Passenger Rights After an Iowa Car Accident

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Posted by Tim Semelroth

If you were a passenger during a car crash, and you were injured, you may not know what to do next.  Let’s discuss your rights and what you need to know:

Getting Your Bills Paid After the Car Crash

You must determine who was at fault for the accident. If the person driving the car you were riding in was at fault, then your claim will need to be filed with their auto insurance first.  If the driver does not have enough insurance to cover your losses, you will have to look to your own auto insurance company for uninsured, or underinsured, motorist benefits.

Things can be even more complicated if the fault for the crash lies with the person driving the other car.  Again, their auto insurance will be the first place you should look for compensation for your crash-related harms and losses.

If they are not carrying adequate insurance coverage, the next place to look is to the auto insurance of the driver of the vehicle you were riding in.  You would need to file for their uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.  If there is still not enough coverage to fully compensate you, you may be entitled to additional uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits through your own auto insurance.

As you can see, determining who is responsible for your harms and losses can be complicated.  An experienced Iowa car accident lawyer can help you determine who is responsible.

Medical Payment Coverage and Your Car Insurance

After a crash, you may have access to a type of car insurance known as “medical payment coverage,” also known as, “med pay.”  This type of coverage may cover your medical bills while you are waiting to settle your case.  It’s important to note that med pay coverage only covers your medical bills – which means you cannot use it for lost wages or other expenses.  Check your insurance policy or contact your insurance agent to determine what exactly your med pay covers.

If you are using med pay, you may need to reimburse your own car insurance after you settle your claim against the at-fault driver.  This reimbursement is also known as subrogation.  A knowledgeable Iowa car accident attorney will educate you about your subrogation responsibilities before you settle your case.

Record the Details of Your Accident and Any Pain Afterwards

A car crash is a traumatic event. You may think you’ll remember the details of it forever.  However, your memory will fade with time, and you will likely lose important facts and observations.  A personal injury case can take years to settle, which is why we tell our clients to keep a journal.

In this journal, you should record everything you remember about the crash, including the weather and road conditions, what you saw and what you heard.  This information could be very important for you to get a fair Iowa personal injury settlement.

You should also keep a daily record of any pain you’re experiencing.  Record the level of pain you’re in and any changes in medication.  Keep this record until you’re healed, or as healed as a doctor says you’ll get.  This journal can serve as evidence when it comes time to settle your case.

If you have further questions on what your rights are as a passenger in an Iowa car accident, call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1783 and speak with one of our attorneys today.

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