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Posted On September 24, 2013 Personal Injury

Your Questions Answered: What Do I Do If I Was a Passenger and Was Injured in a Car Accident That Was the Driver’s Fault?

The aftermath of a car accident can be especially confusing for victims who were passengers in the vehicle that caused the accident. As a passenger, you obviously weren’t at fault for the collision. It’s not as though you grabbed the wheel and caused the vehicle to veer out of its lane. You were as helpless to prevent a crash as anyone in the other vehicle or any eyewitness. On the other hand, you were with the at-fault party at the time of the crash. You may wonder if you even have the legal right to pursue a claim. If you do, does that mean you have to sue the driver – someone you know, quite possibly a friend or family member – personally?

The accident was a traumatic experience for you, and the last thing you need on top of your pain and financial worries is a host of unanswered questions. As a passenger, you can recover compensation, even if you were in the car that caused the crash. If you hire the right attorney – one who seeks money damages from insurance companies rather than individuals – you don’t even have to worry about your claim putting a financial burden on your friend or family member.

The Difference between a Claim and a Lawsuit

Before becoming involved in an accident, many people don’t know that there’s a difference between a claim and a lawsuit. You may not have to file a lawsuit at all to recover the compensation you deserve. With aggressive negotiations and diligent case preparation, experienced attorneys like ours can often attain the full amount of compensation that victims like you deserve by settling out of court. Across the nation, only two percent of personal injury (tort) claims ever have to go to trial. Avoiding a trial saves the expense of additional legal fees, prevents you from having to waste your valuable time in court, and is often less emotionally taxing.

If your case does require a lawsuit, you still don’t have to sue a friend or family member who was driving the car at the time the accident occurred. Instead, you sue the driver’s auto insurance company for damages covered by his or her policy. You’re seriously hurt, and the accident has put a lot of stress on your finances. There’s no reason not to pursue the compensation you deserve. The only one who benefits from you remaining silent and suffering without help is the insurance company, which is already profitable enough.