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What if I’m a Passenger in a Wreck ?

If you are injured as a passenger in a car accident you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. Depending on the facts of your case you may entitled to seek compensation from any and all drivers involved in the accident, including the driver of the car you were riding in.

Proving liability

Tennessee is an “at fault” state. That means that the driver responsible for the accident will also be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Because Tennessee is an at fault state, proving liability will be an essential element of your claim. One benefit to being a passenger in the wreck is that you will most likely have an easier time proving liability than you would if you had been driving one of the cars involved in the accident. Despite any difficulties you may face in proving another’s liability, you will at least be able to prove that the accident was not your fault as you were not behind the wheel.

As mentioned, you are entitled to recover compensation for your injuries from any and all liable parties. If you were involved in a one-car collision, perhaps the car you were riding in drove off the road and hit a telephone poll, then proving liability should be relatively straightforward. If there were two or more cars involved in the collision, determining which driver is at fault will be more difficult. To be sure, it is quite possible that both drivers contributed to the accident and therefore both are liable.

Filing a claim

In order to recover compensation for injuries sustained as a passenger in a car accident you must file a third party claim with liable party’s insurance carrier. If more than one driver’s carelessness contributed to the accident then you should file a third party claim with both insurance companies. It is called a third party claim because you are filing a claim against someone else’s insurance policy, as opposed to your own.

When filing a third party claim you should be prepared to supply certain information to the insurance company. You will need to know the name and insurance policy number of the insured driver. You may also be required to submit various records like any accident reports detailing the facts of the case and any medical records that help to prove your injuries.

Proving injuries

Just because you can disprove your own fault as a passenger in a car accident does not mean that you will automatically receive a settlement offer. Like any auto accident or personal injury case, you will still need to prove that you sustained injuries and that those injuries resulted from the accident. You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible following the accident and be sure to retain copies of your medical records and hospital bills to substantiate your injury claims.

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