Car accidents are very common today. The causes are many and the potential injuries varied, but the fact of the matter is, that when people get behind the wheel, the chances of being hurt or worse are substantial. Passengers are particularly vulnerable, for they have virtually no control over the maneuvering of the automobile. When an accident occurs and a passenger is hurt, the matter of seeking damages is complicated. Such a matter calls for the assistance of a Newport Beach car accident lawyer who will fight for your rights.
Automobile Accident Statistics
A Newport Beach car accident attorney can attest that car accident claims are frequent. The statistics for car accidents are truly astounding:
• Each year, on average, six million motor vehicle accidents occur nationwide resulting in three million injuries.
• Two out of three accident victims suffer injuries that are permanent, and another 40,000 are killed.
• Alcohol is a major contributor to accidents accounting for 40% of all deaths.
• Excessive speed is another significant factor accounting for nearly a third of all accident fatalities.
• Reckless driving causes a third of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents.
What is particularly disturbing about motor vehicle accidents, as anyone who has witnessed or been in one can tell you, is the swiftness with which they occur. One moment a family is heading down the highway to an outing at the beach, and then, in the blink of an eye, another vehicle crashes into them and sends the car careening off the side of the road causing potential instant death or an agonized suffering as victims await the arrival of medical help.
It is particularly tragic when children are injured, sometimes permanently, for their entire futures can be jeopardized. As will be seen, a person can sue on their behalf to help them gain compensation that will help them in the future.
What to Do If You Are a Passenger and Are Injured
Injury victims of car accidents generally have little understanding of how to proceed to gain compensation. This is particularly true of passengers. If you are a passenger in an automobile and are injured in a crash, a Newport Beach car accident lawyer will tell you that you need to make sure that you get the following information from all parties involved, including the person whose car you are riding in:
• Full name
• Description of the car, including license and VIN number
• The name of the driver’s insurance company, including their phone number, policy number and who is named on the policy.
• Names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident
You should also try to take photographs of the accident scene. You can use your cell phone’s camera to do this if you aren’t too injured. Make sure to photograph all the vehicles involved, the surroundings and the street from where vehicles were traveling. You should also write out a narrative of the accident in which you describe moment by moment exactly what you recall.
Seeking a Claim If You Are a Passenger
It is very important from the outset that you seek the assistance of a Newport Beach car accident lawyer. Passenger accident claims can be very complex and need special handling. It is very likely that the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident will contact you and offer to help you. The insurance adjuster will play upon your insecurities and fears and make you feel as though they will take good care of you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Insurance companies do not make their money by paying out on claims. They make their money on premiums paid by the insured, which they invest for a good return. Insurance companies are glutted with assets and there is a reason for this: they resist payouts whenever they can.
Your Newport Beach car accident lawyer will take you through the entire process. It will be helpful to have a middle man, for passenger claims often get tricky given that, in many cases, the driver of the vehicle they were hurt in are friends or family members. Also, injured passengers should consider filing claims with multiple parties, including the insurance company of the driver of their vehicle. The purpose of this is to ensure that their claim is represented should an issue of comparative negligence exist, or if it turns out that the other driver is at fault. In other words, it doesn’t hurt to cover all bases.
When children are hurt parents will want to file for compensation on their behalf. Your attorney can help you with this as well. A good attorney will investigate the claim, interview witnesses, review the police report and obtain your medical records in order to prepare as strong an argument on your behalf for compensation as possible. If the insurance company remains unwilling to settle, your attorney will discuss with you whether it is in your best interests to file to litigate the case in court.
Call a Newport Beach Car Accident Attorney If You Are Injured
If you have been hurt in a car accident and are a passenger, the statute of limitations may be different for you. Also, there are special issues to be considered when you are not the driver. It is important that you work with a Newport Beach car accident lawyer who will fight for you. Call Russell & Lazarus, APC today to arrange a consultation at 949-851-0222.