What to do if you are injured in a car accident

Car accidents can be stressful, no matter how minor or large they are. You should immediately dial 911 if you are involved in an accident that results in injury to another person. Once the immediate injuries and medical needs are attended to, additional action with insurance companies may be needed to cover medical expenses.

You have many options for dealing with the aftermath of an accident as a passenger. It may be helpful to know what options you have and what needs immediate attention in order to reduce the stress associated with collisions.

What to do if your car is involved in an accident?

Safety is the number one priority. Focusing on each step individually can help you get through a stressful situation when you’re involved in a car crash.

Prioritize the following before you get insurance companies involved:

  1. Report the accident to police:For any type of accident, including one with injuries, most states require that you contact law enforcement. Even if the injuries are minor or not severe, it is important to contact police. This is important in the event that other drivers are not cooperative or injuries occur later.
  2. Obtain accident details:You should now keep a log of all pertinent information such as license plates, insurance information for all drivers, and photos of vehicle damage and the surrounding areas. You should also get the contact information and details of any witnesses, even if they are not drivers.
  3. Keep track of the details after the accidentEven if you are only recording the voice, it may be useful to take quick notes that can help later. You might want to take notes about who was hurt, what symptoms were experienced and which doctors were involved. You can also keep track of any expenses that you have to pay out of pocket as a result.
  4. Get immediate medical attentionAlthough injuries may appear minor at first, it is possible that injuries can develop several days later. It is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. This will ensure that you are safe and smooth the claim process.

Accidents can cause injuries

Although it may seem redundant to call for medical attention if injuries are not obvious, this is an important step. The ability to assess injuries is something that medical personnel are trained to do. This includes those that may appear a few days or even days later. Although injuries can take many forms and may be severe, there are some common injuries that are:

  • Whiplash
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the back
  • Neck pain
  • Scrapes and cuts

These are just a few possible injuries. Broken bones, internal bleeding and damage, or head injuries could all be possible. If any of these injuries are serious or life-threatening, you should seek medical attention. Insurers will be more concerned if your injuries exceed a certain level of seriousness. Depending on the seriousness of an injury, you may qualify for additional pain and suffering if you have no-fault insurance.

What to do if your passenger is hurt in a car accident?

You might be asking yourself, “What would you do if you were a passenger? In general, there are three types of insurance that can provide compensation for any property damage or medical expenses.You can file a claim for car accident damages with the at-fault driver. This could be done with your insurance carrier, or your own.

File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance

The first step in insurance is to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer. Since almost every state legally requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance, this is a viable option for passengers in a car accident.

The minimum coverage often covers property damage (PD), bodily injury liability (BI) or both. Bodily injury liability covers medical expenses associated with injuries sustained in an accident. The policy should only cover the minimum amount of legal driving if the at-fault driver is legally operating a vehicle. This applies to vehicle or property damage.

It is possible that the exact limits of an at-fault driver’s policy might be a bit more complex. The minimum BI for an individual may be as low as $25,000 or as high at $100,000 depending on where you live. Additional liability coverage may not be purchased by the at-fault driver beyond what is required by law. Your injuries or medical expenses may be severe and the limits of the at-fault driver may not be sufficient to cover them.

You can file a claim with your driver’s insurance

If your policy includes medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP), you might be able as a passenger to file a claim against your driver’s insurer. Some states require this coverage. However, not all states require it. These optional coverages can be added to your driver’s policy. Passenger coverage is available if the driver has them.

You can file a claim through the liability insurance if the driver of the vehicle you were hurt in is not covered by PIP or medical payments. Although this could increase their insurance premiums, it could allow them to pay for your medical bills that are not covered by their policy.

You can file a claim only for the difference between what the policy covered and what the at-fault driver did not. If the at-fault driver is liable for $50,000, but you have $60,000 in medical expenses, you can file a claim to get $10,000 reimbursement from your driver’s insurance.

How to file a claim with your insurance

Your own auto insurance policy is another option. You could be eligible for reimbursement if you have your own auto insurance policy that includes PIP and medical payment coverage.

Your health insurance may be able to help you with medical expenses. The auto insurance policy usually applies first, and then your health insurance company could help you with coverage for medical treatment.

Uninsured motorist coverage: When should you use it?

There are also times when uninsured motorist coverage may apply, including if you are the passenger. About 13% of all drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. If you are in an accident with another driver who doesn’t have insurance, and the accident is ruled to be the fault of the other driver, the uninsured motorist coverage will apply. This coverage would cover medical and therapy expenses, as well as lost wages.