How to File a Passenger Injury Claim After a Portland Car Accident
When you get into someone else’s vehicle, the last event that you expect is to be involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, these collisions happen every day on Portland roads, leading to financial hardship and pain and suffering. After an accident, you may wonder if you could recover compensation as an injured passenger.
There are many legal options available to passengers injured in motor vehicle accidents. If you were injured in a collision caused by another, you have the right to pursue a claim against the responsible driver.
Legal Options for Injured Passengers in Portland
Oregon, like most states, follows a fault-based standard for car accidents. If a driver causes a collision, he or she is financially liable for any damages that the victims suffered. These victims include drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and passengers.
After a Portland car accident, there are many legal options available to you as a passenger. Your optimal legal pathway will depend on your unique situation.
- Liability Insurance Claims: Oregon requires drivers to carry liability insurance, which pays for bodily injuries and property damage suffered by anyone who was injured in the collision. To recover compensation, you will need to prove that the policyholder caused your accident.
- Personal Injury Protection Claims: Some motorists in Oregon carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance pays for the policyholder’s own injuries following an accident and usually covers passengers in the vehicle as well. If your driver has PIP coverage or if you have your own, you could file a claim and recover compensation regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Claims: In the event that you were involved in a hit-and-run accident or injured by a driver who does not have insurance, you may be able to file a claim under an uninsured motorist (UM) policy. This coverage applies to both drivers and their passengers.
- Personal Injury Lawsuits: As an injured passenger, you could also file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in Oregon civil court. To recover compensation in your claim, you will need to show that the driver caused your accident and your subsequent injuries.
How Do You Prove a Passenger Injury Claim?
In many cases, proving a passenger injury claim involves establishing fault. When filing a liability insurance claim, for example, you will need to supply sufficient evidence showing that the policyholder’s actions caused the collision. Evidence like police reports, medical records, surveillance footage, and witness testimony can be especially powerful.
During a PIP or UM claim, you will need to prove that you are eligible for compensation under the terms of the policy. In these situations, it is important to supply evidence that shows the nature and extent of your injuries and proves that you were a passenger in the vehicle.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to gather evidence that proves the following facts:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty to drive safely and follow the law.
- The at-fault party breached this duty of care.
- The driver’s breach of duty caused your accident.
Speak to an Attorney About Your Passenger Injury Claim
Navigating a passenger injury claim can be challenging, and it can be difficult to know what to do next. In these situations, it is necessary to have a Portland car accident lawyer on your side to guide you through your claim. As soon as possible following your accident, contact an attorney to discuss your next steps.