Can a Passenger File an Insurance Claim?

Can a Passenger File an Insurance Claim?

As a passenger, it is unfortunate to be involved in a car accident that you couldn’t do a thing to prevent. What’s worse? Being hindered by injury as a result of that car accident. Oftentimes, depending on the force and angle of the car crash, passengers suffer an even worse fate than drivers. What few people know about the legal implications of these cases is that as a passenger, you are entitled to file an injury claim in the state of Pennsylvania, and you’ll have an easier time receiving it.

What are my options?

When you have been injured in Pennsylvania due to a car accident, but were not the driver of any of the cars involved, you have a few options available to you. First, you may file an injury claim under the liability insurance coverage of the driver or the owner of the car you occupied, or you may file an injury claim under the coverage of the driver or owner of any other vehicle involved in the car crash. Immediately following the accident, if you have your own auto insurance coverage, you can file a claim under the medical payments coverage of your own policy. Regardless of your methods, there are several avenues to ensure that you receive compensation. A conversation with a seasoned attorney is a great resource to learn the details about each option.

The driver’s policy

The state of Pennsylvania requires all owners of vehicles to purchase auto insurance. It exists to protect the driver and passengers on board at all times. Usually, passengers hesitate to seek compensation out of fear of “suing” friends; however, rest assured that as a passenger, you are NOT taking money from them personally, you are filing a claim against their insurance policy, and that is where the money comes from. Worried their policy rates will increase? It will happen regardless as rates always go up following a car accident.

If, as an injured passenger you are related to the driver and he is someone you live with, you cannot file a liability claim in Pennsylvania. Instead, you are considered an “insured person” and cannot file a claim against your own coverage. However, you can use your own policy to cover your medical expenses.

Does fault matter?

When a car accident occurs, it is typical for insurance companies to argue over who is at fault. It can get complicated based on the specific circumstances of the crash; yet, as a passenger, this is one aspect of the claims process you won’t have to deal with since you couldn’t possibly be at fault one way or another. As a passenger, you are free to override the burden of proving liability. You can even collect from the insurance of the other driver, regardless of fault.

Your own policy

If you own and drive a car in Pennsylvania, you have your own auto insurance policy. When you are injured in a car crash that you were not responsible for, you are still able to use your coverage for your medical expenses up to the limits of that coverage. This also applies to any family members who are also covered by your policy.

Health Insurance

Once you’ve reached the limitations of your insurance policy or the driver’s policy, healthcare coverage starts to kick in. It will pay for the rest of your medical costs. Beware of your any subrogation rights your private insurer may have; this will force you to pay back costs if you settle a case.

Learn more about your rights as a car accident victim in Pennsylvania today.


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