Passenger Injuries from a Car Accident in Kansas City
In most car crashes, passengers are innocent victims. Since the passenger does not control the vehicle, the passenger is not at fault and cannot be liable for damages caused by the car crash. However, if a passenger’s negligence contributed to the cause of the car accident, that could change some of the passenger’s rights in a Kansas City car accident case.
If you were injured in a car accident while riding as a passenger in Missouri or Kansas, here's what you need to know. If you still have questions or would like to discuss your case with our accident attorney in Kansas City, please give us a call at 816-203-0143 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Damages a Passenger May Recover from a Car Accident in Missouri & Kansas
A passenger injured in a car accident can claim the same types of damages as other victims of an accident. The damages awarded to a passenger depend on the passenger’s injuries and financial losses.
There's no secret formula for calculating what a car accident settlement in Kansas City. However, damages claimed by passengers injured in car accidents may include:
- The expenses and costs related to medical treatment
- Loss of income, including salaries, benefits, commissions, wages, and other forms of income
- The cost of personal care and in-home health care services
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disabilities and impairments
- Emotional distress, mental anguish, and psychological injuries
- Decreases in future earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life
Other out-of-pocket expenses might also be included in damages, such as travel to and from doctor’s appointments, house cleaning services, and over-the-counter medications.
The passenger must have evidence to support claims for damages. Your Kansas City car accident attorney can help you document your damages. Still, you need to keep copies of all receipts, invoices, bills, and other documentation that proves your financial losses.
For pain and suffering damages, keeping a journal detailing how your injuries impact your daily life can also be useful in maximizing your noneconomic damages. Keep track of your daily pain levels, emotional state, and how your injuries affect your relationship with family members and friends.
Who Pays a Passenger’s Damages in a Kansas City Car Accident?
The party responsible for a passenger’s injuries and damages depends on how the car accident happened. The driver who caused the accident is generally held liable for any damages caused by the accident, including damages incurred by passengers.
Therefore, the other car driver involved in the crash could be liable, but so could the driver of the vehicle in which the person was a passenger. Third parties could also share in the liability for the car accident. A car manufacturer could be liable if a defective automobile part contributed to the cause of the crash. Uber, Lyft and ridesharing accidents are also different because the ride-sharing company's insurance company may be responsible.
If a road defect contributed to the crash, the government or a maintenance company could be liable. Likewise, if an airbag or seat belt malfunction contributed to the cause of the passenger’s injuries, the car company and/or manufacturer of the component could be liable for the passenger’s damages.
Identifying the parties that could be liable in a passenger injury case can be complicated. A thorough investigation into the cause of the crash must be completed and analyzed. Experts might be required to assist in determining the cause of the crash.
Does a Passenger Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Kansas City?
There's no legal requirement to hire a lawyer to handle a car accident claim. You can try to settle your car accident claim on your own. But passengers who are injured often benefit from hiring a Kansas City car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a car crash. Several parties could dispute the liability for the passenger’s damages. Sorting out the details could be daunting.
Also, if the passenger is related to the driver and the driver is at-fault, filing claims against the driver’s insurance coverage could be complicated. If the passenger is covered by the insurance policy, the insurance company could deny coverage for the passenger’s injuries. A passenger might also hesitate to file a claim against the driver if they are related or they are friends.
Having a Kansas City personal injury lawyer handle the claim takes it out of the passenger’s hands. The lawyer handles all aspects of the personal injury claim, including filing the insurance claims and dealing with the insurance companies.
What Should a Passenger Do After a Kansas City Car Crash?
The police officers will likely take your statement if your injuries do not require immediate transport to the emergency room. Be honest when answering the officer’s questions. Do not guess. If you do not remember a detail about the accident, state that you do not remember.
If you are unsure whether you are injured, trust the opinion of the emergency personnel. If EMS personnel recommend going to the emergency room, consider following their instructions. It will be noted on the accident report if you refuse transport or treatment.
Do not state that you are okay or not injured. It is better to say you are unsure and intend to see your family doctor as soon as possible.
Insurance companies use statements made by victims at the accident scene to trap them. It is best to keep your statements to a minimum until you have the chance to discuss your case with a Kansas City car accident lawyer.
Avoid discussing the accident with the driver or an insurance claims adjuster until you talk with a lawyer. Remember, telephone calls with insurance providers are almost always recorded, even if they do not tell you that they are recording the conversation. Focus on your medical treatment and finding a car accident lawyer near you.
Keep copies of all documents related to the accident and take careful notes whenever you discuss your injuries or the accident with any parties other than your lawyer.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyer in Kansas City
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus helps accident victims recover the compensation they deserve after being injured in a car crash. If you were a passenger in a car accident, let our legal staff work with you to get you the money you deserve.
While you heal from your injuries, we gather evidence to build a strong cause. We identify all insurance policies that might provide coverage, including no-fault insurance policies, liability policies, and underinsured motorist insurance policies. Our goal is to maximize your recovery to get as much money as possible for your damages.
Call 816-203-0143 to schedule a free consultation with our Kansas City passenger injury lawyer. You do not need to handle your claim on your own. We are here to help.