Filing a Claim with the At-Fault Driver
Usually, the most direct way to receive payment after an accident for your medical bills as a passenger is to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance.
If you were in the car that was responsible for the incident, then you would usually file a claim with that driver’s insurance company. Usually, that driver’s medical payments or PIP insurance will pay, provided that the driver has this coverage. Liability coverage will only apply to other drivers in other cars.
If you were in a car accident involving another party, and that party was responsible, your medical expenses fall under that driver’s liability insurance. That means you are filing a claim for coverage that falls under another person’s policy. In most cases, you will have coverage in these situations.
However, one limitation occurs when the party carries a low level of liability insurance or medical coverage.
For example, the state minimum requirements in many areas are very little. Most states require only low levels of liability insurance, and many will not require medical payments coverage at all. If the incident is significant, the amount of coverage available may fall below the covered offered by the policies. In this case, you may have to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver to recoup your losses.
Filing with Both Drivers
In some situations, it may be possible for the passenger to file the claim through multiple insurance companies. If both parties share some level of responsibility for the incident, it may be possible to file partial claims with both. However, this is often a process that involves a lot of negotiation.
Related to the Driver
The biggest problem passengers have is this. If you are a member of the household where the responsible driver lived, you may not be able to file a claim against the driver’s liability insurance coverage. This can make it difficult for you to obtain coverage for your losses. All the same, medical payments or PIP insurance might help you out.
Speak to your car insurance agent about your options and needs. Discuss how you can file a claim for your losses based on the details of your incident. Many people can recoup their losses as a passenger.