Motor vehicle passengers injured in car accidents caused by driver negligence are often at the mercy of the driver’s insurance policy when it comes to seeking financial compensation for their injuries.
That said, passengers can do the following things to protect themselves in case they suffer injury in a crash and before any kind of accident occurs:
- Collect the insurance information of everyone involved in the accident. Injured passengers will want to collect this information as soon as they are able following a crash. In addition to insurance information, it is also advised to collect names, physical addresses, email addresses and phone numbers for everyone involved. Collect the number for the accident report as well. All of this information will be important for the purpose of later filing a claim for damages.
- Be proactive when it comes to staying safe as a passenger. A lot of car accident injuries could have been avoided simply by wearing a seat belt or taking other steps like refraining from riding in a car with an intoxicated driver. Passengers can also cause accidents, so it is important not to distract the driver or do something else inside the vehicle that could lead to a crash.
- Always have your own health insurance. Riding in a vehicle as a passenger without health insurance is a grave risk. By having their own health insurance, passengers can take control of their ability to pay for medical care, so they do not have to rely on winning a personal injury claim — or on the decision of an insurance company — to get the money they need to pay their doctors’ bills.
California passengers hurt in car crashes have the right to seek financial damages if their injuries were caused by another party’s negligence or unlawful behavior. However, every case is different and not all car accident injuries will result in a viable claim for damages.