If you were a passenger in a car wreck and suffered an injury, you may deserve compensation for those injuries. However, you may not know all of your options, and who you are entitled to bring your claim against. You need an experienced attorney who can help you explore your options.

What should you do as a passenger involved in a car wreck?

Report it! First, make sure the wreck is reported. You’ll need the police report as evidence that the wreck actually happened, that it happened as you say it did and who was involved.

Get Information! Second, be sure that you get the contact information for all drivers involved in the wreck. This will help you to know who to contact if it’s later determined that you have a claim. Third, document the wreck scene if you are able to.

Take pictures! Take photos of the damage to the vehicles, the road lines, and the traffic controls at the scene of  the wreck. 

Fourth, inform your own insurance company of the wreck.  

Many policies require that you advise your insurer of any wreck you are involved in within a certain period of time in order to file a claim under your policy. Even if you do not intend to use your own insurance policy, make sure that you notify them in the event that you need to use your own policy in the future. 

Lastly, make sure you get a physical exam from your primary care provider or another  physician. Your doctor can diagnose any injuries you suffered in the wreck even if you do not feel at first like you were injured.

Who can you bring a claim against?
You may be entitled to bring a claim against several possible parties, depending on the facts of the  wreck. One option is to bring a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in if that driver caused the wreck. But …

Guest-Passenger Statute
However, Alabama has a unique law that determines when a passenger can make a claim against the driver. 

The driver of another vehicle may be the responsible party if that driver negligently or recklessly collided with the vehicle you were in.

What if the liable driver does not have insurance?

If you have auto insurance, you may have coverage under your policy through uninsured motorist coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, then your own insurance may provide coverage for your injuries. Regardless of who bears responsibility for the wreck, you may also have the right to use your medical payments insurance coverage to help cover the cost of medical expenses related to the wreck. Working with an attorney can be crucial to determining the compensation you are entitled to.

What compensation can you receive?
You may be entitled to the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages and income, lost earning potential, loss of enjoyment, and pain and suffering.

  • Physical pain and mental anguish
  • Mental anguish–zone of danger
  • Permanent injuries or disfigurement
  • Aggravation of pre-existing condition
  • Injury aggravated by disease or other cause
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earnings