Pursuing Compensation When You Were a Passenger in an Auto Accident
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jun 25, 2019 in Auto Accident
The time after an auto accident is confusing enough for the drivers of both vehicles. When there are passengers involved, they often are uncertain about how to deal with their damages and how to get their hands on financial compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
At Rizk Law, we help victims of car accidents pursue the full amount of compensation they are entitled after a collision. Our experienced Portland car accident lawyers can explain the law to you and your legal options for getting compensation for your damages in a free legal consultation.
The Driver's Insurance Policy
Oregon law recognizes the right of passengers to recover compensation for any injuries or financial damages they sustain in an accident where they were not at fault. As the passenger, you should be covered by the driver's insurance policy. Most insurance policies cover any passengers in the vehicles and the drivers of other cars.
However, many injured passengers make the mistake of agreeing to settle with the driver rather than through the insurance company. The driver may try to convince an injured passenger not to file an insurance claim so that his or her insurance costs will not increase. However, this is usually not a good idea because many people do not have the financial resources necessary to pay for the full extent of damages that an injured passenger sustains.
When you are a passenger in a vehicle, you may personally know the driver. He or she may be your relative, friend or coworker. Many injured passengers feel bad about suing someone they know. It is important to remember that, as an injured passenger, you are not making a claim against the driver personally, but against his or her insurance company. Your friend or relative pays the insurance company to insure his or her vehicle, so any action you take is against the insurance company and you are simply availing yourself of available insurance coverage. This is why the insurance policy is in place.
Your Own Insurance
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Oregon is similar to no-fault insurance. If you are injured in an accident, your PIP insurance covers your damages, including medical bills and loss of income resulting from your injuries.
PIP coverage typically offers up to 12 months of funds or $15,000 while you recover. PIP insurance may cover up to 70 percent of your wages, for a total of $3,000 per month for up to one year. This coverage is available even if you were at fault for the accident.
However, it is not uncommon for a passenger's insurance company to deny all or part of his or her PIP claim. This is why having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can be a huge advantage. Insurance companies are not concerned about paying victims all of the compensation they deserve, even if the victim is their own client. They stay in business and turn a profit by paying out as little compensation as possible. As a business, the insurance company is focused on making money.
If you were injured as a passenger in an accident and would like help negotiating a fair settlement, the experienced lawyers at Rizk Law can communicate with the insurance companies and appeal a denied claim.
Oregon law allows injured passengers to stack different insurance coverage to cover the full extent of their damages. You can make multiple insurance claims for the same accident. In addition to seeking compensation under the driver's insurance policy, you may be able to use your own insurance policy or the policy of another member of the household where you live to recover additional compensation.
When a catastrophic injury occurs, it is important to stack coverage since the limits of a single policy may not fully cover the damages you sustained in an accident. Catastrophic injuries may require extensive medical treatment or surgery, so it is important that you have access to as much compensation as possible.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you were injured as a passenger in a vehicle, you may have the right to recover compensation for the damages that you sustained, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced legal team at Rizk Law will work diligently to secure your maximum amount of compensation. We will negotiate with the insurance companies and guide you through every step in the process.
We charge no upfront fees and work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no risk to contacting us to find out more about your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.