You are a passenger in a vehicle driven by your spouse, your child, or your friend, and they run a red light or hydroplane across a rainy highway causing a wreck. You are injured in the wreck. Medical bills from the ambulance, hospital and doctors are coming in the mail. Now what?
We often are asked by injured passengers in the at-fault vehicle whether they have a claim and if so, against who. If you are injured as a passenger in a wreck in North Carolina you have the right to file an insurance claim against the liability coverage of the driver who was at fault. Even if the at-fault driver is your spouse, your child or your friend. And even if you are listed on the insurance policy.
It might feel strange to make a claim against the insurance policy of someone you know and care for. But keep in mind that his or her policy is there to protect you when an accident happens. That policy may contain benefits meant for you.
Liability insurance is a type of insurance that pays for bodily injury and property damage for which any covered individual becomes legally responsible. A driver becomes legally responsible when they are negligent. Negligence means the driver was careless or failed to exercise reasonable care and his actions caused an injury. North Carolina mandates this type of insurance on every registered vehicle to protect people from the harmful and costly damages of negligence.
Your insurance claim can cover a wide array of damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages from time taken off work to recover. A successful claim can prevent you from having to shoulder all of those costs.
As with many insurance claims, there are a number of variables that must be considered when filing a claim against the at-fault driver. These include your relationship to the driver, possible actions by you or others that may have contributed to the accident, and what other insurance benefits may be available to you. In order to protect yourself and your rights, you should contact an experienced North Carolina auto collision attorney who knows the law and can prevent the insurance company from denying your valid claim.
Unfortunately, we have learned of situations where a passenger didn’t timely seek counsel because they mistakenly thought being in the at-fault vehicle prohibited them from making a claim against the driver’s policy. Don’t let this happen to you. If you were injured in a wreck, call us immediately to talk about how we can assist you.