Car Accidents: When Bystanders Suffer Injuries

Legally, you can file a bystander claim.

You are walking down the street when two cars collide right in front of you. Not only did you witness the accident, but you also got hit by the debris from the crash. You have glass stuck in your leg. The bumper flew off and struck you in the face.

You were not in the car at the time of the accident, though. Can you still file a claim and recover compensation for damages? Legally, you can file a bystander claim. If you suffered emotional distress after watching a loved one get seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be able to claim emotional distress as well.

Gathering Evidence

Like any accident case, you need evidence to prove that another party caused your injuries. Witness statements, photos and a police report can help you get started on an insurance claim. However, the insurance company may not offer you much, if anything. Don’t settle for anything until you speak to a car accident attorney in the Bronx first.

You shouldn’t try to settle this type of case on your own. The laws are complicated when it comes to accident bystanders, since they were neither a driver or passenger at the time of the crash, and insurance policies tend to cover only those inside a vehicle when it crashed. For the best outcome possible, have your lawyer work directly with the insurance company.

If you required medical treatment, make sure you keep receipts and other evidence of medical care. If your injuries were severe, you could receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.

Emotional Distress

Getting physically hit by debris after an accident does happen, but more often, bystanders tend to experience emotional distress after a crash. This is especially true when the accident happens to a loved one.

For example,  a parent watching their child get fatally hit by a car can be devastating. If you watched a close family member suffer a horrific accident, you can sue for emotional damages. There does not need to be evidence of any sort of physical injury.

Whether or not you have a viable claim depends on the following:

  • Whether you were in close proximity of the accident when it occurred.
  • If your shock was a direct result of your reaction to the accident.
  • Whether or not you were closely related to the victim.

All three of these elements must apply in a bystander claim involving emotional distress.

Work with Experienced Bronx Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured while witnessing a car accident, you need to understand your legal rights. Bystander injuries can be serious in nature, but often difficult to claim. Make sure you get the compensation you deserve by contacting the Bronx car accident lawyers at Grant & Longworth, Attorneys at Law. Contact our office at (800) 836-3519 24/7 to schedule a consultation.