A passenger accident lawyer smiling as he works on a client's case in a well-lit office.Getting into an accident can be a shocking experience for a passenger. The driver will have control over the vehicle and how they respond to the threat of a crash, but a passenger must sit by with no power to change the course of events.

An accident can be just as serious for the passenger, who could walk away with extreme injuries that may have long-term effects.

Bert McDowell Injury Law has been a continuous resource for members of the Hartford community facing situations similar to yours, offering experience, knowledge, and resources to auto accident claimants. We want to help you recover as much as you can in the wake of your serious passenger injury event.

You can schedule a free case review with our attorneys to discuss your legal options and get an idea of the types of damages you may be able to claim. Schedule your free case review with a Hartford auto accident attorney when you call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online today.

How Can a Hartford Passenger Accident Attorney Help Claimants Recover?

Regardless of whether the vehicle a passenger crashed in caused the accident or not, every involved passenger may have related expenses to cover. Even when they have no part in causing the accident, a passenger can accumulate personal costs from injuries, property damage, and more after a crash.

The burden of these costs can be a source of anxiety for a Hartford passenger accident victim as they heal from their injuries, but an attorney can assist in protecting a claimant’s financial recovery while they focus on their physical health.

Instead of splitting your time between every task that needs your attention and finding time to rest your injuries, delegate the tasks of an auto accident claim to a trusted Hartford passenger accident attorney. Their experience means they are better able to prepare your claim, including a more accurate evaluation of damages you can claim under the applicable policy.

The aid of an attorney can provide an auto accident insurance claimant with:

  • Legal advice and professional resources: Without an attorney, who can you turn to with your questions and worries that arise during the course of the accident recovery? Your attorney is your personal resource for all legal queries and concerns, tailoring their specific answer to your unique situation.
  • Accurate valuation of damages: One big advantage attorneys provide is their willingness to help you ask for more from your claim, backed up by the language of the policy and the documentation from your medical care team. Our goal is to ensure you leave nothing on the table when you sign your settlement!
  • Claim management from start to finish: There are many tasks that an attorney can manage on behalf of an accident victim. The steps of processing an auto accident claim can be tedious and time-consuming, with a high margin for error. The tediousness can cause a claimant to put off important responsibilities and risk missing key claim deadlines, but an attorney can ensure that every step is moving forward efficiently.
  • An understanding of the damage recovery process: Most auto accident claimants will only see a handful of claims within their lifetime, meaning that the steps can feel entirely new each time a person approaches the process. Your attorney can manage thousands of insurance claims in a given year, and they’ll use that knowledge and experience to keep your claim on track.
  • Negotiating a final settlement: Once the events of the accident have been reviewed and the damages have been valued accordingly, the representation of both parties will negotiate the final settlement. While your attorney can speak on your behalf, it is the claimant’s responsibility to accept or deny a settlement offer. Your lawyer will help you avoid lowball offers so you don’t fall for manipulative tactics to undervalue your claim.
  • Preparing for a formal lawsuit if necessary: Not every case will reach this step, but in the event that both parties cannot agree upon a settlement amount, a formal lawsuit may be a productive measure for your financial recovery. A lawsuit is generally the last resort but is effective in cases where the negligent driver is uninsured or underinsured.

What Mistakes Are Claimants Most Likely to Make?

Throughout the course of an auto accident claim, a claimant may fall victim to any of the most common mistakes that jeopardize a claim’s value, including:

  • Apologizing for the accident: It can feel like an instinct for some people, but offering a simple apology can actually have a negative impact on your financial recovery. This gesture can lead the liable party’s representation to argue that your apology is an admission of guilt for your actions, causing a gray area around the fault.
  • Delaying the completion of important tasks: The steps of finalizing an insurance claim can be overwhelming, especially if you have limited experience. Many claimants may feel more comfortable pushing these responsibilities to the back burner. Putting off the completion of essential tasks for your insurance claim can leave you at risk of coming close to critical deadlines.
  • Believing that the liable party’s insurance representative works for you: When you file a claim with the liable party’s auto insurance company, they will hire the services of a claim adjuster to settle your damages. Many claimants are under the impression that this professional is looking out for their best interest, but in actuality, a claim adjuster’s main goal is to forward the goals of the company that hired them.

Most Common Injuries for Passengers After an Accident

Over the last few years, the rate of car accident fatalities has increased. From 2020 to 2021, there was a spike of more than 4,000 deaths.

Passengers in a vehicle face the same threat as the driver and can endure serious injuries in a car crash. In 2021 alone, almost 30,000 passenger occupants succumbed to fatal injuries in a car crash.

Some of the most commonly treated injuries for victims of auto accidents include:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Chest trauma
  • Internal bleeding and other complications
  • Breaks, fractures, and dislocations
  • Burns
  • Paralysis

What Should I Do After Being the Passenger in a Hartford Auto Accident?

While an attorney can be a valuable resource for a claimant while they settle a passenger accident insurance claim, there are some steps that they can take in the early steps of damage recovery to protect the future of their claim:

  • Offer a witness statement to police: As a passenger in an auto accident, you may need to give a witness statement to the police. Your statement will include an account of what you saw from your seat, including the decisions of the motorist in your vehicle and your perspective of the other car’s actions.
  • Seek medical attention for injuries: Once you are safe and the initial impact of the crash has worn off, it is essential that you seek medical advice regarding your injuries. The adrenaline that is released after a car crash can leave the victim unaware of the true extent of their injuries, so a doctor can provide a proper assessment and treat any traumatic injuries.
  • Document injuries and the healing process: Keep a record of your injuries and how they heal over the following weeks. Taking photos of your injuries can emphasize the severity of how the accident impacted you when the claim adjuster is reviewing the damage.
  • Take photos of the crash site: Having a thorough visual record of the scene of the accident can help the claim adjuster quickly put together an understanding of the crash but can also help prevent misunderstandings from arising regarding how the accident unfolded.
  • Commit to doctor-advised follow-up care: Once your doctor assesses the extent of your injuries, they will devise a plan for your healing journey. It is important that an accident victim commits to their doctor’s orders, not only for their physical health but also for the sake of their auto accident claim. Neglecting follow-up care can create an opportunity for the claim adjuster to say that you are worsening your own injuries.

A Hartford Passenger Accident Law Firm Can Represent Injured Crash Victims Through Damage Recovery

Without a lawyer, a claimant may unknowingly walk away with out-of-pocket expenses that could have been covered by the insurance settlement or a potential lawsuit.

Your attorney will be your guide throughout the litigation process, helping you understand what productive actions to take and what mistakes to avoid.

An initial consultation with an associate from The Bert McDowell Law Firm is completely free, and our firm promises never to charge any upfront fees for our services. Our goal is to make the financial recovery process as smooth as possible so we ensure that a client won’t have to worry about paying legal fees before seeking out a settlement for their current debts.

Accordingly, we will only take a small, agreed-upon percentage of your final settlement once the process has concluded.

Associates are standing by to help you find representation and begin the process of your financial recovery journey. To schedule your free case review today, call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online.