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Cleveland Car Accident Attorney: What to Do When Your Driver Caused the Accident

Posted by attorney Christopher Mellino

Talking with a Cleveland car accident attorney can help you understand accident liability for passengers. Although many of these cases involve negligence of another driver in a different vehicle, fault can also be found with the driver of the car in which you were traveling.

What should passengers do after a car accident?

Seeking medical attention is the first thing you should do after an accident. If medical care doesn’t happen at the scene, or if you aren’t transported to an emergency department, make an appointment with your own doctor as soon as possible.

Symptoms can sometimes take time to manifest, or the severity of your injuries might not be immediately evident.

Of course, if you don’t require emergency services, then contacting the police would be your first step. Even if it was a single-car accident, it’s still important that you report it.

What is written in the accident report could be helpful later when you collect evidence. The report may indicate the exact cause of the crash, such as speeding.

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to obtain the driver’s contact information. The driver may be a close friend or someone you recently met. Make sure to get his or her full name, phone number, policy number, and driver license number.

If you can get a photo of the accident scene, do so. Also take pictures of any visible injuries.

Proving Accident Liability as a Passenger

These types of cases tend to be easier to prove because passengers don’t normally contribute to a crash, so accident liability usually doesn't fall on them.

More than likely, you will be entitled to some form of compensation when you file a personal injury claim with the help of a Cleveland car accident attorney. Proving accident liability as a passenger usually comes down to determining who was mostly or completely at fault: another driver or the one in your vehicle.

Not every case is simple. You would benefit from speaking to an attorney about your situation first. An attorney can advise on how your claim should proceed and the legal options that are available.

One of the first things that need to be established is duty of care. This is an important element to a successful personal injury claim. Clearly, drivers owe passengers a duty of care because they are responsible for what happens while they’re behind the wheel.

You will also need to show that as a result of the accident, you sustained enough injuries to justify pursuing a claim against the driver. A few bumps and bruises won’t warrant legal action, but serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or fractures, will.

Sometimes the driver’s liability insurance coverage will take care of your damages. Liability insurance isn’t always enough, which is why a personal injury claim may be in your best interest.

Contacting a Cleveland car accident attorney is critical so that you can avoid any potential problems with your case. This will also help ensure all of your losses -- financial, physical and emotional -- are addressed. Mellino Robenalt, LLC is a law firm in Cleveland that can review your case and discuss your legal options. Contact them today at 444-333-3800.

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