When an auto accident occurs, passengers are just as likely to be injured as drivers. There are some situations where passengers are injured, and drivers walk away without a scratch. Unfortunately, injuries sustained by passengers can be just as bad or worse than the injuries sustained by drivers.
Passengers who experience injuries in an accident may suffer several serious and often devastating injuries that cause permanent disabilities. The good news is that according to Florida law, passenger auto accident victims are protected.
If you were the passenger in an auto accident in Daytona Beach, one of the best things you can do is to get in touch with our team of attorneys at Zimmet&Zimmet Lawyers. We have handled cases just like yours and will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Your Rights as a Passenger After a Daytona Beach Auto Accident
While no car accident is good news, there is some good news for passengers who need to file an injury claim. Unlike a driver who is involved in a car accident, passengers don’t have to worry about holding any liability in the situation.
This is important because Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that if a person is found even partly liable for the accident, the total amount of damages they receive will be reduced by that amount.
As a passenger, if you suffer any damages, no matter if they are lost wages or medical costs, you can file a claim to receive full compensation. However, if the accident involved more than one vehicle, you may have to file a claim against both drivers involved. While each accident is unique, and sometimes only one person is liable for the crash, this is something that must be known and something our attorneys can help you with.
In other situations, both drivers could be partly to blame. In these situations, liability is distributed according to the percentage of fault each person is liable for.
If you are involved in an accident that a family member or friend partially caused, it may be necessary to file a claim with their insurance company. If the damages amount to $10,000 or less, no extensive litigation is required to resolve the matter. In this situation, the state’s no-fault law will apply.
No-Fault Insurance in Florida
Florida is one of just 12 states with no-fault auto insurance. With this system, if you are involved in an auto accident, your insurance provider will cover set damages, regardless of who is to blame, up to a set limit.
All drivers in the state must have $10,000 in PIP (personal injury protection) coverage. PIP will cover injuries that the person with the policy experiences due to traffic accidents, no matter who was to blame. If you suffer an injury as a passenger, you can receive compensation for medical costs through your PIP policy.
If you don’t own a vehicle or if you don’t have PIP insurance coverage, you may still be covered by the PIP policy that is held by:
- The at-fault driver
- A member of the passenger’s household
- The vehicle’s owner that the passenger was in when the accident occurred
What Passengers Should Do After Being Involved in an Auto Accident
If you are a passenger and suffer an injury, and your damages surpass the $10,000 limit (they will if you have a serious injury), you can sue the at-fault driver for the rest of the damages. For this, having an accident attorney is usually recommended.
As a passenger in an auto accident, you should make sure you never take the blame for the accident and avoid signing any insurance documents or forms before speaking to a lawyer. You should also let your attorney handle all the discussions and negotiations with insurance companies.
You also need to seek medical treatment right away – either at the scene or after leaving the scene. Do not wait to get this treatment. If you have visible injuries, be sure to document them with photographs and collect the names and insurance information from any other driver who is involved.
Do You Need Help with Your Passenger Auto Accident Case?
As a passenger, you have rights. Even if you were not driving and the accident was not your fault, you can receive compensation for your injuries and damages. However, these cases can be complex and confusing, so it is in your best interest to hire an attorney for assistance.
Do you need assistance with your case? Do you still have questions about your rights? If so, contact our team at Zimmet&Zimmet Lawyers by calling (386) 202-1412 to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you with your accident situation.