4 things injured passengers need to know

injured passengers

Injured passengers – Getting into a car accident is a terrifying experience. But what can make it a bit less terrifying is being informed about what to do following the incident. While there will always be things that are beyond our control (like being involved in a car accident can be), ensuring that we have knowledge is not.

Injured passengers when an auto accident occurs takes the liability off the passenger, but they still may be wondering what their rights and responsibilities are. If they or you have been injured in a car accident, here are four of the most important things they or you need to know:

Injured passengers

1. Get medical (and psychological) attention

The physical dimension

Immediately after an accident, your body is trying to process what just happened, and it may be pumping different hormones throughout your system, including a sudden surge of adrenaline. This is like a protection mechanism that kicks in automatically and triggers a set of self-preservation responses, including high levels of energy and not feeling pain.

So, it is important to keep in mind that even if you think the crash was nothing serious or you do not immediately feel agony, it does not mean you were not injured. Getting medical attention as soon as possible is in your best interest.

During a crash, you might also suffer latent injuries, which might not be immediately apparent, but they can lead to complications over time. Left untreated, these will become not only more dangerous for your general health, but the treatment plan will also grow more expensive, and a longer recovery time might be needed.

Some of the most common latent injuries relating to accidents are:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussions
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries (especially in the lower back area)

If you have been injured, the physicians will be able to put you on a treatment plan. Make sure that you take good care of your medical records because personal injury attorneys tend to rely on these as a key resource in securing your claim.

The psychological dimension

An accident can be visceral, brutal and it can jolt the body into the forefront. Pain caused by injury forces us to turn our attention to our bodies. Unlike physical injury, psychological wounds can be more difficult to detect. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the psychological implications of surviving a crash to be overlooked.

The most common psychological effects of being involved in a car accident are anxiety, depression, and a more severe reaction can manifest as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Close family members and friends can help monitor the behaviour of their loved ones and note any inconsistencies or possible signs of psychological trauma. But, just like with the physical dimension, even if there are no visible effects on one’s psyche, it is best to contact a trained mental health specialist for a consultation.

2. Know who to talk to

You may not have been the driver during the accident, but that does not mean that you get to remain anonymous. You will be required to give certain information about who you are and your involvement in the accident to other people, including police officers and emergency personnel.

At some point in time, you may be called upon to testify or to give your side of the story. If you are confused or uncertain about what to say, then contacting a lawyer might be in your best interest.

3. Determine what caused the accident

If you are planning to file a claim with the car insurance company, you need to be aware of what caused the accident. This can help you determine if you should go after one or more drivers when it comes to pursuing compensation for any injury you might have sustained.

It’s also helpful to know what types of damages you can claim, and this will depend on what caused the accident in the first place.

Due to the trauma of the event, you may not remember the details clearly. That is when talking to a lawyer can be particularly helpful. They will be able to obtain important documents like copies of the police report and other statements to ensure that what happened during the accident is brought to light so that you can get what you deserve.

4. Go after what you deserve

Many passengers who are injured in accidents don’t feel like they should go after compensation. They do not want to cause problems or make friends or family members feel guilty. This is a noble way to look at the situation, but you deserve to be taken care of as well.

Although the accident did not result in any life-threatening injuries or permanent damage to your health, your medical bills might still be piling up. Furthermore, the treatment of even a mild injury might lead you to miss too many hours from work or not be able to participate in social events that once brought you joy. So, if as a result of the accident your health or social functioning has been affected in any way, you should not hold back from obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Take care of yourself

Getting into an accident can be life-changing. Even if you were only the passenger in the vehicle, you can still suffer from serious physical or psychological injuries and may struggle to get your life back on track. It is important to have patience and allow yourself to take the time you need to heal all wounds.

You may not be liable for what happened, but you still deserve compensation to cover any medical expenses or other issues that might arise due to someone else’s negligence.

If you decide to embark on this legal journey, it is a good idea to arm yourself with social support, talk to your family and closest friends and allow them to be by your side. This way you will ensure that you can always receive a trustworthy second opinion and also the emotional support you might need to see things to the end.

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