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Injured Passengers Have Rights After a Virginia Car Accident 

Much attention focuses on drivers who suffer injuries in auto accidents, but it is important to remember that you can still be severely hurt when you are riding along as a passenger. Statistics compiled in the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Facts prove this point: Out of a total of 66,523 individuals hurt in injury-causing collisions in 2018, 13,541 of them were passengers. Fortunately, state law provides you with legal options under such circumstances, so you may be able to recover monetary damages for your losses.

In some ways, it might seem that filing a claim as an injured passenger is easier than when you were hurt while driving. However, there are still complications when dealing with an insurance company. An overview of the process and potential pitfalls should convince you that it is critical to work with a Virginia auto accident lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.

Negligence in Auto Crash Claims

Motor vehicle collisions are often caused by driver carelessness, which translates to negligence in the practice of law. You need to prove that the other motorist did not exercise reasonable caution when driving, and that these actions were a direct cause of the accident. As a passenger, your claim centers on: 

  • Which driver was at fault because you need to know where to file your claim; and,
  • The nature and severity of your injuries.

The Claims Process for an Injured Passenger

Even before you go to court, you will need to file an injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer – whether it’s the company that covers the car you were riding in or another vehicle. Even though you were definitely not responsible because you were not behind the wheel, you may encounter challenges. Insurance companies frequently assert that their own policyholder was not negligent, so they will point fingers at each other. The result is that they will deny payment to you, so you may need to file a lawsuit in court, at which point you can trust your lawyer to handle the process. Typically, the defendants will battle among themselves regarding who is responsible. 

Recovering Monetary Damages for Your Losses

Whether you file an insurance claim or resort to litigation to obtain compensation, the point behind monetary damages is the same. The funds are intended to put you in the same position as if you had never been injured in a car accident. You may be able to recover for:

  • The costs of medical treatment;
  • Any lost wages if you could not work because of your injuries;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Losses that affect your personal relationships;
  • Diminished quality of life; and,
  • Many other forms of compensation depending on the details of your case.  

Speak to a Virginia Car Accident Attorney About Your Legal Options 

If you would like more information about your legal remedies as an injured passenger, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to set up a free case evaluation with an experienced auto crash lawyer. Once we review your situation, we can advise you on your rights and develop a strategy to get the compensation you are entitled to by law.

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