3 Things to Do if You're in a Car Accident as a Passenger

3 Things to Do if You're in a Car Accident as a Passenger

You were with your friend, accidents happen and it's not uncommon to feel like you're betraying your friend by taking any form of legal action

You're riding in the car with your good friend. You're both jamming out to the latest Bruno Mars remix, and all of a sudden, you hear the tires screeching. Your head bounces forward, the airbags deploy and the rest of the events that follow seem like a complete blur.

Motor vehicle accidents are scary.

It takes a split second for an accident to occur. And as a passenger, it can often feel "wrong" to pursue damages. You were with your friend, accidents happen and it's not uncommon to feel like you're betraying your friend by taking any form of legal action.

1. Write Down the Events Leading to the Accident

Insurance companies will ask for your story. "What happened leading up to the accident?" And this question might be asked days later, or longer. It's hard enough for people to remember what they had for breakfast.

Trying to remember all of the important details leading up to an accident is difficult.

I recommend taking the time to write down your story to have a complete, thorough story to follow. It's important to have your story straight because one minor change from your original story will be used against you.

"Motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, motorcycle accidents and truck accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim. These claims are typically based on the theory of negligence," states Ankin Law Office LLC.

If you forget a small detail of an accident, this can lead to not being able to prove negligence.

2. File a Claim Against the Driver's Insurance

This is where a lot of passengers start to think twice about filing a claim. When it comes to insurance, there's a reason the driver pays: accidents. If the driver of the vehicle you were riding in was at-fault for the accident, you'll need to file a claim against his or her insurance policy.

Your friend's insurance will include liability, which will pay for:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses

If the other driver is at-fault, you'll want to make a claim against his or her insurance. This is why you must call the police following an accident. A police report will provide you with all of the information you need to file a claim.

But there is one time when a claim may be difficult to file: the driver is related to you.

Insurance companies may not provide coverage in the event that the passenger is related to the driver.

3. File a Claim Against Your Own Insurance

Passengers that have their own car insurance may be able to file a claim against their own insurance. This is a less-obvious choice, but you may be able to file a claim on your own insurance if you have MedPay or PIP.

This may make your own rates go up, and there are obvious policy limits to consider.

PIP and MedPay are usually additional parts of a policy, so you'll need to add it to your policy. If you have health insurance, you can often use your own health insurance to cover your medical bills.

Always try to exhaust your auto benefits before using your health insurance to cover medical bills.

There's also the option of using your uninsured motorist insurance. Statistics show that 1-in-7 motorists in the United States are uninsured. If your friend or the opposing driver are uninsured, your policy's uninsured motorist insurance can help.

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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.


Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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College Is NOT The Place To Be A Perfectionist, In Fact, It's Nearly Impossible

Accept it and move on.


Life is hard for a perfectionist, and it only gets harder if it keeps itself up.

There is such little room for a perfectionist to mess up, and college is full of mess ups. That's why no one should expect themselves to keep entertaining the thought of perfection past high school. You can always chase it and never reach it, or you can work as hard as you can and get exactly where you want to be.

I was a perfectionist my entire life.

People always criticized me for it and said it would come back to bite me later. Of course, I never believed them because it worked out in my favor. I was getting where I needed to be and all the self-discipline is what I assumed got me there. Fast-forwarding to the present, they were right. It did come back to bite me. Actually, it is biting me.

I was setting myself up for failure all that time and I ignored it. I was only after perfection up until college because it wasn't that hard to obtain. I didn't have to study and I had time for my friends. But then things got harder out of nowhere and I was not prepared at all to shift the standards I had for myself.

As a perfectionist, I constantly compared myself to other people and made sure I was doing better than the next guy, or at least just as well. That didn't work for long. I stopped competing with others because I learned that no one is worth beating if they aren't even chasing the same goal. And that helped me learn to quit competing against myself, too, because we're on the same team.

Freshman year of college, I almost pulled it off. The perfectionist in me nearly won. Then I started reasoning with myself and I figured out I had limits to what I could handle and I stopped pushing myself past them.

There are sacrifices that have to be made in reaching success.

College is like the triangle you can only pick two things from. On it might be grades, free time, and work, and you have to give up free time to have a job and good grades. A perfectionist will try so hard to get all three, and they may be able to at first. But it catches up with you.

Then there are other times where you're lucky to get one piece of the triangle. It's a game of going back and forth and testing patience in the pursuit of greatness.

I may end up with an "A" in a class because I only studied for that one exam, and in return, I might fail a quiz that same week. It would have bothered me to not evenly distribute my time and to not do perfectly on all of it, but it's actually OK. And the job that may take up way too much of my time will look really good on my resume and the time I didn't have to enjoy myself won't matter later.

And as bad as they seem at one particular moment, sacrifices are worth it in the end. Some things just carry more weight than others and the further I've gotten, the more I've figured it out. And I just try to remember that when I reach the point where I've gotten exactly where I wanted to be, no one is going to ever know what I had to give up to get there. And there's even a chance I won't remember either.

As long as I'm actually trying as hard as I can and I learn from every hiccup and mistake, things will work out the way they should.

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