Did Your Friend Cause a Car Accident That Left You Injured? How to Protect Your Rights as an Accident Victim
If the friend you were riding with caused a car accident, and you were injured, you have the right to file a claim. Just because you were a passenger in the at-fault car, that doesn't take away your right to compensation. Before you forfeit your right to file a claim for your injuries, here are three steps you should take right away.
Know the Statute of Limitations
One thing to remember is that you'll need to abide by the timeline for reporting your injuries, or you run the risk of losing out on your right to file a claim. For instance, in the state of New York, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the responsible party. While that might seem like a long time, it can get away from you quickly if you don't file as soon as possible. To avoid losing out on your opportunity to file a claim, be sure to find out what the statute of limitations is in your state.
Avoid Talking to Your Friend About the Accident
If your friend was the driver of the car you were riding in, and they were responsible for the accident, avoid talking to them about the incident. They may be trying to get you to say something that would get them off the hook. To protect your rights to compensation, as well as the rights of the other people involved in the accident, don't talk to your friend about anything involving the accident. If their insurance company contacts you, and requests a recorded statement, refuse until you can speak to an attorney.
Hire Your Own Attorney
After the accident, your friend may hire an attorney, especially if they were responsible for what caused injuries to others. If your friend suggests that you go through their attorney, you want to avoid that. Their attorney will be working to protect them from liability surrounding the accident. You'll need an attorney who's working to protect your rights as a victim. When you sit down with your attorney, be prepared to give as many details as you can about the accident. This information will help your attorney when it comes time to discuss a settlement with the insurance company.
If your friend caused a traffic accident, and you were a passenger in the car, you should immediately file a claim for your injuries. To learn more about injury law, talk to a personal injury attorney near you.