As you may know, if you’re involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you could claim compensation from the other party. But what happens if you were a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident? Well, personal injury compensation might be available to you too. In this article on the process of claiming compensation as a passenger injured in a car accident, we’ll look at the types of car accidents that could lead to a claim and how much compensation car passengers could be awarded. We’ll also explain the claims process in detail.
Our team of specialist advisors is available to answer any questions about car passenger injury claims. They’ll also review your claim for free during a no-obligation claim review and offer legal advice on your options. If it looks like you have a legitimate case, you’ll be partnered with one of our specialist solicitors. If they agree to represent you, they’ll do so on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means you’ll be able to claim for your injuries without having to pay legal fees unless you’re compensated.
To talk to us right away about your claim, please call 0800 652 1345 today. To learn more about the claims process before calling, please continue reading.
Common injuries suffered by passengers in car accidents
Legally, you could claim for almost any injury sustained as a passenger in a car accident that was not your fault. Some of the more common injuries to car passengers that compensation might be paid out for include:
- Head injury including concussions (and other brain injuries).
- Whiplash injuries affecting the neck, spine and shoulders.
- Bone fractures.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Cuts, bruises and lacerations.
The range of injuries to passengers involved in a car accident is honestly huge. They can start with very minor injuries that take a few weeks to heal right up to life-changing or even fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured whilst a passenger in a car accident, please let us know what happened and we’ll review your chances of being compensated for free.
Can I claim compensation as a passenger in a car accident?
Our personal injury lawyers will always need to assess the merits of any car passenger injury claim before accepting it. They’ll usually try to establish whether the claim has a chance of success by checking whether:
- You (the passenger) were owed a duty of care by the defendant (usually another driver); and
- The defendant’s negligence caused a car accident to occur; and
- You were injured as a passenger in the accident.
Essentially, all road users have a duty of care to other road users so you don’t need to worry about this too much. This is set out in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and it covers car passengers as well as other drivers. As such, your main concern during a car accident passenger claim is proving how you were injured and who was to blame. We’ll explain what proof could be used a little later.
Who will I sue if I’m a passenger injured in a car crash?
As set out above, car passenger claims could be made against anybody who caused the car crash to happen. In reality, that means you could sue the driver of your car, the driver of another car, a taxi driver, a bus company, a local authority, pedestrians, horse riders etc.
If it’s not clear who your claim needs to be made against, please feel free to speak to one of our specialists for free legal advice.
Can I claim compensation even if I didn’t have a seatbelt on?
Legally, car drivers and passengers must wear a seatbelt if the vehicle is fitted with one. However, a passenger in a car accident claim may still be possible if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt on the basis of contributory negligence.
After your claim has been reviewed, if it is found that your injuries would’ve been less serious if you had been wearing a seatbelt, your compensation may be reduced by around 15%. If the injuries would’ve been avoided altogether, any compensation might be reduced by 25%. However, if a medical expert suggests your injuries would’ve been the same regardless of whether you were wearing a seatbelt as a passenger injured in a car crash or not, you could receive 100% of the compensation if your claim is successful.
Common negligence causing injuries to car passengers
As we’ve already explained, passengers in car accidents could be entitled to compensation if their injuries were sustained from an accident caused by another road user’s negligence. Examples of the types of negligence that could lead to a claim include:
- If a car driver crashed because they were using their satnav or phone.
- Where the accident was caused by speeding, reckless driving or road rage.
- If a pedestrian stepped out in front of a car without looking.
- Where a driver caused a crash because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If another driver pulled out in front of your vehicle causing an accident at a roundabout.
- Where your car was hit from behind by another vehicle.
- If an accident occurred because of a pothole or road defect because the council were negligent in not maintaining the road properly.
- If your injuries were sustained by damaged seats in a taxi or on public transport.
These are just some examples of when car passengers could claim for injuries following an accident. The list isn’t exhaustive so even if your accident is not listed, please get in touch and we’ll review your eligibility to claim with you for free.
How much compensation for car accident passenger claims?
In terms of road traffic accidents, it does not matter if you were injured as a car passenger, driver, pedestrian or cyclist. The amount of compensation you could be awarded will be based on the suffering caused by your injuries and any costs incurred (general and special damages).
As such, if you make a successful car passenger injury claim, it could include compensation to cover:
- How much physical pain and suffering you’ve endured.
- Any psychiatric damage caused by the accident including distress, anxiety or even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Any loss of enjoyment your injuries have on your social activities, hobbies or family life.
