If you are injured while a passenger in a car involved in an accident in Texas, you should know your legal rights. More than 80,000 people are injured each year in crashes in Texas. Passengers in car accidents have important rights, but many people do not take advantage of the rights provided by law and are left with medical debt.
Understanding and exercising your rights can help prevent you from being financially devastated after suffering car accident passenger injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. The quickest way to understand your rights is to take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Understanding your rights helps you know where you stand after a crash.
Car Accident Passenger Rights in Texas
Texas civil law requires drivers to pay for the accidents they cause and affords all those involved, including passengers, certain legal rights and responsibilities. Generally speaking, you have the following rights as a passenger in a car accident:
- You have a right to request the names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, driver license information and insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident. If a driver refuses to provide his or her license or insurance information when requested, let the police deal with the driver. The police officer will gather the information and you can obtain it from the police.
- If you are injured, you have a right to reasonable assistance including transportation to a hospital or doctor for medical treatment. If do not require emergency aid, you should still go to the doctor and have a medical assessment after a crash, even if you believe that you did not sustain serious injuries. You may not feel pain immediately afterward. But you may wake up very sore two or three days after a collision. A doctor’s report provides documentation that your injuries were caused by the accident, if you later need to file a claim.
- You have a right to a copy of the official police report regarding your accident. Ask the law enforcement officer who investigates the crash when the report will be available and how you can obtain a copy.
- You have a right to decline to speak with insurance adjusters representing the at-fault driver or drivers or to give a recorded statement. Before giving any statement to an insurance adjuster, you should consult with a personal injury attorney.
- You have a right to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to understand your legal options. An experienced car accident attorney at Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP can review the specific facts of your accident and discuss your options for seeking compensation.
- You may have a right to demand compensation for your medical bills and other expenses from the insurer of the driver who caused your injuries.
- If the driver of the car in which you are a passenger has medical payments coverage as part of his or her auto insurance, it generally pays for injuries to passengers up to the limits of the policy, regardless of fault. Under Texas law, insurance companies must offer personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of auto insurance policies. Sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance, PIP covers injuries to passengers and provides payments for lost income, regardless of who was at fault.
- If the insurance company representing the at-fault driver refuses to agree to fair compensation for your injuries and other losses, you have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and his or her insurer for just compensation.
Contact an Austin, TX Car Passenger Injury Attorney
A serious accident can create confusion about what to do next, particularly if you are dealing with serious injuries and struggling to recover. If you have been injured as a passenger in a car, truck or motorcycle accident in Austin, you should call an experienced passenger injury attorney at Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.