Visitor Question

Uninsured passenger injured when driver fell asleep and crashed?

Submitted By: Dana (Washington, USA)

I was riding in the car with someone who fell asleep at the wheel. I live in Idaho but the accident happened in Washington. She fell asleep and drove off the road. We were doing 65mph at the time. I don’t drive so I have no car insurance. I also have no personal insurance.

Needless to say I burst my t-12 vertebrae. I blacked out when they took me out of the car. I lost that whole week. I now have 8 screws and two plates in my back. Three hospitals and 38 days later I can’t see my spine doctor, because they don’t bill third parties. I haven’t heard a word from her or her claims adjuster.

What should I do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Dana,

Don’t speak with anyone from the driver’s insurance company. Don’t sign any documents submitted to you by the driver’s insurance company, or the driver, or the driver’s attorney. In other words, don’t do anything until such time as you have visited with a personal injury attorney.

Some cases involving minor, or “soft tissue,” injuries can be handled by a victim without the need for legal representation. Soft tissue injuries can include sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, whiplash, minor cuts and bruises, etc.

Victims of more serious “hard injuries” should always be represented by an experienced personal injury attorney. Hard injuries can include fractures, head trauma, 3rd degree burns, back injuries, and the like.

Your injuries were quite serious. As a result, at the earliest possible time you should seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. There is just too much to lose in a case like yours.

Moreover, injury attorneys don’t charge any fee for an initial case review. Thereafter, if they accept your case, you won’t owe them a dime, until and unless they settle your case or win it at trial. In almost all serious injury cases, an attorney can secure a much higher net settlement to the client than the client ever could on his or her own.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 5, 2015

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