If you hurt yourself during a car wreck, you might blame yourself if you did something wrong. Maybe you didn’t signal before changing lanes, or you made an unsafe turn. Perhaps speeding or alcohol use played a part.
What if you hurt yourself while not driving the car, though? Injuries sometimes occur when sitting in the passenger’s seat. If that happens, you might wonder what rights you have.
We’ll talk about that in detail right now. You should know your options as a car’s passenger if another driver hits the vehicle.
How Many Passenger Deaths Happen?
The NHTSA says 2018 saw 5,915 passenger deaths during car accidents. The same numbers appear nearly every year, with a little fluctuation.
This means you might injure yourself or even die in car accidents where you didn’t drive or control the vehicle in any way. You can’t do much to stop this except never get in a car. You can put a seatbelt on every time, and you can also avoid traveling with a driver who ingested alcohol or drugs before driving. Other than that, you must hope for the best.
What Can You Expect from a Lawyer You Hire?
As a car’s passenger, if you sustain an injury, you can contact a skilled accident lawyer and talk to them about your options. They can investigate the accident and determine who caused it.
They can file an insurance claim for you, and they can work to get you the biggest possible settlement. They can stay in contact as your case progresses, as you’ll want constant updates.
They will handle the case and all its facets, including negotiations with your insurance company if that proves necessary. They can also file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf if they think you can recoup money that way.
What Causes Passenger Injuries?
Earlier, we mentioned how you can’t do much to stop car wrecks as a passenger. You can wear a seatbelt and avoid getting in a car with an intoxicated driver, but that’s about it.
Passenger injuries happen from driver error frequently. The person driving the car you’re in might do something wrong, or another driver might cause the accident. Distracted driving causes many accidents. Smartphone texts can distract drivers. They might eat or drink while driving or talk to someone in the backseat and cross a road’s center line.
Drowsy drivers cause accidents, and speeding comes into play in many cases. Road rage causes driver accidents. If you get in the car with someone, make sure they’re not a person who exhibits anger in their daily life.
What Injuries Might You Sustain?
You might experience whiplash as a passenger in a car wreck. You might break a bone or more than one. You may sustain cuts or bruises.
You can experience a TBI if your head strikes the dashboard. You might also sustain internal injuries. A seatbelt can save your life, but the way it grips you tightly during a crash can cause serious damage during significant impact events.
How Might Your Life Change After the Accident?
After the accident, you will likely see a doctor and get them to check you out. They will run tests and find out what injuries you sustained.
They might give you an X-ray or an MRI. They may suspect internal injuries or brain trauma. If they let you go home from the hospital, they might instruct you regarding a regimen as you recover for the first several days or weeks.
Further tests might occur later. You may miss work if you broke bones or you sustained soft tissue injuries. Hopefully, you can go back to work after a while, but you might need physical therapy to get back on your feet.
With worse injuries, you may suffer paralysis. Maybe you can’t walk anymore, or you can only do so with a cane for support. You might use a wheelchair. Perhaps you must relearn walking, speaking, and other abilities you once had.
What Else Happens After the Crash?
You might not want to get in a car again after the accident. You may need to see a professional mental health expert and get their advice. You might need therapy to get you back in a mindset where you can ride in cars again without fear.
You may feel angry toward the car’s driver if they caused the crash. It’s one thing if a stranger hit you, but maybe the driver in your vehicle caused the wreck, and now you resent them because they hurt you.
If you’re angry at the driver, and they’re your spouse, sibling, parent, or someone else close to you, you may not want to see them again. You might take some time till you can eventually forgive them. In extreme cases, maybe you never will.
You Must Make Adjustments
You might not know for weeks or months after the crash how much it impacted your life. Many times, you can get over mental and physical trauma. Humans are resilient, and events often seems less serious as time passes.
Time does not always heal your wounds, though, and some serious car wrecks change your life forever. If that happens, you must adjust as best you can. You can lose friends or family members over a bad car wreck, even if you weren’t the one driving.
You can lose your job if you can’t return to your previous position. Maybe you must find an entirely new career if the wreck limited your physical abilities going forward. You might have a completely different outlook after the accident.
You must use all your resiliency to reclaim your life as best you can. Even if things seem bleak, you can find inner strength and get past a bad car accident that changed your world. Take what legal action you can, forgive the driver if you can find it within yourself, and forge ahead hoping that things will eventually get better.