When you’re a passenger in a car accident, you can go from normal to terrified in seconds. The chaos and suddenness of the collision can leave you shaken and anxious, and questions may race through your mind. Who bears the responsibility for the accident? How will your medical bills be covered, and who will provide compensation for your pain and suffering?
When the driver of the vehicle you were in is at fault, you might assume that their insurance will step in to cover your damages. However, things are more complex than they seems. Insurance companies often seem more interested in their bottom line than in your well-being, so injured passengers may find themselves facing a frustrating and uphill battle to obtain the compensation they rightfully deserve.
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident in Arkansas, you don’t have to face this challenge alone. At the Law Offices of Alan LeVar, we understand the hardships you may be going through and are here to help you overcome them. Our team of experienced Arkansas car wreck lawyers will provide you with the thorough and assertive representation you need to obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Why Hire the Law Offices of Alan LeVar For Your Car Accident Case?
Choosing the right attorney for your passenger injury case can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim. At the Law Offices of Alan LeVar, we believe our commitment to our clients and our proven track record set us apart. Here are six compelling reasons to hire us for your car accident case:
- Experience: Our law firm boasts a wealth of experience in handling car accident cases throughout Arkansas. With decades of combined experience, our attorneys have encountered a wide range of scenarios and challenges, giving us the expertise needed to navigate complex legal matters.
- Personal Approach: We treat each client with the care and attention they deserve. You won’t be just another case number to us – we take the time to understand your specific circumstances and tailor our legal strategies accordingly.
- Proven Results: Our track record speaks for itself. Over the years, we’ve successfully secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones.
- Compassion and Empathy: We recognize the toll that a car accident can take on you and your family. Our team provides compassionate and empathetic support throughout the legal process, ensuring you feel heard and supported in every step.
- Resourceful and Tenacious Advocacy: Insurance companies can be formidable adversaries, but we don’t back down. We are known for our tenacious advocacy and our ability to leverage our resources to build strong cases for our clients. We’ll fight relentlessly to protect your rights and interests.
- Free Consultation: We offer a free initial consultation, allowing you to discuss your case with us without any financial obligation. This gives you the opportunity to learn about your legal options and determine if we are the right fit for your needs.
Who is Liable for Passenger Accident Injuries?
Determining liability for passenger accident injuries can be complicated. Depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, liability may extend to various parties, including drivers, manufacturers, and even government entities.
- Driver Liability: Often, the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger was riding is responsible for passenger accident injuries. Their liability may arise from negligence, such as reckless driving, running a red light, speeding, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Passengers can often seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to cover their injuries and losses.
- Other Drivers: If another driver was responsible for the accident, such as in a multi-vehicle collision, passengers may have a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Multiple parties can share liability in complex accidents, and passengers may pursue claims against all responsible drivers.
- Manufacturers of Defective Parts: If a defect in the vehicle or one of its components contributed to the accident or exacerbated the injuries, the manufacturer or supplier of the defective part may be liable. This could involve issues with brakes, tires, airbags, seatbelts, or other critical safety features. Product liability claims can be filed against these manufacturers.
- Government Entities: In some cases, the condition of the road or inadequate signage may contribute to an accident. If the accident resulted from a poorly designed or maintained road, or if traffic signals and signs were not properly placed or functioning, government entities responsible for road maintenance and traffic control may share liability. Claims against government entities often have specific procedures and deadlines.
- Employers: If the at-fault driver was operating a vehicle as part of their job, their employer may be held liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability. This means that the employer could be responsible for the driver’s actions while performing work-related duties.
- Shared Liability: It’s also possible for liability to be shared among multiple parties, including both drivers and manufacturers. The extent of liability for each party can be determined based on the facts of the case and the degree of their negligence or fault.
Determining liability in passenger accident cases often requires a thorough investigation, examination of evidence, and expert analysis. Injured passengers should consult with an Arkansas car accident attorney who can identify liable parties and help pursue the appropriate legal claims.
Compensation in a Passenger Injury Case
The compensation you may be entitled to after a car crash will largely depend on the circumstances of the accident and the damages you suffered. Below is an overview of some of the losses you may be able to claim.
- Medical Expenses: As a passenger injured in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from your injuries. This includes emergency medical care, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any ongoing treatment required for your recovery.
- Pain and Suffering: Car accidents can cause not only physical injuries but also emotional and psychological distress. You may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured, including the emotional trauma, anxiety, and mental anguish resulting from the accident and your injuries.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be eligible for compensation for the income you’ve lost due to missed work days or an inability to return to your job promptly. This can also include compensation for diminished earning capacity if your injuries affect your ability to work in the future.
