Passengers can do very little to avoid being involved in a crash. In many cases, they're injured because of the actions of another driver, or perhaps because of the actions of the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger is riding.
Crashes causing passenger injuries aren't always clear-cut. There is often a lot of confusion regarding who was at fault and who is responsible for paying for damages. If you're a passenger who was injured in a crash, you may be wondering who will pay for your medical bills and other damages accrued in the crash. The short answer is the insurance companies, but it's much more complex than you think. The best way to learn about your legal options is to speak to an experienced Kansas car accident lawyer.
How passengers are compensated after a crash
Kansas is a "no-fault" car insurance state, which means that all motor vehicle owners are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The purpose of PIP is to prevent Kansas courtrooms from becoming flooded with car accident cases while allowing injured motorists to recover minor damages. If you own a car, your PIP coverage applies regardless of whether you're driving your own car, driving someone else's car, or a passenger. If you don't own a vehicle and, therefore, don't have PIP coverage, don't worry. You can still recover damages from the PIP policy on the vehicle in which you were a passenger. PIP coverage pays for medical costs, wage loss, rehabilitation, in-home assistance, and funeral expenses.
In Kansas, the minimum PIP coverage requirements include:
- $4,500 per person for medical expenses
- $900 per month for one year for disability and/or loss of income
- $25 per day for in-home services
- $2,000 for funeral, burial or cremation expenses
- $4,500 for rehabilitation expenses
What if my damages exceed the PIP policy limit?
After seeing a doctor, you may find out that your injuries were more serious than you initially thought. You may learn that you need an operation and months of physical therapy before you can recover. In this case, you will need to pursue damages from the at-fault driver's insurance company, whether it's your driver or the driver of another car that caused your crash.
In order to pursue damages from the at-fault driver's insurance company, you will need to prove that your injuries were the direct result of negligence. This is where an in-depth investigation needs to be conducted by an experienced Kansas car accident lawyer. Without an investigation, there is no way to determine who was at fault. Without evidence, it's solely your word against the at-fault party's word.
Personal injury lawyers serving all Kansans
Here is what a lawyer can do for you:
- Work with a crash reconstruction expert to examine physical evidence from the crash scene.
- Interview witnesses and cross-reference their statements with other pieces of evidence.
- Examine the official police report.
- Examine your medical records and official injury diagnosis.
- Check surveillance camera footage and cellphone records, if these pieces of evidence are available.
Whether your recovering damages from your own insurance company or the at-fault driver's insurance company, you should get a strong legal advocate on your side who can help you recover every dollar you're entitled to. Insurance companies often use a slew of dirty tricks to pay you as little as possible. The legal team at Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers can help you recover it all. We have a vast amount of legal knowledge and experience dealing directly with insurance companies. To find out how we can help you, contact us by phone, email or online and schedule your free, no-obligation legal consultation.