Passengers are injured in auto accidents almost as often as drivers. There are even cases where the passenger is injured but the driver is fine. Passenger auto injuries can be as severe as driver injuries. They can cause a number of issues that can even be permanent or lead to lifelong disabilities. Fortunately, under Florida state law, passenger auto accident victims are protected. If you’ve been injured as a passenger, here is what you need to know.
Passengers Are Covered By Auto Insurance
In the state of Florida, there are several insurance coverages that are designed to protect passengers. The first is personal injury protection (PIP). All Florida drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP. PIP is essentially a no fault coverage is was designed to cover the costs of injuries of anyone in the accident regardless who is at fault and whether they were a driver, passenger, or even pedestrian. The second coverage that protects passengers is bodily injury (BI). Bodily injury is a liability coverage that pays for the injuries caused by the driver. Depending on the circumstances, BI will cover the extra costs beyond what PIP covers.
Can Passengers File A Claim Against Their Host Driver?
Passengers who are injured are legally allowed to file a claim against the driver that caused the accident. If the host driver caused the accident, they can file a claim with their insurance. However, if the other driver caused the accident, they will file a claim with their insurance. There is one exception and that is if the driver of the vehicle was a family member. In that case the passenger can still file a claim, but cannot sue for damages.
Will Insurance Cover All My Damages?
If there is one thing we’ve learned in our years of protecting accident injury victims, it is that insurance companies are only interested in making money. They will go far out of their way to avoid paying fair compensation for the injuries. In fact, many times they will try to completely get out of paying. The worst part is the coverage that is most likely to pay for your damages is PIP. PIP only covers medical care. It does not pay for lost wages and other damages. In those cases, you will have to file a claim for the rest to be paid by other coverages.
What Is The Claims Process When You Are A Passenger?
When you are a passenger in the vehicle, the claims process is very similar to if you were the driver. You will have to collect documentation of the injuries, prove fault, and file a claim. This can be really tricky because there are multiple parties involved. For example if the two drivers are in dispute over who is at fault for the accident, you may have to wait for that to be resolved to know where to file a claim. Although, you can get around this issue if you work with a qualified accident attorney.
How An Attorney Can Help
Since passenger injuries are more complicated than driver injuries, an attorney can be really valuable. They will help you calculate the costs of your injuries and other damages. Then they will help prove who was at fault for the accident with evidence, witness testimony, and documentation. An attorney will help file the claim and deal with all the legalities so you can focus on getting back on your feet and recovering from your injuries.
The team of Justice Pays Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh has helped win over $500 million dollars for accident injury victims in Southwest Florida. We know exactly how to protect passengers and ensure they get the compensation they deserve. Give us a call at 1-941-625-HURT or simply chat with us right on our website. We’ll review your case for free and help you understand all your legal options. If you hire us, you can be assured that we will fight to protect your rights!