What to Do As an Injured Passenger
Being involved in a traffic accident can be an emotional and overwhelming experience. Unfortunately, these incidents are becoming more and more common. According to the Florida Department for Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, there were 340,918 total crashes statewide in 2020, with over 212,000 persons injured and 3,335 fatalities. When you are hurt as a passenger in a car accident, you have the right to pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries. The Hoag Law Firm is dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to auto accident victims and their families.
Attorney Brian Hoag and his legal staff can review and investigate the surrounding details of your case and explore your available legal options to recover damages. As an experienced Florida personal injury attorney, Brian can fight diligently to protect your rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The Hoag Law Firm is proud to represent clients throughout Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Land O' Lakes, Florida — so call today to schedule a free case evaluation.
What to Do If You Get Injured as a Passenger
The moments following a traffic crash can be confusing to sort through. If you’re not careful, you can inadvertently hurt your case or your injury claim by saying or doing the wrong thing. If you're involved in an accident as a passenger, here's what you can do to protect yourself and preserve your chances at successfully filing a personal injury claim:
- Carefully exit the car and get to safety. Help any other passengers to safety as well, if possible.
- Call 911 to get immediate medical help and treatment for your injuries.
- Report the incident to the police or law enforcement.
- Gather as much information as possible, including your driver and the other driver's name, license numbers, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information.
- Obtain a copy of the police report and document all important details including any witness statements and testimonies, and photos of the accident scene.
- Document all of your medical treatments, expenses, doctor's appointments, and your personal account of the physical and emotional trauma you have experienced.
- Inform your insurance company about the accident.
- Retain an experienced personal injury attorney to help negotiate a settlement with the insurer or file a personal injury claim, if necessary.
Filing a Claim
If you've been injured as a passenger in a traffic accident, here are your available options for filing an injury claim:
- File a claim with the other driver's insurance company
- File a claim through your driver's insurance policy
- File a claim through your own insurance provider
Although Florida has historically been a no-fault state, recent legislation may change that — so it’s important that you speak with an experienced attorney who understands current Florida law regarding personal injury claims.
When involved in an accident, your percentage of fault may determine the amount of damages you are likely to receive. However, Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. Under the state's comparative fault laws, the plaintiff's contribution to his or her own injury will not bar them from recovering damages. However, the amount of damage that may be collected will be reduced by their fault percentage.
For example, if you were injured as a passenger in an accident, but the court rules that you were 10% at fault for the accident because you were waving your arms outside the window causing a distraction, your compensation will be reduced by 10% to account for your level of fault. If the court awards you $10,000 in compensation, you will only be eligible to collect 90% — or $9,000 — in damages.
Get Help from an Experienced
Personal Injury Attorney
Getting injured in any kind of accident can have a devastating impact on your financial, mental, and physical well-being. However, passengers and drivers may be unable to have the same firm represent them to avoid a conflict of interest. Therefore, if you've been hurt in an auto accident, it is important that you retain an experienced Florida personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
The Hoag Law Firm has the resources and experience needed to assist and represent accident victims in their personal injury claims. As your legal counsel, Attorney Brian Hoag will:
- Fight vigorously to protect your rights and represent your best interests.
- Review every last detail of your case and conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the events that led to the accident.
- Gather all relevant information, necessary pieces of evidence, and required documentation.
- Work to prove fault and establish liability.
- Determine the full extent of your injuries and estimate case value.
- Handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance provider.
- Helps negotiate a fair settlement with any insurance companies involved.
- Take additional legal action, if necessary, in an effort to hold the responsible party accountable.
Contact the Hoag Law Firm today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. Attorney Brian Hoag will do everything he can to protect your rights and provide you with the reliable representation you need and deserve. He is proud to serve clients across Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Land O' Lakes, Florida — so call today to learn more about how he can help you with your case!