steps after your accident to ensure you get the medical care you need and compensation from the appropriate party. Continue reading to learn about how you can protect yourself after an accident as a passenger, and call an experienced Kingston traffic accident lawyer for advice and representation after a Hudson Valley crash.

Sources of Compensation as an Injured Passenger

If you’re a passenger injured in a New York car accident, you have a few different options for seeking compensation. Where you should go depends on the circumstances of the accident, who was to blame, and how seriously you were injured.

Under most circumstances, you are covered by the no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) in your driver’s auto insurance policy. Even if you were not seriously injured, you can seek compensation under their policy for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The driver’s insurance covers that vehicle, including the driver and any passengers.

If you suffered a “serious injury,” you can seek compensation directly from whoever was at fault for the accident. You’d need to be able to demonstrate that the at-fault party was responsible, typically by proving negligence. The at-fault party may be the driver of the vehicle in which you were riding or another driver on the road with whom your vehicle collided. Serious injuries include those that are catastrophic, disabling, or permanent.

Even a broken bone can qualify you for a bodily injury lawsuit, so make sure to talk to a seasoned car accident attorney as soon as you can to discuss your options.

Depending on the circumstances, you can also seek coverage under your own auto insurance policy. If you’re in the middle of a coverage dispute with either your driver or another driver’s insurance company but you need medical care right now, you can get your insurance company to cover your claims. They may later seek repayment from the at-fault driver and/or their insurance provider.

How to Protect Your Health and Your Rights After an Accident

If you were hurt in a car accident as a passenger, it’s important to act quickly to protect your finances and your life. The steps to take are mainly the same as what you would do had you been driving:

  • If you can move, get to a safe place away from traffic.
  • If anyone was hurt, call 911. Talk to the police when they arrive and answer their questions. Stick to facts, not opinions.
  • If you are seriously injured, wait for emergency medical assistance. Accept help from the first responders, take the ambulance ride, and get the medical care you need.
  • If you are not critically hurt, try to collect some evidence before leaving the scene. Take pictures of your injuries, of the vehicles, of the surrounding area (traffic lights, cameras, street signs), etc. Get contact information from both drivers and any witnesses.
  • Go to the doctor. Even if you do not think you are seriously injured, you could have latent injuries such as a concussion or internal bleeding.
  • Keep copies of everything. The police report, medical bills, medical records, communications with your employer, and anything else generated in connection with your accident may ultimately serve as evidence in a personal injury case. The more you collect from the start, the stronger your case will be from the get-go.
  • Call an experienced New York auto accident attorney for advice and representation.

Considered Advice and Effective Representation for Your Hudson Valley Car Accident Claim

If you or someone you love has been hurt by a negligent or reckless driver in New York, find out if you’re entitled to monetary damages for your injuries by contacting the dedicated and effective Hudson Valley car accident lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a free consultation at 845-331-4100 (Kingston) or 845-236-4411 (Marlboro).

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