Indiana Lawyers Representing Passengers Injured in Car Accidents
We will guide you through the claims process, start to finish
Car accidents are painful and disorienting, and getting the compensation you need to recover can be challenging. A lot of information is 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?
In Indiana, a passenger in a car accident has the right to compensation for costs like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, replacement services, and property damage, among other losses.
Common injuries sustained by passengers in car accidents include:
- Broken bones in the arms, wrists, hands, hips, and collarbone (clavicle).
- Neck and back pain or whiplash
- Pulled or torn tendons or muscles
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) like concussions, skull puncture, or cerebral hemorrhage
- Nerve damage and sciatica
- Facial and eye injuries or disfigurement
- Burns, cuts, bruises.
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Back injuries like herniated discs
Getting the full compensation you deserve from the insurance company, however, is often difficult. But, at no out-of-pocket expense to you, an experienced Vaughan & Vaughan Indiana car accident lawyer can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Injured in a car accident as a passenger? We can help.
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. However, the insurance company wants to settle for as little as they can get away with. They don’t care if you ever get better or that you recover enough damages to live a comfortable life. We do.
The Indiana car accident lawyers at Vaughan & Vaughan 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. We know how to get results and we are aggressive about getting you maximum compensation.
The injury claim process is a bit 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 Vaughan & Vaughan for a free case consultation.
What to do if you are injured in a car accident as a passenger
When you are a passenger in a car accident, there are many factors to consider before you can file a compensation claim. A car accident lawyer can help you sort this out. Factors include:
- Who was driving? If the driver of the car was a family member who you live with, then your claim may be different than if you were riding with someone who doesn’t live with you, depending on the insurance policy language.
- Who is at fault? If the car accident is caused by the other driver, you and the operator of the vehicle you were in may file a claim against the other driver’s car insurance.
If the motorist who was operating the vehicle that you were in is the one at fault, you may have to file a claim with their insurance. That may seem harsh but remember: Filing a claim draws compensation from the insurance company. It does not take money or assets away from the driver personally.
- Does the driver have Med Pay? This type of car insurance 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 car you were riding in has Med Pay, you should have access to that coverage.
- Is the policy big enough? Indiana is a “fault” state, so 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 may not be enough to cover the full cost. Trauma and emergency medical care, plus long-term treatment add up quickly. Your lawyer can identify all sources of compensation and aggressively pursue the maximum amount.
- What insurance coverage do you personally carry? Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim with your own car insurance or use your own health insurance to pay for crash-related treatment. But even though this is your insurance provider, do not expect them to be generous. They don’t care whether you’ve been a loyal customer for 10 years or you just signed a policy – 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.
What does a car accident settlement cover for passengers?
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 noneconomic damages.
- Economic damages are for tangible losses with objectively determined values like crash-related medical expenses, physical therapy, replacement services, lost wages, and car repairs.
- Noneconomic damages are for losses with a more subjective value like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of quality and enjoyment of life, among other things.
In the case of a fatal car accident, the surviving family may be entitled to funeral expenses and loss of companionship or guidance, as well.
Can a passenger be liable for a car accident?
Passengers are typically blameless in an 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 your actions are responsible for the crash, or the policy doesn’t cover your injuries, or that a lowball settlement is the “best they can do.”
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we do not play the insurance company’s games. We make them take your claim seriously from the start. If an adjuster won’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.
Free consultations for passengers in Indiana car accidents
Our Indiana car accident lawyers offer free case consultations to injured passengers in car accidents as well as families of fatal car accident victims. During your no-cost consultation, we can answer your crash-related legal questions, estimate your claim’s value, and help weigh your options for compensation.
We understand that finances are tight after a bad car accident. That’s why if you decide to hire us, you should know that there is no out-of-pocket or upfront charge for our services. Our fee is an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement or verdict. We only get paid if we win. We will take on the insurance company while you heal.
Do not delay in reaching out. There is a statute of limitations (legal deadline) on your claim, and we need to investigate before important evidence dries up and witnesses’ memories fade. A member of our team is available to hear from you day or night. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation today.