Being a passenger in a car accident in Kansas City may take away the question of your liability for the accident, yet you still may not know whom to hold accountable for your damages. You may have grounds to bring an injury claim against one or more drivers involved in the accident. An injury claim can take the form of an insurance report or a personal injury lawsuit. Knowing what to do after an accident as a passenger can help you take the right steps toward obtaining financial compensation.
Request Medical Help
Both drivers involved in the accident must stop and assist anyone with injuries from the collision. If you notice injuries or any pain as a passenger, speak up. The person who calls 911 to report the crash can request medical assistance for you. Do not tell the responding police officer you do not have any injuries until you are sure. Instead, say you do not know and wish to see a doctor before answering. Saying the crash did not injure you could hurt your chances of securing compensation if you notice injuries later.
Keep Track of Medical Care
An insurance claim or injury lawsuit could result in payment for your past and future medical costs. Keep track of your medical evaluations, diagnoses, treatments and expenses to calculate an accurate damage award. Your medical bills and records can serve as proof of your damages as a passenger. An insurance company will need to see proof of your injuries, treatments and expenses. Keep copies of your medical information for this purpose. Follow your treatment plan exactly so the insurance company does not have a reason to deny you coverage.
Join an Insurance Claim
If your accident happened in Missouri, the driver you were with needs to file an injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This might be the insurer of the other driver or a third party. Join this insurance claim by telling the driver you have damages that require coverage. Coverable damages typically include medical costs, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The at-fault driver’s liability insurance should cover your damages in Missouri.
If the accident happened in Kansas, no-fault laws will apply to the case. Each driver will seek damage reimbursement from his or her insurance company, regardless of who caused the collision. As a passenger, you will most likely seek coverage from the driver you were riding with. The driver’s insurance should cover your medical bills and other related expenses. Every driver in Kansas must carry minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage insurance. If the driver was unlawfully driving while uninsured, your insurance company may cover your damages instead.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
As an injured passenger in a Kansas City car accident, you may also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit may be in your best interests if an insurance company denies your claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement for your injuries. File a civil lawsuit with help from a car accident lawyer to make sure you meet all the requirements. You may have grounds to file a claim against both drivers in a two-car accident if they both contributed to the crash.
In Missouri, crash victims always have the option of going to court. In Kansas, however, only victims with catastrophic or permanently disabling injuries personal injury lawsuits. If your injuries do not meet this threshold, you may have to accept an insurance settlement from the driver’s personal injury protection policy instead. A fight over liability between both drivers’ insurance companies could delay your payout. Hire an attorney to help you reach a settlement or jury verdict as quickly as possible as an injured passenger.