A passenger accident lawyer on his laptop preparing documents for a client's case.It can be scary to experience an accident from the passenger’s perspective. Being unable to control their reaction toward the oncoming vehicle and enduring injuries because of it may be frustrating, but passenger accident victims can find support from an attorney specializing in advocating for claimants in their shoes.

The passenger in an auto accident claim may not have their claim looked at with the same close attention as the driver in some cases, but an attorney can help you settle confidently, ensuring that your claim isn’t being undervalued by the representing insurer.

At Bert McDowell Injury Law, our objective is to aid Bridgeport community members through complex litigation processes. A claimant can feel more confident every step of the way by working with a Bridgeport passenger accident lawyer because that representation brings a whole team of advocacy and care — along with the know-how of having handled many cases like yours before.

Your first consultation is where you and your attorney will review the details of your accident and is a great opportunity for you to ask any immediate questions and find out more about the legal options available. To schedule your free case review, call (203) 590-9169 or contact us online today.

What Are the Steps for Filing an Auto Accident Claim With a Bridgeport Passenger Accident Attorney?

When a claimant works through litigation on their own, the process of filing a claim can feel confusing. The negligent party’s insurer has no obligation to keep you in the loop and help you understand the fine details behind claim management, but an attorney can be your advocate throughout each step, big or small.

An auto insurance claim will see many different stages that leave all parties with their responsibilities to manage in order to settle the claim. The liable party will be utilizing the support and resources of their representing insurer, but without your own attorney, you’d be left to tackle this process alone.

Having representation can help you ensure you aren’t overlooking small but impactful details to support your claim, as you’ll have a team of legal professionals at your side the entire way.

The standard process of filing an auto insurance claim consists of a few steps:

  1. Opening a claim with the negligent party’s insurer
  2. Investigating the details of the accident
  3. Valuing the damages
  4. Negotiating a settlement
  5. Filing a possible lawsuit if negotiations don’t result in a settlement

How Can Having an Auto Accident Attorney Benefit My Claim?

The injuries and expenses that can result from a serious accident may leave the victim with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. A car wreck attorney can help you determine if another driver is liable for the damages you have incurred and help you fight for a compensatory settlement that resolves the outstanding debts.

A Bridgeport passenger accident attorney has seen countless auto accident claims before yours. Having a familiarized professional ally in your corner can be the driving factor in walking away with a settlement.

Many claimants will question their settlement long after the claim has been finalized, wondering if they could have had a better outcome. When you work with an attorney, you can be sure that you’ve maximized your claim’s worth from the beginning.

By working with a Bridgeport auto accident lawyer, you will gain:

  • Legal advice and guidance: Throughout the course of your passenger accident insurance claim, you’ll likely have questions about the proceedings or concerns about how the process is playing out. An attorney will listen to your worries and help you gain a realistic perspective about what the best strategies and actions would be. Instead of relying on the internet or third-party sources that may be inaccurate, trust in the services of a Bridgeport auto accident lawyer.
  • A professional valuation of damages: When the bills pile up, it can be overwhelming to keep track of the debt. Your attorney will thoroughly review the debts relating to the accident and formulate a valuation of present and future expenses that the negligent driver may be liable for.
  • Support through communications with other parties: To settle an auto accident claim, it is critical that all involved parties and their representation can communicate clearly and efficiently. Without an open line of communication, many of the important tasks that each party is responsible for will never be completed. It can be frustrating to recount your experience in the accident with the insurer and further communication regarding what you endured so an attorney can speak on your behalf throughout the investigation and beyond.
  • A trained negotiator: Presenting and arguing the value of a settlement figure with the representing insurance adjuster can be a nerve-wracking task, especially because they are trained in strategically undervaluing claims for the company’s benefit. An attorney looks out for your best interests and will counter any attempts at lowball offers until a comprehensive figure addressing all incurred expenses is presented.
  • Case management through possible lawsuits: Most of the time, an insurer will want to avoid a lawsuit to every extent that they can. Settling a claim out of court is the ideal way of recovering damages from your accident in most cases, but in situations where all involved parties cannot agree on your settlement, a formal lawsuit may be necessary. Your attorney will have been preparing for this step from the beginning, saving precious time from being wasted in that sensitive moment.

How Does a Passenger Accident Attorney Determine Negligence?

Passenger accidents are unique because the driver they know and were with at the time of the crash may be liable — in part or in full — for their injuries. Other drivers may also be at fault, and the case could even potentially involve the manufacturer of a defective vehicle, airbag, seatbelt, or other component.

Regardless of who caused the collision, an unfortunate passenger still holds medical debts and other damages after being involved in an accident. The first step in filing an auto insurance claim in Connecticut is to establish an at-fault party, and an attorney can help you make this determination.

The process of determining negligence involves demonstrating all four of the points of negligence:

  1. Duty of care: It must be established that the allegedly liable party had a duty of care to the victim at the time of the accident. When on the road, all motorists have a duty of care to each other to follow traffic laws.
  2. Breach of duty: The party in question failed to uphold their responsibility of care.
  3. Causation: Once it is established that the other driver breached their duty of care, it must be confirmed that this breach is what ultimately caused the accident and the claimant’s injuries.
  4. Resulting damage: The accident, caused by a breach of the negligent party’s duty of care, resulted in damages.

What Should I Do as a Passenger After an Auto Accident?

From 2020 to 2021 alone, car accident rates increased by roughly 10%. With crash statistics rising, it is critical to understand what steps to take after an accident to protect your physical and financial well-being.

An attorney can advocate for you throughout the process of your claim, but even before retaining representation, there are steps that a claimant can take on their own to secure important evidence for future reference:

  1. Always report the accident, preferably by calling 911 at the scene
  2. Immediately see a doctor to assess your injuries
  3. Take photos of your initial injuries and the progression over the following weeks
  4. Document the scene of the accident with pictures
  5. Offer a witness statement when first responders arrive on the scene
  6. Stay on top of follow-up care like physical therapy

Common Injuries for Passengers in a Car Accident

A car crash can lead to extreme, life-altering injuries. In 2022, more than 40,000 individuals suffered fatal injuries from a car accident.

A passenger can face injuries different from the driver’s because of their position in the car, possibly sitting more relaxed with their legs on the dashboard or crossed.

Some of the most common injuries reported by passengers in a car crash include:

A Bridgeport Passenger Accident Law Firm Can Guide You Through Your Insurance Claim

When you are moving through the steps of an auto accident insurance claim, having trustworthy representation by your side can ultimately make the whole process feel less worrisome or burdensome. Your Bridgeport personal injury lawyer can lighten the responsibilities that you carry along the way, managing each step, guiding your strategy, and keeping you informed about how the claim is unfolding.

After an accident, a victim should be able to spend their precious time healing from their physical traumas instead of focusing on the financial burdens. An attorney can help you get your time back and recover financially without sacrificing your healing journey or monetary well-being.

An initial consultation with Bert McDowell Injury Law is completely free, and we promise never to charge any upfront fees for auto accident claim representation. Your first meeting with an attorney leaves you with no obligation to move forward with our services, but we hope to help you feel more knowledgeable about the legal process ahead.

To schedule this free, no-obligation case review, call (203) 590-9169 or contact us online today.