Can I Make A Claim If I Was A Passenger In A Car Accident?

By Stephen Burke. Last Updated 22nd February 2024. Welcome to this car accident claims guide. It is dedicated to exploring the answer to the question, ‘how can I prove fault in a car accident claim?’ and ‘I was a passenger in a car accident; how do I make a claim?’ If you’re injured as a passenger in a car accident, a settlement could help you. Please read on to find out if you could be eligible to claim for a car accident, whether you’re injured in a car accident as a taxi passenger or in another friend’s car.

If you want to get in touch for more information and to talk about possibly starting a claim, there are several methods you could use.

  • You could use our contact page to request a phone call from our team.
  • Alternatively, you could call us on 0800 073 8801 to speak with an adviser.

Passenger sitting in the back of a car

Choose a Section

  1. Can I Make A Claim If I Was A Passenger In A Car Accident?
  2. How Could A Car Accident Occur?
  3. What Evidence Do You Need To Prove A Car Accident Claim?
  4. Car Accident Passenger Compensation Amounts
  5. Can I Make A Claim If I Was A Passenger In A Car Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  6. More Resources On Passenger Accident Claims

Can I Make A Claim If I Was A Passenger In A Car Accident?

If you are injured as a passenger in a car accident, you may be able to make a personal injury claim. To have a valid case, you would need to prove that your injuries were caused by a road user breaching the duty of care they owed you.

All road users have a duty of care towards each other. They must use the roads in a way that prevents causing harm to others on the road or themselves. They must adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and follow the rules and guidance contained within the Highway Code

If you have been injured as a passenger, who you would make your claim against would depend on who breached their duty of care. This may be the driver of the vehicle you were in or another road user.

To see whether you could be eligible to make a passenger in a car accident claim, you can contact a member of our advisory team.

Car Accident Passenger Claims Time Limit

You may be wondering how to claim for whiplash as a passenger. If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim after being injured in a car accident, you must be aware that there is a time limit you must adhere to. Generally, you will have three years to start your claim for a car accident. This runs from the date the accident occurred.

However, there are certain exceptions to this time limit. For example, the time limit is paused for those under the age of 18. From their 18th birthday, they will have three years to start a claim. Prior to this date, a court-appointed litigation friend could claim on their behalf.

Furthermore, the time limit is suspended for those who lack the mental capacity to make a claim for themself. During this suspension, a claim could be made on their behalf by a litigation friend. If they regain this mental capacity, they will have three years to start proceedings from the date of recovery, provided that one has not already been made for them.

For more information on how to make a passenger in a car accident claim or how to claim for whiplash as a passenger, you can contact our advisors.

How Could A Car Accident Occur?

Car accidents can potentially occur for various reasons, such as the following:

  • Speeding or other forms of dangerous or reckless driving by a driver, such as driving through a red light.
  • A driver may cause a collision if they are distracted. For instance, one is more likely to occur if they use their mobile phone while driving.
  • A driver may make a mistake if they are tired, drunk or under the influence of drugs they’ve taken.
  • Poor weather conditions, such as heavy rain or fog, can reduce visibility and make driving more difficult, increasing the risk of an accident in the process.
  • Road hazards such as potholes or mud on the road can also create more risk for drivers.

One or several of the factors listed above could be contributory factors to a car accident that has harmed you. If you’re asking questions such as “can I make a claim I was a passenger in a car accident?”, please contact our advisors for free today to learn about your eligibility to claim.

What Evidence Do You Need To Prove A Car Accident Claim?

If you’re a passenger in a car accident, it’s important to know why and how you may be able to claim compensation. You may be able to claim if your injuries were the result of another person’s negligence. As a passenger, this means you could potentially claim against a driver if you are harmed.

However, if as a driver you lose control of your car and damage other people, if you were deemed negligent, you wouldn’t be able to seek compensation.

