Car accidents are one of the most feared things on roads but the truth remains the same that they are becoming a part of everyday life. We all want to be in the comforts of our vehicle when we want to reach any place, and when the desire to be comfortable as well as obligation to reach on time mix, speedy vehicles are bound to face accidents. Without any doubt, our hectic life tends to strain us and that stress is converted into harder pressing of acceleration. In the whole kerfuffle of taking care of herald activities we fail to realize that we are just moving faster and faster towards unfortunate events.
On an average, more than million car and other motor vehicle accidents happen in Canada, and these numbers are increasing with each passing year. It is very fortunate that most of these accidents only bring financial loss in terms of property and vehicle damage etc. and are not fatal. But still we cannot deny the fact that it can indeed be life threatening experience for some people.
According to the stats, in Canada, in one of three accidents people face serious injuries that affect their quality of life and sometimes cause permanent damage to important body organs. People who have faced severe injuries often become disabled, face serious chronic pain and have to undergo a lot of suffering. When people are involved in an accident, they generally don’t know what they should do at that particular time apart from taking medical assistance and it is a sad thing that insurance companies take advantage of this type of situations. To help you in such situations, we have come up with some crucial steps that can make your compensation claim very strong. If you were a passenger involved in a car accident then you need to consider the following pointers for sure.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident – Most passengers involved in a car accident tend to avoid becoming a part of legal complications, and hence they altogether deny their involvement in it. But you should always keep in mind that running from the accident spot makes your insurance claim invalid. Insurance companies take complete advantage of such situations and you have to settle for very minimal compensation. So, make sure you do not run away from the scene even in case of a minor accident and wait for the police to arrive. As a passenger you have the same rights to seek claim as those of a driver.
- Secure the accident scene – As a passenger you can be also proactive in securing the evidence that you were innocent in the whole event and showcase through proofs that you were a mere passenger. Hence, you need to prove that you were actually not driving when the accident took place and for that you need proofs. In case you met an accident and you are a passenger, you should come out and seek the people around so that they can help you and others in the vehicle. Here also, you will be required to prove your innocence and you can take pictures or shoot videos that make it clear you were not driving at all. There is always a possibility of getting help from others as they will seek emergency help for you. Moreover, you can also figure out the witnesses of the accident that can further help you in seeking the claim.
- Contact the police immediately – There are many people who don’t inform the police but that is the biggest mistake that you can make when you are involved in an auto accident, even as a passenger. Informing the police is the foremost step that you should do after an accident because a police report is very crucial information that is required for filing claims. Even if you were a part of a minor accident then you should also contact the police without any second thought. It will be beneficial on many dimensions. First of all, you don’t have to face any legal complications afterwards as you have done the right thing. Secondly, the police involvement can help in collecting relevant evidence that can be helpful for your case and prove your innocence as you were a passenger.
- Declare true facts only – It is very important that you should provide accurate information to the police about what happened at the scene as that will increase chances of receiving maximum compensation. The police always record statement of a passenger for knowing relevant details. Make sure that you are providing accurate information without editing true facts. Any guess work can be used against you so stick to real facts and figures. If you are not sure about injuries then discuss that with police officers and they will take you to the hospital for check-up. Even if you feel good at the present moment, it’s good to visit the hospital because it might take some time for hidden injuries to become apparent. Ensure that your co-passengers (if any) are also giving true statement to avoid complications.
- Take pictures of the accident scene – If you have a smartphone or a camera, or any other device that can take pictures, you should immediately start clicking pictures to provide evidence of your innocence. Similarly, click pictures of your own injuries if they are apparent. You should avoid interfering police investigation as you can be charged for that though. If you don’t have your own camera then borrow it from other passengers or people and then take pictures to make sure that you have sufficient evidence. Time and time again pictures and videos are proved as strong evidence that has helped passengers to seek their rightful claim. So make use of technology full on and save these important proofs carefully.
