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What Should I Do If I Was a Passenger in an Accident in Oklahoma?

Posted on: April 6, 2021 by Tony Edwards

Injured passenger in car calling for help in car accident.

Knowing what to do to protect your legal rights if you were a passenger in an accident in Oklahoma can be crucial for recovering damages.

A car accident as a passenger in someone else’s car can be a painful and terrifying experience that could leave you with a stack of medical bills. It can be challenging to know what to do if you were a passenger in an Oklahoma accident. Who will be responsible for your damages? Will it be your car insurance, the driver’s insurance company, or another driver’s policy?

If you suffered injuries as a passenger in a car, you need to protect your rights. The first steps to safeguard your rights can be seeking medical assistance immediately and then contacting an experienced car accident attorney. Depending on your specific accident, your lawyer can advise you of your options for seeking compensation from the responsible insurance companies.

Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Edwards & Patterson Law now for a free case evaluation.

What to Do If You Are a Passenger in a Car Accident

If you are a passenger in a car accident, you should try to gather the auto insurance details from your driver and any other involved drivers. Collecting eyewitnesses’ contact information can be crucial, especially if you later need to file a legal action to seek compensation.

Try to retrieve a copy of the police accident report for your records also. If you have injuries and medical expenses and other losses, you could have various options for recovering compensation.

You should seek medical evaluation as soon as possible to ensure your health and safety and provide a record that your injuries were directly related to the car accident.

Claims from Passengers in Vehicles Whose Driver Was Not at Fault

If the driver of the vehicle you were riding in is not to blame for the accident, you could still potentially recover a settlement from their insurance company. For example, if your driver has medical coverage, you could be covered for some of your medical bills.

If you suffered injuries and losses in an accident as a passenger, you should pursue all available options for compensation. That can include filing a claim with your driver’s insurance company or under your auto policy.

Since Oklahoma is an at-fault state, you will most likely be dealing with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. You should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer at Edwards & Patterson to find out precisely what you should do if you were a passenger in an accident in Oklahoma.

Claims from Passengers in the At-Fault Driver’s Vehicle

Since Oklahoma uses a fault-based insurance system, you could receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or the owner of the vehicle you were riding in.

The at-fault driver’s bodily injury insurance typically covers passengers. However, liability coverage can vary. In some instances, for example, when an accident victim suffered catastrophic injuries, the liability coverage limits may be too low to cover the full damages.

Claims from Passengers in Single-Vehicle Accidents

If you suffered injuries in a single-vehicle accident, it could be legally complicated to pursue compensation. You could potentially file a claim under the driver’s liability insurance, but their policy may not offer adequate compensation if your losses are high.

Depending on which other entities may have been at-fault for your accident, you could still recover a comprehensive settlement. If the accident occurred due to a road defect or a road design defect, a local government entity could be responsible.

You may also be able to file a claim with your own car insurance company.

The best way to have your questions answered after a single-car accident is to seek advice from a seasoned car accident attorney who can determine all potentially at-fault parties and help you pursue full compensation from their insurance companies.

Can a Passenger Be At-Fault in an Accident?

Since a passenger is not in control of the vehicle, they cannot typically be held responsible for an accident under Oklahoma’s at-fault laws.

However, if a passenger deliberately caused a crash with their reckless actions – for example, by pulling on the steering wheel or interfering with any aspect of the vehicle’s operation – they could potentially be at fault or partially at fault for an accident.

Does Bodily Injury Coverage Cover Passengers in Your Vehicle?

According to the Oklahoma Insurance Department, the minimum liability insurance required in Oklahoma is:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one individual, which can include a passenger
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more individuals in one accident, which includes passengers
  • $25,000 for property damage in one accident

Suppose you cannot recover enough compensation to cover your bills and the at-fault driver in your accident is a friend. In that case, you might need to consider filing an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim under your policy. Edwards & Patterson Law can help you assess your options.

UM/UIM Claims for Passengers in Car Accidents

Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) can become necessary if you are a passenger in an Oklahoma accident. Most importantly, if the at-fault driver in your accident was uninsured and your driver has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), filing a claim under this policy can help you get what you deserve.

Even if it was a single-vehicle crash, you might still be able to tap your auto policy’s UM/UIM coverage if the driver lacked sufficient coverage.

Get Help from Our Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers Now

Passengers in car accidents may not know where to turn because recovering compensation can be complicated depending on the accident’s facts. Remember also that the car insurance companies generally work in their own best interests – not yours.

If you suffered injuries as a passenger due to someone else’s recklessness or carelessness, you deserve compensation for your losses. Our experienced Oklahoma car accident lawyers can work in your best interests and fight for what you need and deserve.

We can:

  • Protect your legal rights and offer legal guidance
  • Negotiate strongly with insurance companies
  • Gather and organize the evidence required for your claim
  • File the paperwork for a lawsuit and represent you aggressively in court

We are committed to helping car accident victims. If you do not know what you should do if you were a passenger in an accident in Oklahoma, contact Edwards & Patterson Law now to determine whether you may have a case and could recover compensation.

Tony Edwards

Tony Edwards is a McAlester native who has practiced civil litigation in Oklahoma for nearly four decades. Tony earned his undergraduate degree from East Central University and his law degree from the Oklahoma University College of Law. Today, he focuses his practice exclusively on the representation of accident and injury victims, including mass tort cases involving defective products. He holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicating the highest level in legal ability and ethical standards. In addition to his law practice, Tony serves as an elder in Lakewood Christian Church and is active in Shared Blessings, an organization which his wife, DeVonna, launched in 1998 to provide clothes for people in need.

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