A passenger in a car during an accident has just as much of a right to file a passenger injury claim as a driver in a car accident. However, depending on the nature of the accident, filing a passenger injury claim can be very difficult.
Common Types of Passenger Injuries
Most cars on the road today come equipped with passenger-side airbags to reduce the risk of head trauma in a head-on collision. However, even with airbags there can be trauma to the head, neck, and face during deployment. Whiplash is also a common passenger neck injury caused by the abrupt stopping force of the car.
Lacerations from shattered windows or cuts where the seatbelt pressed into the arm or chest can occur if the accident was severe.
Also very common in high-impact crashes are the following.
- Broken bones
- Strained or sprained muscles
In catastrophic accidents, spinal cord injury can cause paralysis, and severe head trauma can cause cognitive dysfunction.
Passenger Injury Claims and Car Insurance
A passenger’s ability to file an injury claim will depend on the car insurance situation and the liability for the accident. If the driver of your car caused the accident, then you will file a claim against that driver’s insurance policy.
If the accident occurred with one or more other vehicles, the passenger would file a claim with all drivers’ insurance companies. First, someone must admit fault. Then you can be compensated as per the fault rules. For instance, if the driver of the car the passenger was in was found to be 25 percent at fault, the passenger would recover 75 percent of his or her damages from the other driver’s insurance company.
When there are multiple passengers in a vehicle, the passenger injury claims become even more so. All passengers have a right to file an injury claim, but if the total value of their claims exceeds the at-fault driver’s policy limits, the injured passengers will have to settle for whatever they can obtain from the claim.
Hiring an Iowa Car Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Most insurance claims focus mainly on the driver and can sometimes overlook a passenger’s injuries. Especially if you do not have car insurance, or if you are in a multi-passenger car with other injured passengers, you need an attorney.
The injury attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair are here to help injured Iowans level the playing field between passengers and insurance companies. Don’t let your passenger injury claim go overlooked in the chaotic aftermath of a car accident. Call us today at 641-792-3595 or contact us online to schedule a FREE consultation regarding your case.