What if you are a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident in Washington, D.C.?
Being injured as a passenger in a car crash can be a traumatic experience. Not only are you dealing with the pain and injuries from the accident, but you also have to deal with the aftermath – insurance claims, medical bills, and more. If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Washington, DC car accident lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation. We value the attorney-client relationship, and we will work to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.
The Liable Party in Your Insurance Claim
The first step in filing an insurance claim is determining who is liable for the accident. In most cases, the insurer of the driver of the car you were in will be held responsible. However, there are some circumstances where another party may be held liable.
If you are a passenger in a car accident, you may file a claim with your driver’s insurance policy, the other driver’s insurance policy, and in some cases, both insurance policies.
The Driver of the Car
As soon as you ride with another person in a car, they are considered responsible for your safety. If the driver of the vehicle you were in caused the accident, they may be held liable for your injuries resulting from the accident. In addition, regardless of fault, the driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance may cover your medical expenses.
In Virginia, Maryland, or in the District of Columbia, the driver will be held liable if they were at fault for the accident. If the other driver is at fault, their insurance company will be responsible for your injuries.
In some cases, when your driver is at fault, they may not have enough insurance to cover the costs of your injuries. When their insurance coverage proves insufficient, you may pursue compensation through your own insurance. This is called underinsured motorist coverage.
The Driver of the Other Vehicle
If the other car driver caused the accident, you would likely file a claim with their insurance company. The insurance company will then pay compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering up to the policy limit. If your damages exceed the driver’s policy limit, you may be able to recover additional compensation by making a claim against your driver’s underinsured motorist coverage and/or your own underinsured motorist coverage.
What Happens If Both Drivers Are At Fault?
In some cases, both drivers may be held liable for the accident, or it may be unclear who is responsible for causing the accident. To get full compensation, you can file a claim against both insurers. Often, you will have to file a lawsuit in this situation because the two drivers may each dispute that they were at fault.
What Happens If the Drivers Don’t Have Insurance?
If the drivers involved in the accident do not have insurance, you may need to file a claim under your own car insurance policy.
Suppose one or both drivers do not have insurance or don’t have enough insurance to cover your losses. In that case, you might be able to file a claim under your own insurance policy if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
Your Own Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, you can use it to pay for medical care related to the accident. Your policy will likely cover some of the costs associated with your injuries, such as hospitalization, surgery, and medication. However, you will still be responsible for any deductibles and copayments. In some cases, your health insurance company may seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Can Passengers Be Held Liable for Car Accidents?
As a passenger, you are not usually held liable for an accident. However, the responsible driver’s insurance policy may try to dismiss your claim in some situations. If you are a passenger in a car accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish negligence and other types of liability.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has obtained more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the most respected attorney-ranking service organization in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
If I File a Claim, What Damages Can I Recover?
If you are successful in your claim or personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A lawyer will be able to advise you of the types of compensation you may be entitled to and help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
The best way to find out what your case might be worth is to speak with an attorney with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our accident lawyers have obtained settlements for various car accident cases.
Here are a few of our case results:
- $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
- $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
- $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
- $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
- $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
- $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
Contact a Washington D.C. Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.