The aftermath of an accident can be scary, chaotic, and confusing. It can be even more confusing if you’re simply a passenger in the accident. After the accident, the drivers are usually conversing and exchanging insurance information.

The police may be interviewing drivers and uninvolved witnesses. But you’re sitting by waiting for a resolution and wondering what you’re supposed to do. Your obvious injuries might require immediate medical attention, or maybe a hidden spinal or muscle injury will reveal itself later. How are you supposed to advocate for yourself?

The passengers are often forgotten or neglected in an auto accident, so it’s critical that you are able to act for yourself in the event of a vehicle crash when you’re the passenger. Today we’re sharing some important steps you should take, so read carefully and prepare in case you’re ever involved in an auto accident. 

What To Do When You’re an Injured Passenger

  1. Handle Shock & Adrenaline. When you’re involved in an auto accident you may feel excited and scared. Your body can go into shock or simply soak in the adrenaline of fight-or-flight. This means you can deal with hyperventilation or even totally miss the reality of an injury. Take deep breaths, drink some water, sit down, or even rest with your eyes closed for a minute. 
  2. Gather Information. It may not be your vehicle, your fault, or your insurance. But you should still acquire the contact and insurance information of all parties. Being entered on the police report can also help you get access to the information for future claims if you need them. 
  3. Get a Medical Assessment. In-car accidents, many passengers come to find their injuries are much more serious than they initially thought. Some passengers may walk away from an accident feeling fine, but then notice spine or neck issues as days and weeks go by. Get a check-up with your preferred medical professional after the accident, no matter what. Document the results and remain vigilant in looking for any signs of injury. 
  4. File a Passenger Injury Claim. Just like the drivers will file accident claims, you can file an injury claim through your insurance. Review your insurance policy to determine coverage, and call for details and further information. You should submit your claim soon after the accident, but including a medical report and any subsequent paperwork. 
  5. Get an Injury Lawyer. Unfortunately, your needs can fall through the cracks when the insurance deals with the drivers involved in the auto accident. An accident or injury lawyer can put your needs first and help you receive the compensation and representation you deserve. Our lawyers can and will make a difference in your injury claim as a passenger to pay for medical attention, loss of wages, and any other damages you incurred from the accident. 

Don’t forget that your needs matter, even if you weren’t a major player in the accident. Take your own rights seriously and prepare to file a successful claim for your own protection.