- Loss of income. More serious injuries can affect your ability to earn in the future. As such, future lost earnings could also be claimable.
- The cost of a professional carer or an amount to cover the time somebody else spent supporting you.
- Travel expenses like fuel or parking costs linked to hospital treatment for example.
- Medical expenses including physiotherapy or private hospital treatment for your injuries.
- Adaptations to your home if your injuries have reduced your quality of life and the changes will improve things for you.
It is important to properly understand how your injuries from the car accident have affected you and how they will affect you in the future before submitting a car accident passenger claim. If you work with one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll do all they can to try and ensure you are properly compensated for your suffering.
Assessing the severity of your injuries sustained in the car accident
When seeking compensation for your injuries, your solicitor will need to fully explain how you’ve suffered. They’re not medically trained themselves so you are required to have an independent medical assessment as part of the car passenger injury claims process.
The meeting is nothing to worry about and it will usually be held at a local venue. During the assessment, a medical specialist will review your medical notes before examining your injuries. They’ll talk with you about the extent to which your injuries and the car accident have affected you.
After the meeting, a report will be filed with both parties involved in the claim that explains how you’ve suffered and your future prognosis.
Providing proof for a car passenger injury claim
In most car passenger injury claims, you’ll end up dealing with the defendant’s insurance provider. As a business, they want to pay as little compensation as possible so will always want to see clear proof to show how the defendant caused your injuries before paying out. Your solicitor will try to prove what happened and how it’s affected you by providing supporting proof such as:
- Accident scene photographs. If it is safe and you’re able to do so, it’s usually a good idea to take pictures of the car accident before any vehicles are moved. The location of the vehicles and any damage can help to prove who was at fault.
- Witness statements. Your solicitor might ask any witnesses for a statement of what they saw if liability for the accident is not clear. For this reason, you should collect the details of anybody who stopped at the accident scene.
- Medical records. X-rays and medical notes from the hospital that treated your injuries can go a long way to proving a) that you were in fact injured as a passenger in the car and b) the nature of your injuries.
- Dashcam footage. If your vehicle is fitted with a dashcam, you should download the relevant footage as soon as possible. Similarly, if any other vehicles that stopped at the scene had cameras, ask for a copy of their dashcam footage too.
- Details of the other vehicle. At the time of the accident, it’s always a good idea to write down details of any other vehicles including the make, model and registration number. Legally, drivers must also give their contact details and insurance policy details if asked.
- Financial records. Here you should keep bank statements, wages slips and receipts to claim back any costs linked to your accident.
If you believe that you already have the proof to support a claim or you’d like help securing proof, please get in touch today.
Car passenger injury claim time limits
The law in the UK states that car accident claims have a 3-year limitation period. For most injuries to passengers, the time limit will begin on the date of the accident.
However, if your child was injured as a passenger in a car accident, the 3-year time limit doesn’t start until their 18th birthday. For this reason, an adult can apply to become a litigation friend and then make a claim on their behalf at any point before that date.
It is often a lot easier to be able to find the proof to support a car passenger injury claim if you start the process as soon as you can following the accident. Also, if your injuries have not healed yet, your solicitor might be able to ask the defendant to make an interim payment so that you can receive private medical treatment before the claim has been finalised.
No Win, No Fee car passenger injury claims
Our solicitors realise that the costs associated with personal injury claims would prevent claimants from proceeding if they had to be paid upfront. That’s why any car passenger injury claim that is accepted is handled on a No Win, No Fee basis.
As well as knowing you don’t need to pay fees upfront, knowing that you won’t pay legal fees if the claim fails will also make the claims process much less stressful.
If your claim is accepted and you decide to proceed, your solicitor will begin working on your claim straight away. Also, they’ll deal with the defendant’s insurers on your behalf so you won’t face any difficult legal or medical questions.
If you win the case and are paid compensation, your solicitor will deduct a success fee for their work.
Start a car passenger injury claim today
We’re here to help you get started if you’ve decided to claim compensation for injuries sustained as a passenger hurt in a car accident. Simply call our team on 0800 652 1345 and they’ll start the ball rolling. There’s no obligation to proceed when you call but we’ll assess your claim with you, provide free legal advice and explain your options. If the claim is suitable, we’ll ask one of our personal injury solicitors to review it further. They’ll manage the claim on a No Wi,n No Fee basis if you both agree to work together.
Please use our live chat service if you have any further questions about the car passenger injury claims process.