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Female Passenger Injured Car Accident

What Rights Do I Have as a Passenger Involved in a Belleville, IL Car Accident?

When it comes to being a passenger in a car crash in Belleville, IL, most people rarely think about their rights until they find themselves in the midst of a harrowing accident. The experience of being in a crash as a passenger can be traumatizing, leaving individuals wondering about their rights, whom to trust, and how to seek compensation for their injuries. In this comprehensive blog post, we aim to shed light on the rights of passengers involved in car accidents, empowering you to make informed decisions and secure the compensation you deserve.

Passengers, like drivers, are entitled to compensation for injuries sustained in car accidents. Regardless of whether the driver of your vehicle was at fault or if another driver was responsible, your rights remain unchanged. Every person traveling in a vehicle is owed the same level of care by all drivers on the road.

However, several essential steps must be taken before you can make a claim or receive compensation, and it all starts with proving negligence.

Proving Negligence and Fault as a Passenger in a Car Accident

A Duty Must be Owed to You: The driver must owe you a duty, which includes driving safely and not endangering your personal safety. This duty is typically straightforward to establish, as laws mandate that drivers should operate their vehicles safely, such as the Illinois Vehicle Code’s requirement for drivers to exercise due care to avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians.

The Duty Must be Breached: Unlike when you are the driver, it is usually simpler to prove that the duty was breached when you are a passenger. In many cases, one or more of the involved drivers will be assigned fault. However, things can become more complicated if it was a single-vehicle crash with no at-fault party, such as if the accident was caused by a wild animal darting in front of the vehicle.

Your Injuries Were Directly Caused by the Breach of Duty: To build a successful claim, you must demonstrate that your injuries directly resulted from the at-fault driver’s breach of duty. Collecting evidence promptly is crucial. This includes traffic camera footage, witness statements, photographs and videos from the accident scene and the car’s interiors, police reports, and medical records or testimony from healthcare professionals verifying the severity of your injuries. This is particularly vital for injuries to the back, head, and neck, which may not exhibit immediate symptoms but can have profound and long-lasting effects on your life.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer: Seeking legal counsel from a personal injury attorney after being injured in a car accident is a prudent decision. Some may question the necessity of hiring a lawyer when they have insurance, but it’s essential to understand that insurance companies do not always prioritize their policyholders’ needs.

Insurance companies will often attempt to minimize payments to their customers, and passengers like you may find themselves on the receiving end of limited coverage, especially if multiple passengers were injured in the crash. Navigating the complexities of dealing with insurance companies while recovering from serious injuries can be overwhelming and may result in exploitation.

Hiring a personal injury attorney who can hold insurance companies accountable is your best course of action to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve while focusing on your recovery.

Calculating Pain and Suffering as a Passenger

Injuries sustained as a passenger in a car accident can have life-altering consequences. They may lead to extended periods of work absence and permanent disabilities, affecting your quality of life and your ability to engage in daily activities. Insurance companies often make low settlement offers that fail to account for these intangible losses, including grief, pain, suffering, and a diminished quality of life.

Consulting with a personal injury attorney who possesses extensive experience in calculating pain and suffering, is crucial to ensuring that your compensation reflects the full extent of your damages. Don Cary Collins, Attorney at Law will work closely with you to secure the payment you rightfully deserve.

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