If you were a passenger involved in a car accident in Chicago, Illinois, contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to get connected with a Chicago passenger vehicle accident lawyer who may be able to help you fight for the justice and financial award you may be entitled to.
The state of Illinois is an “at-fault state,” which means that in order to obtain compensation for your injuries, you must prove that another party’s negligence was the direct cause of your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, or inability to return to work and subsequently lost wages. The state of Illinois also requires all drivers to carry car insurance in order to pay for any injuries or damages if they are ultimately considered responsible for a car accident.
In some cases, a passenger may be hesitant to file a claim against the driver of the car that they were in due to the fact that the driver is a friend or relative. A passenger may feel guilty or that it is not worth the cost of a falling out with a friend or family member in order to receive compensation for their injuries and damages. However, it is important to note that if you are a victim as a passenger in a car accident, you may not be taking legal action directly against your friend or family member. Rather, you can file a claim against their car insurance policy, which allows a policyholder such as your friend or family member legal protection against bearing the financial burden of the liability following a car accident in which they were negligent.
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In some cases, insurance companies may impose specific restrictions within their car insurance policies that will limit the ability of certain persons to file a claim in the event of a car accident. These limitations fall under the “household exclusions” section of a car insurance policy. A household exclusion could include a clause that prevents one family member (such as a wife) from filing a claim against the driver of the car that is a family member (such as their husband). These clauses occur in insurance policies as a preventative measure against family members committing fraud and attempting to illegally receive compensation from an insurance company related to a staged accident.
There are some exceptions to the household exclusion exemptions, which may include the right of a family member responsible for the accident to pay a certain amount called the “right of contribution.” Insurance company policies can include other challenging and complex legal clauses, and visiting with a Chicago passenger vehicle accident lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help to ensure your rights remain protected when you are trying to file a claim against an insurance company.
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Types of Passenger Injuries
Every car accident is different, and the unique facts and circumstances surrounding your collision may ultimately determine the nature and severity of your injuries. However, some types of passenger injuries include:
- A traumatic brain injury (TBI) or head injuries including concussions
- Back injuries, including spinal cord damage
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Chest injuries, including broken bones, broken ribs, conditions like aortic dissection, or internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding anywhere in the body
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue injuries affecting muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body
- Cuts, lacerations, scrapes, bruises, and burns
- Psychological injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
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What to Do After Suffering an Injury as a Passenger in a Car Accident
If you suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident, you should follow these steps:
- Possibly go to an emergency room: in other cases, you may have to see your primary care physician the next day. In every case, you should treat any car accident seriously and seek medical attention as soon as possible for your own health, and also to establish to an insurance company that your injuries occurred as a direct result of the car accident.
- Provide a statement to authorities: only provide the facts; it is up to the police officer doing the investigation to determine who is guilty or liable regarding the accident. Always tell the truth, even if your friend or family member drove the vehicle in which you were a passenger.
- Keep all documentation and evidence related to your injuries: keep all medical treatments, diagnostic testing, medical bills, diagnosis, medical notes, loss of wages, notes from your employer regarding your work status, and property damage. Also, hold onto a daily diary of your pain and suffering, emotional health, and your inability to perform certain daily tasks. Make sure to include any additional costs such as medical devices including wheelchairs, ramps, or walkers.
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If you suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident, you may also incur medical bills, the loss of wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. You may have emotional distress and anguish as well as physical injuries. Additionally, you may feel confused and guilty to file a claim against a family member or friend.
If you suffered injuries as a passenger, contact the legal team from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444. We can help you understand how a Chicago passenger vehicle accident lawyer may be able to help you file a claim with an insurance company, and help you understand how to protect your legal rights.