Not only drivers are hurt in a car accident. Passengers make up a large percentage of victims involved in car wrecks. If you were injured as a passenger, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries under Virginia law. However, you need to take steps to strengthen your claim. While some steps are identical to those you would take if you were the driver, a few are unique to you as a passenger.
Obtain Medical Treatment
Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you know you are hurt. Even if you do not believe you suffered any injuries, you should be examined by a doctor within a day or two of the accident. This protects your health if you suffered hidden injuries and helps avoid disputes with the insurance company when you file your claim.
Get Contact Information
You need to obtain the contact information for both drivers, their insurance companies, and any witnesses to the collision. While it may be uncomfortable to do this, obtain this information for the person who was driving the vehicle you occupied in case you need to file a claim with his insurance company.
Take photos with your cell phone camera of the damage to the vehicles, crash scene, tread marks, road conditions, injuries, and anything else you believe is important. This can help you prove who caused your accident if the insurance companies point the finger at each other’s drivers.
Call the Police
Even if neither of the drivers wants to involve law enforcement, you should call the police and obtain a copy of the police report. It can contain vital information such as:
- Contact information for the drivers, their insurance companies, and witnesses
- Drivers’ and witness’ statements
- Narration of how the accident occurred
- Officer’s conclusion as to who caused the crash
- Any traffic citations issued
Don’t Speak to the Drivers
While you may know not to speak to the other driver, you may not realize that you should be careful what you say to the family member, friend, or other person driving the vehicle you were in. This person may have been partially at fault, and you may need to file a claim with his insurance company. This can be awkward, but remember that you are seeking compensation from his insurance company and not him.
Retain a Skilled Car Accident Attorney Immediately
One of your first steps should be to hire a Norfolk experienced car accident lawyer. He can collect the evidence you need, file your claim, and negotiate your settlement so that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Were you or a family member injured as a passenger in an auto crash? We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured car accident victims. To learn how we can help you, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation today.