Being a passenger injured in a car accident is an extremely stressful situation to be in. You were not the one operating the motor vehicle but you ended up being the one hurt anyways. So now what do you do? How to do you recover the losses that you have suffered from what was supposed to be a simple car ride?
For most people, suing the driver, who may be a close friend, seems a rather distasteful proposition but is that your only course of action? South Carolina is one of many states that have fault-based liability. Simply put, South Carolina’s fault-based liability laws state that each individual driver is responsible for the injuries and/or damages that he causes during a car accident. Here are some tips on what to do if you suffer from a passenger injury after a car accident in the state of South Carolina and when you should contact a South Carolina personal injury attorney.
Filing a Claim Against Your Auto Insurance
If the driver of the car you were in is the driver that is deemed at-fault for the car accident then you have every right to file a claim against their current insurance policy. The portion of the driver’s insurance that deals with liability coverage is what will be used to cover any passenger injury such as medical costs, lost wages claims, and pain and suffering as long as it does not exceed the policy’s pre-set limits.
The good news here is that because you are filing a claim against the driver’s insurance and not filing a lawsuit against them, this should not cause the driver any additional strain, financial or otherwise. This is the reason why liability coverage exists. All you are doing here is seeking financial recompensation from the insurance company for injuries you have sustained in a car accident for which you were not at fault.
If your claim exceeds the pre-set limitations of the driver’s liability insurance or if your insurance company denies you claim, then you should contact a South Carolina personal injury attorney.
File a Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance
If the driver of the other vehicle involved in the car accident is found to be to be the one at fault, then you would file a claim against their insurance policy instead. Your claim would still be held to the pre-set limitations on the other driver’s liability insurance.
Seeking any passenger injury claim beyond that pre-set amount would likely mean filing a lawsuit to claim the rest of your damages. If you find out that is the case, you should contact a personal injury attorney in South Carolina as soon as possible.
File a Claim Against Your Own Driver’s Insurance
In this situation, an injured passenger may be able to file a claim against the medical payments portion of their own insurance policy. This portion of your insurance is not based on liability and may still be able to offer you coverage as a passenger in a third party vehicle car accident.
Unfortunately, losses like lost wages and pain and suffering will not be included in this type of coverage. It will only allow for medical expenses. To try and obtain compensation for your remaining losses, you would have to try one of the previous two options or contact a personal injury attorney and discuss your passenger injury options with him.
South Carolina Car Accident Injury Attorney
Here at Nye Law Group, we have a staff of dedicated, hard-working attorneys that know all the ins and outs of today’s legal system. If you have recently suffered a passenger injury in South Carolina and are seeking compensation for your losses please reach out to us. We would love to go over your case with you in a free consultation. Call Nye Law Group today at (912) 200-5230 and speak with one of practicing attorneys today.