- Exchange information – Investigating police officer has all information about the accident and this information can be used for making your compensation claim very strong. If you request a police officer – he will provide you relevant data with a police report number. If your accident occurs on a provincial highway then you should contact the OPP for reporting it. You can obtain information about the other vehicle’s diver and other passengers such as their names, addresses, phone numbers etc. You can also demand to see the insurance slip of the vehicle involved in the accident. If there are other people then you can also gather their information as witnesses. Your attorney can invite such people or other passengers as evidence in court if there is trial against the insurance company or during claim settlement.
- Notify the insurance company – You should not delay any further in notifying your insurance providers even if an accident happened while you were not driving, because many insurance companies demand this step to be fulfilled at the soonest. Check out that your insurance company provides you with medical benefits as you might be paying extra premium for such service. Many insurance providers charge for ‘med pay’ and you should utilize that for reducing your financial loss. You should include your medical bills from the hospital for filing insurance claims. In case your medical bills are higher than coverage then your personal health insurance will pay the remaining hospital bill. It shouldn’t affect your insurance premium rates and if it happens then you should contact your attorney to initiate a strict legal action against the insurance company.
- Visit the hospital for check-up – People might not feel pain immediately after an auto accident and normally avoid visiting hospitals. You should not take any chances with your injuries and visit the hospital after the accident because in many cases people start feeling serious pain after few hours or days after an accident took place. Even minor accidents can create serious backbone or other problems and that is why you should immediately seek medical services to ensure your wellbeing. If you have lost consciousness for few minutes then you might be struggling with minor to major head injury. It can happen even when you were travelling in a cab as a passenger and in such situations you can face permanent disability or serious impact on your behavior. It is imperative that there is proper diagnosis of your injury so that it can be evaluated properly when you are filing for a personal injury claim. Hence, be meticulous in seeking proper documents, medical bills and reports so that you are compensated fully.
- Make a proper file with accurate information – You should maintain your accident related documents properly in a single file because accident related information is useful for securing compensation. You should also keep track of accurate data about your claim adjuster, claim number and other things that are linked with the accident. Accidental insurance is valid even when you were travelling as passenger so utilize this opportunity and reduce your financial loss.
- Be proactive in fighting for your rights – Last but not the least, you should never delay in consulting with a personal injury attorney who can help you with filing for a rightful claim. This step is very crucial as it will help you with making your case stronger and your compensation higher. Evidence will be collected well on time when you have an attorney to guide you in a proper manner and most importantly, nothing will be ignored on any front which might otherwise affect your case in the future. You can be rest assured that your rights will be well protected when you have legal experts to help you with every step of the legal process.
You can begin with an initial consultation with your attorney. There you can discuss your case and come to know about weak and strong points of your claim. During discussion you will come to know about chances of success of your case. Moreover, your lawyer will also inform you about various steps that you need to follow in order to make your case even stronger. There are many renowned law firms that are making sure that their clients don’t have to face any kind of issues as they are providing them free consultation and transportation services.
It is pertinent that you avail services of a personal injury lawyer so that your case is represented firmly and confidently. In case there are any loop holes, your attorney will help you through and through to negate all complications. If you are looking for the highest claim value – you always need to be vigilant in hiring services of an experienced attorney. Your sensibility in seeking the best personal injury lawyer will be a real help to you.
There are many tricks that insurance providers might use against you so that you get very less amount as compensation. Here, if you avail services of legal experts, their insight into legalities of the insurance field will help you immensely. You can significantly negate any kind of hassles from legal proceedings, and chances of getting highest compensation increases by manifolds.
In addition to this, there are many who fail to assess their loss and damage properly. If you have sought help of professionals you can make sure that you are compensated completely. You certainly don’t want to be in a situation when you are facing problems caused by a car accident and you get nothing to cover pain and suffering. You should keep futuristic aspects open and never ignore its importance. Hence, it is advisable that you are selecting the most talented and qualified personal injury attorney to file your claim for you.
In the end we can say that even if you are passenger involved in a motor vehicle accident, you can also do a lot about your situation. If you take right steps – you surely get the compensation for loss and damage that you have to suffer. To make sure that you get the claim money, you need to put some effort in selecting the most reliable legal professionals that can help you in your proceedings. With the right people you will not feel discouraged, especially if you know that they are going to charge you only after you have received the claim money. You surely can keep a lot of stress at bay. Hence, it is high time to wake up to your rights before it is too late!