What If You Are a Passenger in a Car Accident?

Madeleine Jones
September 26, 2018

Many resources are available for drivers after a car accident – but what if you were a passenger? You also may have suffered serious personal injuries in the collision and are looking for a solution for your damages. In Nevada, you have the right to seek damage recovery through the proper outlets as a car accident victim, even if you were a passenger and not a driver. Take the following steps to protect yourself and maximize your odds of financial compensation as a passenger involved in a car accident.

Determine Fault

The odds are high that you did not cause your car accident as a passenger, unless you did something reckless or negligent while in the vehicle. Since you didn’t cause the crash, you (and the driver) need to find out who did. Nevada is a fault car accident state, meaning the party responsible for causing the wreck will be the one responsible for reimbursing your damages. The at-fault party may be the person who was driving you, another driver, or a third party such as a roadway maintenance crew.

Insurance companies will look at police reports and other crash information to try to determine fault for the wreck. However, it can be helpful to you as a victim to document the incident yourself. Do your best to collect information about the crash as someone who was involved. Take steps such as writing down what you think happened, taking photos of the scene of the accident, and getting your police report number. The more you know about your collision, the easier it will be to protect your rights as a victim.

Request Immediate Medical Attention

Don’t let your personal injuries slide under the radar as a vehicle passenger. Request medical attention from the scene of the accident if you notice any bumps, bruises, aches, or pains. Even minor symptoms can mean serious injuries, as the adrenaline of the collision can mask pain. Call 911 (if no one else already has) and request an ambulance. Someone – usually a driver – must call the police and report a crash in Nevada if it causes injuries, deaths, or more than $750 in property damages. Even if you don’t feel injured, go to a hospital after a crash and get a checkup.

Many personal injuries can have delayed symptoms. Symptoms of a concussion, for example, may not surface for days or even weeks after the date of the injury. It’s important to see a doctor and explain what happened as soon as you can after a car accident. Delaying medical care is not only dangerous for your health; it also looks bad to insurance companies. Since you weren’t at fault, don’t worry about the cost of medical care. The at-fault party will be liable to pay for these damages.

Discuss Your Case With a Personal Injury Attorney

Injured passengers in auto accidents have the same rights to compensation as injured drivers. They have also suffered harm because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. It is your job to act on your rights and fight for recovery as a crash victim of any kind. The best way to do this is through a conversation with a local personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys operate on contingency-fee bases, so you won’t pay fees unless they win. A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you take the best next step after a serious car accident.

You may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver if he or she is guilty of negligence that caused the wreck. You might be able to file a lawsuit against the person driving you, for example, if he or she was texting and driving. If you were using a ride service such as a taxicab or Uber, you might even have grounds for a claim against the company. A Las Vegas car accident lawyer will have the power to review your case, list all your recovery options, and negotiate a higher settlement on your behalf.