Augusta Premier Personal
Injury Attorneys

Recovering Compensation as a Passenger in a Car Accident

November 28, 2021Car Accident

Car accidents can result in severe physical, financial, and emotional hardship for all parties involved, including drivers, pedestrians, and passengers. If you are injured in a car accident as a passenger, you have the right to hold the at-fault driver accountable and recover compensation to pay for your losses. In these situations, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can guide you through the litigation process and secure the compensation you deserve.

Georgia Car Insurance Requirements

Like most states, Georgia follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accidents. Drivers who are responsible for these collisions must pay for their victims’ losses. To uphold this financial obligation, all Georgia drivers must carry the following amounts of liability insurance.

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person per accident
  • $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

Motorists have the right to purchase higher amounts of coverage if they wish. They may also invest in additional policies, such as uninsured motorist insurance, to cover their losses in case of an unexpected event. 

Legal Options for Injured Passengers

As a passenger in a car accident, you have the right to hold a negligent motorist accountable through a car accident claim and recover compensation for the losses you sustained in the accident. These damages may include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Like most states, Georgia follows a fault-based system when determining compensation after a car accident. Drivers who cause a collision are financially responsible for the losses of their victims, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. To uphold this financial responsibility, Georgia drivers must carry certain amounts of liability insurance.

If you are a passenger injured in a car accident, you have several options to recover compensation.

  • You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, the at-fault driver may be a third party or the person who was driving the vehicle you were in.
  • You can also file a claim with an Augusta personal injury lawyer in Georgia civil court. Most car accident claims begin in the insurance stage and progress to a lawsuit if the process is unsuccessful. There are certain situations where you may want to initiate a lawsuit from the beginning.
  • If the at-fault driver does not have the appropriate coverage, you could also file a claim under your own insurance. However, you must hold the right policies, such as underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance or collision coverage. 

If you are unsure what to do after a car accident, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. A Georgia car accident attorney can evaluate your case, identify your optimal path to compensation, and help strategize your next steps. They can evaluate your claim and help you identify which pathway is right for your case.

Potential Compensation for Georgia Car Accident Victims

Passengers in Georgia car accidents have the right to collect the same types of compensation as other injured victims. There are two main forms of monetary damages: economic and non-economic. While economic damages involve the financial, tangible losses you sustained, non-economic damages refer to your physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Common types of compensation available to Georgia passengers include the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Disability accommodations
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress
  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Depression and anxiety

What to Do as a Passenger After a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident as a passenger, it is important to stay calm and seek help as soon as possible.

  • First, call 911 if the driver has not already done so. Speak to the responding officer and collect his or her name and badge number so you can locate the report later.
  • Next, seek medical attention, even if you do not feel injured. Save all of your medical records—these documents will be crucial evidence in your claim.
  • If you are able, document evidence at the scene. Photograph any vehicle damage, visible injuries, the location of the cars at the accident scene, and other key details.
  • Collect contact, license, and insurance information from each driver involved in the accident. Keep your interaction brief and do not make any statements about your injuries.
  • If any witnesses are in the area, ask for their contact details.

Do not speak to any drivers or their insurance companies after the collision. Once you receive medical treatment, contact an Augusta, Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and legal options.

How to Prove a Car Accident Claim as an Injured Passenger

As an injured passenger, your path to recovery will be very similar to how drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other injured parties secure compensation. During the insurance or lawsuit process, you will need to supply sufficient evidence that the at-fault driver caused the accident.

When you file an insurance claim, a company representative will investigate the collision and review evidence from all relevant parties. At the conclusion of the case, the representative will decide whether you are eligible for compensation and how much your award should be. You and your attorney will need to supply evidence and engage in negotiations with the company to reach a sufficient outcome.

During the personal injury litigation process, you will need to provide enough evidence to support the following four facts.

  • The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
  • The at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act.
  • The at-fault driver’s breach of duty caused your accident and resulting injuries.
  • You sustained damages in the accident that you can claim in your lawsuit.

An Augusta car accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to establish each of these elements and build a strong case for your right to compensation. As soon as possible following your accident, contact an attorney to discuss your case and strategize your optimal path to maximum recovery.