What Are Your Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident in San Antonio?
Car accidents can be terrifying and life-altering events, especially for passengers who are often caught in a situation not of their making. San Antonio, like many other cities, witnesses its fair share of automobile collisions. If you are a passenger in a car accident, it’s crucial to understand your rights and what you can do to protect yourself, both physically and legally. Let’s consider the rights of passengers involved in car accidents in San Antonio and the steps you should take to ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries and losses.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
After a car accident, the safety and well-being of all parties involved should be the top priority. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately, and getting a thorough medical examination can identify hidden injuries, such as whiplash or internal trauma.
In San Antonio, you have the right to receive appropriate medical care, and your medical expenses can be covered by various insurance policies, including Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.
To ensure you protect your rights as a passenger in a car accident, it’s crucial to preserve evidence from the accident scene. This includes taking photographs of the accident site, vehicle damage, road conditions, and any visible injuries. Gather the contact information of all parties involved and any witnesses. These pieces of evidence can be valuable when dealing with insurance companies or pursuing legal action.
Understand Liability and Insurance
In Texas, the person responsible for the accident must pay for the damages and injuries resulting from the accident. As a passenger, you have the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can also seek compensation from the driver of the vehicle you were in if they were at fault.
It’s essential to understand the insurance policies involved, including the liability coverage of the at-fault driver and the coverage of the driver of the vehicle you were in. Your attorney can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims.
Consult an Attorney
One of the most critical steps you can take as a passenger in a car accident is to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney. An attorney experienced in handling car accident cases in San Antonio can provide valuable guidance and protect your rights. They can help you gather evidence, assess your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent you in court.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, there is a statute of limitations that governs the time frame within which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, it is advisable not to delay seeking legal representation, as building a strong case takes time. Waiting too long to take legal action can jeopardize your ability to recover damages.
Damages You May Be Entitled To
- Passengers involved in car accidents may be entitled to various types of compensation, including:
- Medical Expenses: You have the right to be reimbursed for medical bills related to your injuries, both current and future.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries result in time off work or diminished earning capacity, you can seek compensation for lost income.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, may also be compensable.
- Property Damage: You can seek compensation for the repair or replacement of personal property damaged in the accident.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or misconduct, you may be entitled to punitive damages as a form of punishment for the at-fault party.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may try to settle your claim quickly, often offering lower settlements than you deserve. As a passenger, you have the right to be treated fairly by insurance companies and to receive the compensation you are entitled to. It is advisable not to accept any settlement offers without consulting an attorney who can assess the fairness of the offer.
Injured in a Crash? Contact an Experienced San Antonio Auto Accident Lawyer
Have you suffered injuries in a traffic accident in San Antonio or a surrounding area? We have car accident lawyers in San Antonio who are available 24/7 to assist you. Our law firm is among the most respected personal injury firms in San Antonio and is the largest personal injury plaintiff’s firm in Texas. Expertise has named Thomas J. Henry one of the Best Car Accident Lawyers in San Antonio.
Remember, you do not have to face your accident and injuries alone. We are here to help you during your time of need. Let our attorneys deal with the insurers and your claim so you can focus on what’s really important: getting better. Call our car accident law firm’s offices now for a free case consultation.