If you are a passenger in a car involved in motor vehicle accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. The person who caused the crash is the party who is responsible for paying your medical bills or reimbursing you for lost wages or lost future compensation. This is generally true whether you were hurt in a crash involving multiple cars or a crash involving only the one that you were riding in.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Like anyone else who is hurt in the accident, you will have two years from when the accident happened. Ideally, you will file your lawsuit within days or weeks after the crash takes place. It is important to note that you don’t have to go through with a lawsuit after you file it. Instead, it is done to protect your rights in the event that settlement talks do not result in a favorable agreement.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Yes, you should hire a lawyer to help you with your case. In most cases, a lawyer will review your case for free, which means that you have nothing to lose to talk to someone about your legal options. An attorney may also be able to better negotiate with the person who hurt you or that person’s insurance company in an efficient and effective manner. In the event that you are too hurt to show up in court or to negotiating sessions, an attorney will be able to represent your interests.
What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the driver who hurt you doesn’t have insurance, you can file a lawsuit against that person seeking financial damages. In the event that you obtain a judgment, you may have the right to seize funds inside of a bank account or other assets such as a house or car. These assets can then be sold to help you pay your medical bills and other costs related to the accident.
What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance?
It is possible that the other driver won’t have enough insurance to cover the damages in your case. Therefore, you will file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy for as much as it will cover. You may also file a claim against your own policy if you have underinsured driver insurance. If there are costs that are still outstanding, you can go after the driver personally in an effort to get whatever else that you may be entitled to.
What If the Driver Who Hurt Me Wasn’t Charged Criminally?
Whatever may take place in the criminal justice system has little to no bearing on what happens in civil court. This means that you have the right to seek financial compensation whether or not the driver who caused the crash was charged criminally. The same is true if that driver is acquitted of any criminal charges that he or she may face.
What Happens If the Driver Who Caused the Crash Dies?
In the event that the driver who caused the crash dies, his or her estate will be liable for any damages that you incur. You can place a claim against the estate while it is going through the probate process. Making such a claim means that you get paid before assets are distributed to beneficiaries or payments are made to other creditors.
Just because you are a passenger in a car that is involved in an accident doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to compensation. To ensure that your rights are preserved, you may want to talk with a Los Angeles car accident attorney after you have been examined and treated by a doctor.