5 Myths You’ve Heard About Passenger Rights
A car accident can be a very frightening time for all involved. Even if you were riding with a friend or loved-one, it is important to know your rights as a passenger and to use those rights to take care of yourself if you are injured. As a top DC automobile accident lawyer, we’re here to debunk a few of the more popular myths that could prevent you from getting the compensation you may deserve.
Myth #1: You bear some responsibility for the crash.
This is just plain false. As a passenger in the vehicle, the fault of this accident does not belong to you. Even if you think that your behavior in the car may have been distracting, the involved drivers are ultimately responsible for maintaining control of the vehicle.
Myth #2: The Incident will be handled by the drivers.
This particular myth can be a dangerous assumption. It may be better for you to be proactive about the accident you were involved in, rather than waiting on the other parties. As an injured passenger, you should be privy to all aspects of the investigation. Gather names and insurance information from all involved, as well as the police report.
Myth #3: You are taking legal action against your own friend.
This is generally not the case. In most instances, you will be claiming compensation from their insurance company to cover necessary damages like costly medical bills or lost wages resulting from an accident. Furthermore, these suits are commonly settled before they ever even reach the courtroom. Don’t let guilt over a misconception prevent you from seeking legal assistance.
Myth #4: Take the money offered by the driver.
Your friend or the other driver involved in the crash may offer cash upfront to help foot your medical bills and other damages. While this may seem generous, it is often not a wise choice. There is no way to determine the extent of your injuries and the cost thereof without thorough medical diagnoses and prognoses. What may seem like a generous offer today could end up costing you tremendously in the long run. Medical bills can increase and add up quickly as you recover, but if you miss the optimal window to validate your medical claims, you run the risk of not being able to afford your entire treatment.
Myth #5: Only automobile passengers have specific rights.
This just isn’t the case. You are also a passenger when you ride in someone else’s water vessel, in someone else’s plane, etc. All passengers have rights, not just the one who are in cars. In the case of an accident, the driver of a boat, plane, bus, and other motorized vehicles can be just as responsible as a car driver.
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in an accident, it’s important to be well informed of your rights and consider seeking the representation of an attorney who can help serve your interests. Contact a professional personal injury lawyer, today.
Thanks to our friends and co-contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into debunking some of the more common myths around passenger rights.