Passenger in an Auto Crash: What Rights Do You Have?

Passengers are susceptible to injuries in car accidents, and occasionally fatal collisions occur. As a passenger, you may have suffered a significant physical, emotional, and financial loss in an accident. Therefore, knowing your legal rights as a passenger in a crash is vital, and a Smyrna car accident lawyer can inform you of them.

If you get injured as a passenger in a car crash, you have the right to initiate a lawsuit, among other rights. This article explains a passenger’s rights in a car crash and how to proceed with your claim.

A Smyrna Car Accident Lawyer Explains Passengers’ Rights

Every passenger has rights, especially when they are involved in an accident. We explain some of such rights below.

Right to File a Personal Injury Claim and Receive Compensation

You can file a personal injury claim against the driver(s) who caused your accident if you can prove they are at fault. Therefore, request each driver’s insurance information and contact details before leaving the collision scene.

This information makes it easy for you to contact them later when you file a personal injury claim. In addition, Georgia is an at-fault state, so if your claim succeeds, the at-fault party will pay you monetary compensation.

Some of the compensation you are entitled to include:

Economic Damages

These are the actual financial losses that you incurred because of the accident. Economic losses have fixed monetary amounts, which implies that you can use invoices and receipts to verify these expenses. Furthermore, your attorney can help you estimate these bills.

Some of these expenses are:

  • Medical bills, including short and long-term treatment costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Cost of vehicle repairs or replacement

Non-Economic Damages 

Non-economic damages concern your personal experience with the accident. For instance, you might have experienced emotional trauma or become incapable of enjoying life.

Your attorney thus has a responsibility to attach dollar amounts to these non-financial consequences of your accident. You can get non-economic damages for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, and permanent disabilities.

Wrongful Death Damages

Sadly, some accidents result in fatalities. Indeed, money cannot replace a loved one who dies in an accident. However, you can recover damages to foot their burial and funeral expenses. In addition, suppose they incurred medical bills before dying. Then, you can also get these costs from the negligent party.

Right to an Attorney

You have the right to seek legal representation. A car accident attorney will represent your interest and ensure you receive the proper compensation. Nobody can deny you your right to consult a car accident lawyer in Smyrna, Georgia.

Who Is the At-Fault Driver in Your Injury Claim?

Car drivers are responsible for their passengers in Georgia. Under Georgia law, drivers must show reasonable caution to prevent endangering other road users, including those in their vehicles.

Any driver is responsible if they cause an accident while in breach of their duty of care or disobeying a traffic rule. The driver could be the one driving your vehicle or the driver of another car. If it is the driver of the other vehicle, you and the person driving you can hire the same law firm and seek compensation.

However, note that if you or your driver contributed to the accident somehow, it would affect the compensation you get. This is because of the comparative negligence doctrine. Learn more about it from our attorneys.

Car accident lawyer concept, scales and crashed toy cars

What to Do After a Car Accident

As a passenger in a car accident, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and improve your chances of winning a personal injury claim. They include the following:

  • Call 911

Always report the incident to the police if you have any injuries, fatalities, or damage. Ensure that there is a police report and ask how you may obtain a copy because it is crucial to your case.

  • Seek Medical Care

Visit a doctor because of your physical and emotional health. For example, getting medical attention and following doctors’ orders as soon as possible after a car crash helps prove that you were injured and that the accident caused your wounds.

  • Take Photographs

Take images of the whole scene of the accident, your wounds, and your damaged car using your phone or camera. Notably, snap the pictures from all angles. In addition, you can gather information about the collision, such as skid marks or property damage.

  • Gather Evidence From Witnesses

Talk to anyone that witnessed your accident and ask them for their contact information. Later, your lawyer will reach out and contact them for their testimony.

  • Obtain the Driver’s Information

Again, obtain the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance details.

  • Contact a Car Accident Attorney

After your accident, a lawyer is the best support system if you want to get compensation. An attorney will evaluate your claim and advise you on how to proceed. The sooner you see a lawyer, the better equipped you will be to defend your rights.

How Much Time Do I Have to Submit a Claim in Georgia?

According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. 9-3-33, injured passengers and grieving families have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Unfortunately, two years can pass far more quickly than you might expect. So, it is best to pursue a case immediately after the collision.

A car accident lawyer can keep you updated and will ensure everything is submitted on time, so you do not lose your compensation.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Smyrna, Georgia, Today! 

Speak with a competent personal injury law firm immediately if you sustain injuries as a passenger in a car accident. A lawyer will carefully examine the case’s facts to determine if you can file a compensation claim.

Our legal team at Jamie Ballard will handle your case appropriately. We also ensure you get the medical attention required for your psychological, emotional, and physical wounds. We work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid once you win your case.

In addition, our combined years of experience and legal knowledge make us the best firm to handle your case. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Georgia personal injury attorney.