After getting into a car wreck as a passenger, you may be left feeling helpless and wondering if you can get compensation for your injuries. The good news is, in most cases, you can. After fault has been determined, you can proceed with filing a claim. A personal injury lawyer in Winston-Salem can help guide you through the process of collecting evidence, filing a claim, and negotiating your settlement.
Filing Against the Driver
If the driver of the vehicle you were in was responsible for the accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the insurance of that driver. Their liability coverage has the potential to pay for your injuries that you sustained during the incident. There are, however, special rules that may apply if you are related to and currently living with the driver. In such cases, you might technically already be covered by the driver’s insurance, so you would be making a claim against your own policy, which you typically can’t do.
Also note that if you are somehow responsible for the accident, your recovery may be reduced. For instance, if you grabbed ahold of the steering wheel or impeded the driver’s ability to see or steer, resulting in the incident, you may be held partially at fault.
Filing Against the Opposing Driver
Alternatively, if you are involved in a car accident where the driver of the other vehicle is at fault, you can file a claim against their insurance. While you can receive compensation this way, please note that the amount you receive cannot exceed the total value of the claim. So if the amount of damages is valued at $50,000, you cannot receive $70,000 worth of compensation.
If the driver of the vehicle you were in has coverage that does not provide enough to pay for the entirety of your injury-related expenses, you may receive the remaining amount by filing against the other driver.
Using Your Own Insurance
When you’re in a bind and need more immediate coverage to help with your medical expenses after an accident, you can make a claim for medical payments, or “med pay,” with your own insurance provider. Doing so will help pay for your medical bills but not pain and suffering or other non-economic damages. These claims can have pretty low limits though, which might not make this the ideal solution for you if your injuries are extensive.
One benefit to filing with your own insurance, however, is that liability is not usually a concern, and you can be compensated not matter who was at-fault. If you do file a med pay claim with your provider, be sure to deduct these earnings from the total amount you can receive, so that you don’t “double dip” or exceed the total value of the claim, discussed earlier.
Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
In an effort to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer in Winston-Salem, NC. The right professional will work with you to build your case, so that you may be properly awarded the financial assistance you deserve. Contact Lewis & Keller today to learn more about how we can help you when you’re injured in a car accident in North Carolina.