If you’ve been injured as a passenger in an RTA you may be able to make a passenger accident claim for compensation. Some common passenger accident claims are made against:
- The driver of the car in which the passenger was injured
- Another driver who was at fault
- Both the driver of the car the passenger was in and the other driver
Also, depending on the unique circumstances of the road traffic accident, you might have a claim against:
- The car manufacturer (if the accident was caused by a vehicle malfunction, for example)
- The local authority if the cause of the accident was a pothole, the road surface or a street light being faulty.
Passenger accident claims are not restricted to cars
If you are injured in an RTA while travelling on any vehicle as a passenger, you might be able to claim compensation. This includes being injured in a motorcycle accident as a pillion passenger, a passenger injured in a taxi accident, and a passenger injured on a bus to name a few.
What are the sorts of injuries you can claim compensation for?
Road traffic accidents can cause a huge range of injuries including:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial scarring or bruising
- Fatal injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Serious head injuries
- Serious spinal injuries
Whatever the type and severity of the injury you have suffered as a passenger, if somebody else was the cause of the injury you could claim compensation.
Can I claim compensation as an injured passenger?
Surprisingly, there are many misconceptions about claiming compensation as a passenger. A lot of people assume that they are not able to claim compensation if they were travelling in the vehicle that was at fault and which caused the accident to occur. This is false. Even when you are in the car with the driver at fault, you can still claim compensation.
Regardless of the reasons why the driver was at fault – it is always their responsibility to drive safely and avoid accidents.
You could still claim compensation even if:
- You were aware that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You were aware that the driver was using a mobile phone while they were driving
- You were aware that the driver ignored road safety advice on purpose
These factors might mean that the driver’s compensation amount is reduced if they are in a no-fault accident or an accident in which they were partly to blame but it should not impact on the settlement any of their passengers are awarded.
Making a passenger accident claim
If you are involved in a road traffic collision as a passenger, it can be a horrific experience that can have a lasting impact on your life whether that’s because of serious physical injuries, mental injuries, or financial hardship. Securing compensation can help you cope with the impacts of your injuries and the accident.
If you’re looking to start a personal injury claim you should find a solicitor or law firm that can give you professional, free advice and preferably has experience in dealing with passenger accident claims.
Many companies will offer you a ‘no win no fee’ claim if they advise you to start a claim. This means that you don’t pay anything if you don’t win your claim, although you should always check before signing. Usually, in these cases, a percentage of the settlement is deducted to pay the fees at the end of the case. This should be agreed upon beforehand.
Passenger accident claims FAQ’s
Who to claim against – who pays the damages?
After any sort of road accident, it’s understandable for you to feel apprehensive when it comes to making a claim for compensation, especially if you’re claiming against the driver of the vehicle you were in. It can be even more difficult if they are your family member or a friend. There is no real reason to feel awkward, however.
In reality, compensation claims made against the driver will be settled through their insurance policy. It will be the driver’s insurer that pays for any compensation that you are due and not the driver themselves. It is for this reason that the first stages of any road traffic accident case involve finding out who is responsible for what happened.
Can you claim compensation as a passenger in a taxi?
If you end up injured whilst travelling in a taxi that has an accident you could be eligible to make a compensation claim if the accident wasn’t your fault. The law requires all UK taxi drivers to have the relevant insurance to cover such situations.
It can, however, prove difficult sometimes to decide who is liable for injuries incurred during a taxi accident. It is always a good idea to seek legal advice from experts if you would like to pursue a case like this.
What costs and expenses are taken into account when submitting a claim?
Just like all RTA claims, there are many costs associated that you can claim for. If you have been injured in a car accident as a passenger, you could claim:
- General damages – this is for any injuries, pain and suffering as a result of the accident
- Care claim – this covers the reimbursement of any care-related costs and fees
- Medical Expenses – this includes private appointments, medication and equipment (rehabilitation devices, for example)
- Travel costs – expenses paid out for trips to receive medical care, including taxi fares
- Loss of earnings – at the time of the accident and in the future too because of the accident.
Are there any time limits for making a claim as a passenger?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re making a claim as a car passenger, a taxi passenger or a bus passenger; you have a time limit within which you must submit your claim.
For the majority of cases, you have to claim within three years following the accident date. If you were a child when the accident happened, you have until your 21st birthday to submit a claim.
If the accident involves a fatality, the deceased person’s family have to claim within three years from the date of death or the date or them receiving the results of the post-mortem.
If an accident took place outside of the United Kingdom, there are varying time limits so it is really important to start the process as soon as you can.
Can I make a passenger accident claim if I wasn’t wearing a seat belt?
It is vital for your safety and that of other passengers, that you follow the law and always wear a seat belt when you are travelling by car. However, If you have been injured in an accident as a passenger and you were not wearing your seatbelt, you might still be able to claim but you might receive a smaller payout.