Experiencing an auto accident can be traumatic, both physically and mentally. The aftermath of a serious crash is often confusing. Each accident is different, but the first issue after making sure no one was severely injured is to discover liability.
Often, one driver is at fault. Sometimes, drivers share part of the blame. In other cases, the driver clearly at fault tries to blame the innocent driver. There are all types of nuances that arise. The police will determine who is at fault from the site evidence.
Passenger rights in a vehicle accident
When you are a passenger in Missouri, you have a right to claim compensation for your injuries from the person who caused an accident. No matter which driver was at fault, you can recover funds needed to pay for your medical bills and treatment for severe psychological distress.
What to do if you are an injured passenger
What should you do if you are a car-accident passenger? Most drivers understand what to do in an accident. Passengers seldom consider that they can take action.
- The person at fault is liable for your claim; therefore, get complete information from each driver, including photos of their driver’s license and insurance card.
- Take pictures of vehicle damage from several different angles; include pictures of pavement wherever you see glass, car parts, or tire skid marks.
- Take pictures of your own injuries, if possible.
- Write a detailed description in an email on your phone about the accident. Include how it happened, date, time, location, drivers’ names, the vehicle makes, models, colors and year (OK to guess), as well as signs of how many passengers were in any other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. Send the email to yourself.
- If no one else does, you should call the police even if the accident seems minor.
- Use caution near the accident sites so that passing traffic does not hit you.
Note: If you are in imminent medical danger, call 911 and report the number of vehicles and the number of individuals in each vehicle, even if you don’t know whether or not they are injured; pain from unseen injuries can make a delayed appearance. If you have head, neck or back pain, tingling in your extremities or any other unusual feelings no matter how mild, sit still and do not turn your head or torso.
You may feel your request for information will offend your driver, but realize that you could be looking at serious medical bills, possible rehabilitation or even life-changing injuries with long-term care for an accident you did not cause.