Special Issues for Passengers Injured in an Atlanta Car Crash
While the realization that a car crash cannot be avoided immediately prior to impact is a harrowing experience for drivers, the anxiety and fear increases exponentially when you are a mere passenger in the vehicle. If you are simply riding with someone else, you have no ability to prevent the crash, which can promote an intense feeling of hopelessness. The overwhelming emotions and excruciating physical pain often experienced by passengers involved in an Atlanta car crash creates an atmosphere where it can be difficult to know how to proceed to protect your rights. If the motorist who was driving the vehicle you were riding in caused the accident, you may feel even more conflicted and uncertain because you presumably have a personal relationship with the driver.
Our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates understand the unique challenges that confront passengers injured in collisions so we have provided an overview of some important issues that injured car crash passengers should keep in mind.
Personal Relationship with the Driver: Passengers often suffer injury in collisions when traveling with a family member, friend or co-worker who is driving. While you may feel ambivalent about pursuing a personal injury claim against someone with whom you have a close relationship, it is important to understand that you may incur substantial medical bills, lose time from work or experience permanent disability or disfigurement. A personal injury claim provides a way to prevent your family from being financially harmed by medical costs and the loss of household income. The negotiations and processing of the claim as well as any payout will routinely be handled by the driver's auto insurance so the claim does not necessarily pose any threat to your friendship or family relationship.
Feelings of Guilt: It is natural to feel some degree of guilt or responsibility when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. When you are a driver, it is important not to express such feelings to the other driver because the insurance company may later use these statements when attempting to prove you caused the car crash. The dynamic is different when the person you know was the negligent driver. While it may be natural to express remorse by apologizing for distracting the driver with a conversation or letting the driver operate the vehicle after drinking, you should avoid such statements because the driver's insurance company may use these to attribute some portion of fault to you even though you were not driving either vehicle.
Hasty Evaluations of Fault: Some car accidents can be complicated and involve more than one negligent party. Even if you think the other driver was primarily at-fault for causing the accident, you should avoid sharing information that could compromise your claim with the driver of the vehicle in which you were a passenger. Disclosures that could prove damaging later might include indications that you have a pre-existing injury or that you do not think you suffered serious injury. The driving conduct of both drivers may have been unreasonably unsafe which may turn out to be critical if the other driver has no insurance. The bottom line is that you should not discuss the details of the accident with either driver until you have consulted with an Atlanta accident attorney.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For You
If you or your family member is injured while a passenger in a motor vehicle, our Atlanta accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been helping injury victims and their families for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.