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Can you seek compensation for a car accident as a passenger?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | motor vehicle accidents |

No one injured should go through the recovery process without support, and this certainly includes passengers. Fortunately, in Maryland, passenger injury claims exist. In these claims, you can receive financial support even if you were not the one driving. That support includes compensation for physical injuries, emotional distress and other damages.

As a passenger, it’s crucial that you know your rights and the process for seeking compensation after an accident to ensure you don’t miss out on financial compensation.

Compensable matters in passenger injury claims

As a passenger, you have the right to file a claim against the negligent party’s insurance. The compensation from the claim can cover the injuries you sustained because of the accident. This can include medical bills, lost earnings if you are unable to work due to your injuries and even non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

However, keep in mind that seeking non-economic damages like pain and suffering is not straightforward and may require additional supporting evidence, such as testimonies from mental health professionals or evidence of lifestyle changes due to the accident.

Claimants must not be responsible for the crash

One thing to note is that as a passenger, you’re less likely to be held responsible for a car accident. However, insurance companies will still examine the circumstances to see if you contributed to the accident in any way. While rare, there can be situations where a passenger might share some degree of fault. This could happen, for example, if you did something that distracted the driver or made it difficult for them to operate the vehicle safely.

If the insurance company determines that you contributed to the accident in any way, they might view you as partially at fault. In Maryland, even being found one percent at fault can prevent you from receiving compensation, so it’s crucial to ensure that your actions did not cause the accident.

Taking legal steps

After an accident, your first steps should be to seek medical attention and call the authorities. Your health and safety come first. Once you have taken care of your immediate needs, you should consider seeking a legal professional.

A legal professional can guide you through the process of understanding your rights and receiving fair compensation. They can even help counter any attempts by insurance companies in case they pin the blame on you and try to reduce your compensation.

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