- Property Damage: If any personal property, such as clothing, electronics, or personal items, was damaged or destroyed in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing these items.
- Rehabilitation and Therapy: Injuries sustained in a car accident may require ongoing rehabilitation, therapy, or in-home care. You can seek compensation to cover these costs, ensuring you receive the necessary care and support for your recovery.
- Wrongful Death Benefits: In tragic cases where a passenger succumbs to their injuries, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation through wrongful death benefits, which can cover funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional toll of losing a loved one.
- Punitive Damages: If the at-fault driver’s actions were particularly reckless or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded.
To ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve, consult with an experienced car accident attorney who can assess your case and value, file your claim, and fight to protect your rights and interests.
What to Do After a Car Accident as a Passenger
The first and most crucial step is to check yourself for injuries. Assess whether you need immediate medical attention. If anyone in the vehicle suffered an injury, call 911 immediately, or have someone else make the call for you. Remember that some injuries, such as internal trauma or whiplash, may not be immediately apparent but can have long-term effects if left untreated. Prompt medical evaluation can help identify and address hidden injuries, ensuring your health and well-being.
Once medical needs have been addressed, take the following steps:
- Call Roadside Assistance: If the driver is not injured but the vehicle is damaged and requires towing, ask the driver to call a tow truck or a roadside assistance service immediately. Getting the damaged vehicles off the road ensures everyone’s safety and minimizes traffic disruptions.
- Give Police an Accurate Account: When the police arrive, give a detailed account of what happened when asked by the police or insurance companies later. Providing accurate information can be crucial for determining fault and liability.
- Gather Information From Everyone Involved: Collect information from the other driver involved in the accident. Obtain their name, contact information, insurance company details, and policy number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information as well. Witness statements can be valuable when establishing the facts of the accident.
- Take Pictures: Use your phone to take photos of the crash site, including any damage to the vehicles involved. These visual records can be immensely helpful when filing an insurance claim and providing evidence of the accident’s severity.
- Call Your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company to report the accident and initiate the claims process. Ensure you have all the information collected in step six on hand when you make the call. Promptly notifying your insurer is essential for processing your claim efficiently.
- Contact an Attorney: Last but not least, call an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer immediately after your accident. Your attorney can provide invaluable guidance, discuss the specifics of your case, answer your questions, and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Having legal representation early in the process can significantly benefit your case and protect your rights.
What if My Child is Injured in a Car Accident?
If your child is injured in a wreck, you will pursue compensation on their behalf in much the same way that you would if you had been the victim. However, there are two significant differences between claims involving adults and those involving minors.
- A settlement in a child injury case exceeding $5,000 must go through a special process under Arkansas law. In this case, a guardian must be appointed and the probate division of the circuit court must approve the settlement.
- The statute of limitations for filing an adult personal injury claim is typically three years. With minors, this deadline is paused until they turn 18. Under this exception, parents or guardians have more time to file a claim.
Your Arkansas car accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process of filing a child car accident claim.
What If I Was Injured in a Rideshare Vehicle?
When you step into a rideshare vehicle, you enter into a contractual agreement with the driver. The driver agrees to safely and promptly transport you to your destination, while you agree to pay the agreed-upon fare. However, if the driver fails to uphold their end of the bargain and you are injured as a result, you have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit.
While the claims process for a rideshare accident is similar in some ways to a traditional car accident, there are some distinctions to consider. One is that liability may be shared between the driver and the rideshare company.
Both Uber and Lyft maintain substantial $1 million umbrella liability policies designed to help cover expenses resulting from a car accident involving their drivers. However, whether you should file a claim with the company depends on whether the driver was “working” at the time of the crash.
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you are typically covered under the rideshare company’s liability policy. In such cases, the rideshare company should bear liability for your injuries. Things get cloudy when it’s unclear whether the driver was actively working for the rideshare company at the time of the accident. Factors such as whether they had accepted a fare, were transporting a passenger, or were off-duty can influence who bears responsibility, so speak to a rideshare accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Get a Free Consultation With a Passenger Injuries Lawyer
Being injured in a car accident as a passenger can leave you shaken, in pain, and worried about your future. Remember that you have rights and the Law Offices of Alan LeVar stands ready to support and advocate for you. We operate on a contingency basis, ensuring that you will not be charged unless we win your case. For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation, call (501) 588-0082 or contact us online today.