Car accidents can be incredibly painful and disorienting. If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, getting the compensation you need can be challenging. There’s a lot of information available about what to do after a car accident if you are the driver, but what if you were the passenger riding in a friend’s car?
A passenger in a car accident has the right to pursue damages for costs like medical expenses, lost wages, and other setbacks. However, recovering fair compensation can be extremely difficult without an experienced car accident attorney.
An Indiana passenger injuries car accident lawyer from Vaughan and Vaughan can use their legal expertise to make your insurance claim successful.
Passenger Injuries an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Can File a Claim for
At Vaughan and Vaughan, we’ve pursued accident claims for the wrongfully injured for over 100 years. During that time, we’ve seen almost every type of car accident injury possible. We know how your condition can affect your health, finances, and personal life.
Our personal injury lawyers can use their knowledge to pursue the settlement you need to treat your injuries and lessen their impact on your livelihood. An Indiana passenger injuries car accident attorney from our legal team can seek compensation for any of the following physical injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) like concussions, skull punctures, or cerebral hemorrhage
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Broken bones in the arms, wrists, hands, hips, and collarbone (clavicle)
- Internal injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Pulled or torn tendons or muscles
- Nerve damage and sciatica
- Facial and eye injuries or disfigurement
- Burns, cuts, bruises
Getting the damages you deserve after an auto accident can be challenging, especially if you’re experiencing painful injuries. Fortunately, an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer from our team can help you get the justice and compensation you’re owed.
Average Settlement for Injures Passengers
There is no single average settlement for a passenger in a car accident. Your recovery can easily reach tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity and duration of your injuries.
That being said, the insurance company will likely try to settle for as little as they can get away with. They don’t care if you ever get better or recover enough damages to live a comfortable life. We do. While we can’t promise a six-figure settlement, we can fight for the compensation you need to treat your injuries and live your life to the fullest.
Damages You Might Receive from a Fair Settlement
In Indiana, passengers injured in car accidents can be compensated for the same losses as a driver, which means you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages make up for tangible losses with objectively determined values, such as:
- Treatment expenses
- Cost of prescription medication
- Cost of physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability caused by long-term injuries and permanent disabilities
- Cost of property damage repair
Non-economic damages can compensate for losses with more subjective values, like:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
You might be entitled to wrongful death damages if your family member or spouse was involved in a fatal crash. A passenger injuries car accident lawyer in Indiana can evaluate your situation and determine if you’re eligible to file a lawsuit for the loss of your loved one.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit for Fatal Passenger Injuries
Dealing with the tragic loss of a family member can be indescribably painful, but taking legal action can give you the justice and financial support you need to keep your sanity. Depending on the burdens and losses you’ve faced due to your loss, you could receive the following damages from a wrongful death suit:
- The decedent’s final medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support and services
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Loss of guidance
How an Attorney Can Help Your Claim
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident while riding in the passenger seat, there are many factors to consider before you can file a compensation claim. A passenger injuries car accident attorney from Indiana can help you sort out the important aspects of your case.
They’ll do their best to answer the following important questions:
Does Your Relationship to the Driver Matter?
If the driver of the car was a family member you live with, then your claim may be different than if you were riding with someone who doesn’t live with you. We can review your insurance policy to determine if your relationship with the driver affects your claim.
Who Is at Fault?
If the other driver caused the car accident, you and the operator of the vehicle you were in might file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If the driver of your vehicle was at fault, you might have to file a claim with their insurance.
That may seem harsh, but filing a claim draws compensation from the insurance company. It does not take personal money or assets away from the driver.
Does the Driver Have Med Pay?
This type of car insurance coverage is not required in Indiana, but many drivers choose to purchase it anyway. Med Pay (medical payments) helps cover car accident-related medical expenses that are not covered by a typical car insurance policy. If the driver you were riding with has Med Pay, you should have access to that coverage.
Is the Policy Large Enough?
Indiana is a “fault” state, which means you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s bodily injury policy, a type of insurance required by Indiana law. The minimum a driver must carry for bodily injury is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
If you were in a serious accident, this might not be enough to cover the full cost. Trauma care, emergency medical attention, and long-term treatment can add up quickly. Your Indiana passenger injuries car accident lawyer can identify all sources of compensation and aggressively pursue the maximum amount.
Can You File an Insurance Claim With Your Own Carrier?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim with your own car insurance carrier or use your own health insurance to pay for crash-related treatment. However, do not expect them to be generous just because they’re your provider.
They don’t care whether you’ve been a loyal customer for 10 years or just signed a policy because the goal of an insurance adjuster is to protect the company’s bottom line. It is wise to have a lawyer represent you in all dealings with any insurance company, even your own.
The personal injury claim process is slightly different for passengers compared to drivers. If you were a passenger in an Indiana car accident, get answers to your crash-related insurance and legal questions. Contact a passenger injuries car accident lawyer from our firm in Indiana for a free case consultation.
Can You Be Held Liable for the Collision?
Passengers are typically blameless in a traffic accident, but you can still expect insurance companies to do just about anything to get out of giving you the compensation you deserve. To justify a small settlement, an insurance adjuster might assert that you were responsible for the crash, the policy doesn’t cover your injuries, or that a lowball settlement is the “best they can do.”
We won’t play the insurance company’s games. We’ll make them take your claim seriously from the start. If an adjuster doesn’t negotiate in good faith, our experienced Indiana car accident lawyers will take them to court, where our law firm has recovered millions of dollars for injured accident victims.
Filing Deadline for Passenger Injury Car Accident Lawsuits in Indiana
In Indiana, there is a statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits. According to Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, you have two years from the crash date to file a personal injury lawsuit. You could forfeit your right to fair compensation if you miss your deadline.
An experienced lawyer in Indiana can ensure your passenger injuries car accident suit is submitted on time, but you must act fast. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more likely they’ll be able to satisfy the state’s statute of limitations.
We Won’t Charge Upfront or Out-of-Pocket Fees
We understand that finances can be tight after a bad car accident. That’s why if you decide to hire us, we won’t charge any out-of-pocket or upfront charge for our services. Instead, we’ll take an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement or verdict.
This payment method is known as a contingency fee. If you have any questions about our payment policy, we can provide the answers during your free consultation.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Our car accident lawyers offer free case consultations to injured passengers in car accidents and families of fatal car accident victims. During your no-cost initial consultation, we can answer your legal questions, estimate your claim’s value, and help weigh your legal options.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we are committed to helping injured accident victims get their lives back on track after a bad car accident. Our law firm has been serving the communities of Indianapolis, Lafayette, Carmel, Anderson, and all of Indiana for more than 100 years. Contact us today to speak to an experienced Indiana passenger injuries car accident lawyer.