Passenger Injury Attorneys in Schuylkill County
What Are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car Crash?
Were you recently injured as a passenger in an auto accident? Are you confused about your rights or reluctant to bring a claim because a family member or friend was driving? Our Schuylkill County injury lawyers have represented many car accident passengers throughout Pennsylvania. We have the skill and ability to address the unique legal issues and the sensitive matter of "suing" someone you know.
For experienced legal counsel from a firm you can trust, call (888) 268-0023.
Filing a Claim as an Injured Passenger
Passengers who are injured in car, truck, and commercial vehicle accidents are covered in most scenarios. Our knowledgeable legal team can determine what remedies are available in your specific case. Clients often tell us that they don't want to sue their friend, parent, or relative. It is important to remember that this type of suit is essentially a claim against the driver's insurance, not a lawsuit against that person or his/her personal assets. At a minimum, you may need that driver's insurance to cover your medical bills and ongoing medical care.
You may be able to collect compensation even if:
- The driver is a member of your family
- The driver was at fault for the accident
- The driver did not have insurance
- You were not wearing a seat belt
- You were riding in the back of a pickup
Compensation for Passenger Injuries
By law, you are also entitled to seek compensation for lost wages and future earnings, plus damages for any permanent disability, unpaid medical bills, and your pain and suffering if you enjoy “full tort” status. Passengers often suffer different injuries than drivers, especially in older cars. Some older cars do not have dual air bags in the front seat, resulting in serious injuries to the head, face, and neck to passengers who strike the dashboard or windshield.
Back seat passengers are unprotected and vulnerable to:
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injuries
- Severe whiplash
- Facial injuries
- Brain trauma from hitting the seat back or window.
We work with clients and doctors to understand the extent of injuries and the long-term needs. Our Schuylkill County passenger injury attorneys would like to offer a free consultation to discuss your case, including home or hospital visits.
First Party Benefits in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania requires motorists to purchase “first party benefit” insurance, which is often called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in other states. PIP insurance provides no-fault coverage that uses the insured party’s own insurance provider to get medical benefits without factoring in liability for the crash. If you are a licensed motorist in the state and have purchased PIP insurance for yourself, then your policy could trigger if you are hurt as a passenger in someone else’s car, including that of a family member.
Your family member’s household policy for medical treatments could also come into play, and it could even provide benefits for lost wages. For pain and suffering damages and miscellaneous costs, though, you will likely need to find a policy with third-party coverage.
Can You Use UM/UIM Insurance?
You might not be able to sue for uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) benefits and third-party benefits under the same policy, though, as there may be exclusions for both claims. However, you probably can file a third-party claim if the family member driving the car can be proven to have been negligent at the time of the crash. Although, if another motorist is sharing the liability and blame for the accident and your injuries, then you might be able to pursue UM/UIM benefits against a separate claim against them.
All the Help You Need from One Law Firm
To truly understand our clients’ injuries and long-term needs after a crash, we can work with doctors and other experts as needed. It is one of many ways that The Law Offices of Anthony Urban, P.C. makes pursuing maximum damages in a passenger injury claim simpler. You will also appreciate our professional and courteous approach to communicating with your family member or friend who caused your crash because we want to get you the compensation you deserve without jeopardizing your relationship with them.