You were merely in the wrong car at the wrong time and are now, unfortunately, nursing injuries because of a car accident that wasn’t in any way your fault. You might wonder if you can be compensated for your injuries if you were not one of the drivers in a crash. Fortunately, passengers, like drivers who have suffered injuries in an auto accident, are entitled to pursue compensation for their financial losses, injuries, and related damages. Likewise, passengers who suffer injuries in an accident typically have an easier time recovering compensation from at-fault parties. This is because passengers usually do not have to face defenses claiming they did something to cause the crash. Now, you may wonder how much money you can recover in a car accident as a passenger. In most cases, how much compensation you can recover will depend on the extent of your specific losses or damages and the insurance coverage of the responsible driver.
Your Economic DamagesSerious injuries stemming from a car accident could leave you with significant economic damages. These financial losses usually include:
Lost EarningsYou might have sustained serious injuries that are preventing you from going back to work, whether temporarily or permanently. The amount you can recovery for wage loss will primarily depend on:
- How much you were earning at the time of your injuries
- The duration of time you were (or will be) out of work
- Loss of any fringe benefits, bonuses or other compensation
Medical BillsMedical expenses can quickly pile up after a car accident. Luckily, you can pursue monetary compensation for your medical bills. Depending on your specific situation and injuries, your medical bills might include:
- Medical Treatment—Depending on your injuries you may visits with doctors, therapists and other specialists to help you get back to health. Particularly if your injuries require surgery, the medical treatment and therapy costs will be much more extensive.
- Diagnostic Tests—Your medical providers may order various diagnostic tests to help them in diagnosing your injuries, determine their extent, and keep track of your recovery. This could include imaging like X-Rays and MRI’s as well other forms of testing to identify the nature of of your injuries.
- Hospitalization Costs—Being admitted to a hospital can be very costly, particularly when extended stays are required.
- Emergency Services—Besides the ambulance transport, which is costly, you may also have to pay for emergency treatment and related services in the emergency room.
- Various Therapies—Once you’ve left the hospital or as you recuperate in the hospital, your medical provider may also prescribe specific therapies to help you recover from your car accident injuries. Depending on your unique circumstances, these therapies may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, and/or psychological therapy.
Your Pain and Suffering DamagesAlthough most damages related to car accidents are easily ascertainable, such as the financial damages discussed previously, pain and suffering damages are not so easy to calculate. Generally speaking, damages for pain and suffering will include suffering for physical pain you endured because of your injuries, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. Pain and suffering damages can include losing the ability to enjoy the activities you once loved, psychological or emotional problems, and loss of companionship.
The Harm You Experienced Plays a Huge Role in How Much Money You Can RecoverThe compensation passengers in motor vehicle accidents could obtain will depend on how much harm the injured victims suffered. Also, while every case is different and will have very different circumstances, in general, the more severe the injuries and losses, the higher the compensation amount. For example, let’s say that one passenger suffered a broken arm (and no other complications), and another passenger sustained trauma to the head that resulted in a severe brain injury. In this scenario, the passenger with the broken arm will receive a lower compensation amount than the passenger who suffered a brain injury. This is because the past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering damages of the passenger suffering from a brain injury will be substantially greater than the passenger nursing a broken arm. On the other hand, a broken arm is just a minor inconvenience when compared with a serious brain injury.
Who’s Liable for the Car Accident?Car accident claims could get very complicated, particularly when an injured passenger might be entitled to seek compensation from various sources. Most of the time insurance carriers for the responsible parties will do their best to reduce liability on their insured policyholder to decrease the amount of compensation they must pay. A car accident lawyer can help an injured passenger recover financial compensation from:
- The driver operating the car the passenger was riding in
- The vehicle owner of the car the passenger was riding in if the driver wasn’t the owner
- The other driver (or vehicle owner) of the other vehicle involved in the car accident
- The passenger’s insurance policy (if applicable)