Most of us drive somewhere every day. Whether it’s to work, school or the mall, we drive. Or, we go with a friend or family member who drives. When you’re a passenger in a car, you have absolutely no control. Other than praying your friend drives carefully, your hands are tied. So, what do you do when the person you trust isn’t so careful? Perhaps they’re texting when they’re supposed to be watching the road. Or maybe they are driving too fast and can’t stop in time at a red light. There are many reasons an Atlanta car wreck happens.
If you’re injured while a passenger in a car, you do have a right to file a legal claim. Ideally, your friend’s car insurance will cover your injuries. But if they don’t, you really have no choice. You’ll to go after your friend for any damages suffered.
This can be very difficult. Nobody wants to sue their friend or relative. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. But either way, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced Atlanta car wreck lawyer. They’ll do their best to settle your claim so you don’t have to pursue your friend.
How Often are Passengers Actually Injured in Georgia Car Accidents?
When you think about it, we’re passengers more often than we may think. Or, when we’re driving, we have other people in the car. Unless you’re on the way to work or school, odds are, you’re not alone.
We like to socialize. We go to dinner and the movies with friends. Or, we get together with a group of friends to go bowling or see a concert. So, there is a good chance that a car involved in an accident would have more than one person in the car.
This means that passengers are very likely going to suffer injuries in these accidents. Some of the injuries suffered by passengers include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Facial lacerations
- Seat belt injuries
- Ejection from the car
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Your injuries depend on whether you’re in the front or back seat at the time of impact. Even if a car has passenger-side airbags, you can still suffer some pretty serious injuries.
File a Claim Against the Driver’s Insurance
If your friend or relative was the one who caused the accident, you’ll need to file a claim against their insurance policy. Your claim will be for any medical bills and other expenses you suffered in the crash.
The next thing you’ll do is wait to hear back from the insurance company. If your claim is approved, you’ll receive your check-in a week or two. If your claim is denied, however, all you’ll get is a denial letter. If this happens, you’re going to need to call an Atlanta car wreck lawyer.
Your attorney will review the letter to see why your claim was denied. Insurance companies deny claims for the following reasons:
- The policy wasn’t valid
- The policy had lapsed for non-payment
- The driver wasn’t listed on the policy
- You didn’t file your claim in time
- The insurance company doesn’t believe you were hurt
- They think you caused the accident
- You have a history of filing false claims
If the policy wasn’t valid, there’s nothing your Atlanta car wreck lawyer can do to help. No insurance company will pay out a claim on an invalid policy. For any of the other reasons, however, they may be able to help.
Your lawyer will call and speak with the insurance adjuster handling your claim. They’ll find out what you need to do in order to get your claim paid. They’ll also try to negotiate a settlement of your claim.
If this doesn’t work, they’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
You’re Really Pursuing the Insurance Company – Not the Driver
Nobody wants to file a lawsuit against their friend or relative. You need to look at it this way. You’re naming your friend in the lawsuit. However, you’re also naming the insurance company.
The insurance company is required to defend the lawsuit on your friend’s behalf. Odds are, your Atlanta injury attorney will be able to reach a settlement with the insurance company. In fact, this is the case with more than 90% of all car accident lawsuits.
Call John B. Jackson today and schedule your initial consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until your case settles.