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What to Do If You Are Injured as a Passenger in an Auto Accident


passenger injury

Passenger injuries account for a large percentage of motor vehicle accident injuries. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death among U.S. children and, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 22,812 passengers were injured in auto accidents in 2011 alone.


  1. Get medical attention. In many cases, passengers suffer injuries as severe, or even more severe, than the driver of the vehicle, since they are often unprepared for the accident. Moreover, passengers lack the protection that a seatback or steering wheel might provide. It is important to get prompt medical attention in order to fully assess your injuries and to get the medical treatment that you need.

  2. Retain medical records and documentation. Save all medical records, documentation, and receipts since this information may be requested by insurance companies or be needed if a personal injury lawsuit arises.

  3. Obtain as much information about the accident as possible. Passengers are often uncomfortable approaching the driver of the vehicle, who may be a friend or family member, about the details of the accident. But is important to obtain as much information as possible, including facts about the accident, witness names and contact information, and insurance company information. A skilled Illinois personal injury attorney can be helpful in getting this information on your behalf.

  4. Avoid signing any documents until you have spoken with an attorney. Anyone injured by a negligent motorist, including passengers, may be entitled to money damages for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. In many cases, more than one motorist – including the driver of the car you were riding in and another motorist – will both be responsible for the accident. A knowledgeable Chicago auto accident attorney can assess the legal complexities involving with passengers injuries to determine all possible sources of liability. Moreover, a Chicago car accident lawyer can help avoid uncomfortable situations by communicating on your behalf with the driver of the vehicle, who may be a friend, acquaintance, or family member.

  5. Avoid making emotional decisions. Many injured passengers are hesitant to seek compensation for their injuries since the responsible driver is often someone that they know quite well. It is important to remember that you are seeking compensation from the driver’s insurance company, whose sole purpose is to provide financial compensation for injuries. An experienced Illinois car accident attorney like those at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish can help explain the legal process to you and advocate on your behalf to get you full and fair recovery.

If you were injured as a passenger in an Illinois auto accident, do not hesitate to contact Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.

Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.