When car accidents occur, occupants other than the driver have the same legal rights as those behind the wheel. After a motor vehicle accident, it is crucial to document the crash as thoroughly as possible to collect evidence for your case. If possible, collect this information immediately at the scene of the accident.
Actions to Take After a Car Accident
First, call the police as soon as possible. If you are unable to make a call, try to make sure someone else involved in the accident can contact emergency services. If it is feasible, take photos and videos of the scene with your cell phone. Along with damage to the vehicle, take pictures of your injuries. Also document the accident scene and anything that may have contributed to the crash, such as debris in the road.
Obtain the name of the other driver, passengers, and eyewitnesses, as well as their contact information. While the event is still fresh in your mind, record on your phone what happened to the best of your memory or write down notes.
New York is one of the few states with a no-fault insurance system. That means when an accident happens, the insurance company of the other driver that has injured passengers will pay for accident-related expenses, up to the limits of the policy.
No-fault insurance will pay for the passenger’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other crash-related expenses, up to the limit of the driver’s liability policy. In New York, the minimum amount of liability insurance required for motorists is $50,000 per person for each accident. It does not pay for the injured party’s pain and suffering.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the injuries were serious, the passenger may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Under New York law, serious injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Significant limitation of a bodily function
- Permanent loss of use of a body part or bodily system
Anyone who was on full disability for more than 90 days due to their injuries may also file a lawsuit outside of the no-fault system. Unlike no-fault claims, it is possible to sue for pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit.
Keep in mind that the person has auto insurance so that anyone they have injured may receive compensation. The injured party may have to live with the results of the accident for a long time. Since there are some limitations in filing lawsuits in New York, injuries may result in permanent impairment.
Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano Help Passengers Injured in Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident as a passenger, you have rights to compensation. Our skillful Brooklyn car accident lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano will fight aggressively to protect your rights and will provide you legal counsel about your case. Contact us online or call us at 718-332-7766 to schedule a free consultation regarding your case. With offices located in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Hillsborough, New Jersey, we also proudly serve clients in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Kings County, and Richmond County.