As the driver of a motor vehicle, you are probably aware that you are covered by car insurance in the event of an accident. However, you may wonder how you are covered if you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. An Oklahoma car accident lawyer at BDIW Law can help you understand your rights as a motor vehicle passenger involved in an accident.
Oklahoma Car Insurance Information
In Oklahoma, all drivers must maintain a valid auto insurance policy with certain types of coverage relating to their and others’ expenses. Coverage for a driver’s injuries and expenses may be covered by medical payments coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Not all of these coverages are mandatory in Oklahoma.
Medical payments coverage, which covers the initial medical treatment for passengers, is another type of optional coverage. There are also certain coverages that are mandatory for vehicle owners. Mandatory coverage for others’ injuries and expenses, including those of a passenger, includes bodily injury coverage, which pays for the medical expenses of those injured in an accident, and property damage coverage, which pays for costs associated with repairing another person’s damaged property.
There are also requirements on the minimum limits of liability coverage each policy must have. According to Oklahoma law, the minimum liability coverages are $25,000 of bodily injury protection per person, $50,000 of bodily injury protection per accident, and $25,000 of property damage protection. Penalties for not having insurance or the minimum limits can include fines, prison time, and forfeiture of your license plate.
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What You Should Do as a Passenger Involved in an Accident
To increase your chances of being covered by car insurance as a passenger in an accident, it is important that you take certain actions. These tasks will help you protect yourself and your legal rights. Examples of steps you should take after an accident in which you were a passenger include:
- Calling 911
- Requesting a police report
- Seeking medical attention
- Taking photos of the accident scene and your injuries
- Getting contact information for witnesses
- Keeping a record of your medical records and bills
- Contacting a car accident attorney in Oklahoma as soon as possible
While you are covered by the driver’s auto insurance in an accident, that coverage may not be enough to cover your losses. If this is the case, it may be in your best interest to file a legal claim against the driver responsible for the accident or any other liable party. If you need to file a lawsuit, our personal injury attorneys at BDIW Law can help you get started with your accident claim.
Whose Insurance a Passenger Involved in an Accident Can File a Claim Against
If you were a passenger in a car accident, you may need to file a legal claim to get compensation from the responsible auto insurance companies. An Oklahoma car accident attorney can investigate your accident and determine which parties may be liable. Insurance companies that are commonly responsible for compensating a passenger in a car accident include:
- Your driver’s insurance: As a passenger, you may need to file a claim with your driver’s insurance company if the driver was responsible for the accident.
- Another driver’s insurance: If another driver was at fault for your accident, you may need to file a claim with that driver’s insurance company.
- A governmental entity’s insurance: If you were a passenger in a single-vehicle accident, but the driver’s liability insurance is not enough to cover your losses, you may consider filing a claim against a municipality if they were responsible for a road or design defect that caused the accident.
- Your insurance: If the driver responsible for your accident lacks coverage that is adequate for your losses, you can file an uninsured or underinsured claim with your own insurance.
Determining what insurance policy should be responsible for compensating you for your damages as a passenger in a car accident can be complicated. As such, it is wise to retain an Oklahoma car accident lawyer to assist you. Our experienced attorneys at BDIW Law can investigate your accident and determine the insurance companies from which you may be able to collect compensation.
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Compensation You Can Receive as a Passenger in an Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2 million passengers were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2020. If you suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident, you likely have medical expenses and other losses and may be unable to work because of your injuries. Oklahoma is an at-fault state, meaning the liable party’s insurance company is responsible for paying for the compensatory damages you sustained in your accident, which can include the following:
Economic damages are your losses that can be calculated. They can include your medical expenses, physical therapy costs, and property damage. They can also include your loss of income and expenses related to the services you now have to pay for because you are unable to perform them yourself as a result of your injuries.
Non-economic damages are also compensatory damages; however, these losses are intangible. They can include pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and mental anguish. They can also include cognitive injuries and diminished quality of life.
The losses you have sustained as a passenger in a car accident can range from minor to severe. To maximize your chances of obtaining maximum compensation, you should consult with a car accident lawyer in Oklahoma. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at BDIW Law can help put a monetary value on your losses and can help you obtain the highest payment possible from responsible insurance companies.
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Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in Oklahoma Today
Dealing with insurance companies can be highly stressful at a time when you need to focus your attention on recovering. Although you are covered by car insurance even though you were a passenger in a car accident, the main goal of insurance companies is to pay as little as possible. As a victim of a motor vehicle accident, you need someone in your corner to fight for your legal rights.
Contact the skilled car accident lawyers at BDIW Law as soon as possible for a free consultation to discuss your accident. We can work to get you maximum compensation from the insurance companies and any other liable parties. Our team is here to fight for you.
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