Being a passenger in a car accident is unsettling, especially if you are injured. Following a few simple guidelines helps you deal with the immediate effects and may be useful in the future.
Immediately after the accident: Try to stay calm. If you have hit your head, move as little as possible. Use your cell phone to call police. Ask the driver if he is all right. If you have not hit your head and can get out of the car, do so. If you have a camera, take as many pictures of the scene as possible. Talk to the driver of the other car, if any. Get his insurance information. Talk to witnesses.
In the weeks and months that follow, keep detailed records of how much the accident is costing you in terms of:
Laws governing insurance and liabilities for car accidents vary by state. Your state may allow you to sue whoever was at fault, including the driver of the car you were in. A few states require you to have personal injury insurance and file claims with that company no matter who was at fault. It is possible that you will be offered a small amount that won't cover your expenses. If so, you will have to take legal action.
An auto accident lawyer can help you handle this situation. The pictures, police reports, medical records and so on will be carefully examined. With these documents, plus your story and those of witnesses and others involved, your lawyer can discuss your options with you.
Once you decide how you wish to proceed, your lawyer can help you fill out forms, file court papers and be by your side for any depositions or hearings that take place. You will have help protecting your legal rights if claims are filed against you by anyone else involved. When you receive the money to which you are genuinely entitled, you can begin to rest and heal.