Evidence is crucial because you need to show how your injuries were caused by negligence. In a passenger claim from a car accident, potential evidence includes:

  • Dashcam footage or CCTV footage of the accident
  • Photographic evidence of your injuries and the accident site
  • Witness statements. You can take the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident and ask them to make a statement as part of your claim
  • Medical reports and copies of medical scans that can show the extent of your injury
  • Police reports of the accident. Many road traffic accidents result in a call-out being needed to the police so that the roads can be cleared of any debris. Their reports of the accident could be useful
  • Making notes of both how the accident occurred and your recovery. Your first-hand account could prove to be helpful evidence in making a claim

Car Accident Passenger Compensation Amounts

Typically, payouts for successful passenger injury claims could include general and special damages.

General damages is the head of claim that compensates you for the pain and suffering you have endured due to your injuries.

When calculating general damages payouts for a passenger in a car accident claim, referring to the  Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) might be useful. This is a publication which provides guidance on payout amounts for a variety of injuries at different levels of severity. You can see some figures from the 16th edition, released in 2022, in the table below. However, this is only guidance.

The top entry in this table, however, does not feature in the JCG.

Guideline Compensation Brackets

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Type of Injury Notes Compensation Range
Multiple serious Injuries with associated financial expenses. Serious – a combination of injuries that cause serious consequences. To include financial losses such as loss of pay. Up to £1,000,000+
Paralysis – Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia (a) The higher range of this compensation bracket is applicable to cases where physical pain is present and the ability to communicate and the senses have been significantly impacted. £324,600 to £403,990
Brain Injury – Very Severe (a) Some ability to follow basic commands, but will require full-time nursing care and will show little meaningful response to their environment. £282,010 to £403,990
Brain Injury – Less Severe (b) A good recovery will have been made, however they may still suffer with poor concentration and memory. £15,320 to £43,060
Leg Injury – Amputations (i) Both legs have been amputated above the knees. Or one has been amputated above the knee and the other below. £240,790 to £282,010
Leg Injury – (iv) Moderate Complicated or multiple fractures, or severe crush injuries to one leg. £27,760 to £39,200
Back Injury – Severe (i) Severe damage to the nerve roots and spinal cord, leading to a combination of very serious consequences not usually found in back injuries. £91,090 to £160,980
Shoulder Injury – Severe Often associated with neck injuries that involve damage to the brachial plexus. £19,200 to £48,030
Whiplash 2(1)(a) A whiplash injury that lasts longer than 18 months but less than 24 months. £4,215
Whiplash 2(1)(b) A whiplash and psychological injury that lasts longer than 18 months but less than than 24 months. £4,345

Special Damages

Special damages compensate you for the financial expenses sustained due to your injuries.

Special damages payouts could be awarded for:

  • Care costs incurred due to your inability to care for yourself while recovering from your injuries.
  • Medical expenses, such as prescriptions, for example.
  • Loss of income sustained due to taking time off work to recover from your injuries.

You will need evidence that your injuries directly caused these costs and losses. For example, this could be bank statements and receipts.

Please contact an advisor to learn more or get a personalised compensation estimate. They could also advise you on how to claim for a car accident if you are eligible.

Injured In A Car Accident – What Is The Whiplash Reform Programme?

If you sustained a personal injury in a car accident, you may wish to claim compensation. However, on May 31st 2021, the way some claims are made for those who were injured in a car accident changed.

With the introduction of the Whiplash Reform Programme, if you are over 18 and were injured as a driver or passenger in a car accident, with injuries valued at £5,000 or less, then you will make your claim through the government’s Official Injury Claims Portal. If your claim succeeds, the compensation you receive will be in line with the tariffs set out by the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.

To find out if your claim could be affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme, get in touch with our team of advisors today. Unchanged: To find out if your claim could be affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme, get in touch with our team of advisors today.

Can I Make A Claim If I Was A Passenger In A Car Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis?

Now we have explained how to claim for a car accident, you might want to work with a legal professional on your specific case. One of our solicitors that has experience with passenger injury claims could offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

This would mean you wouldn’t have to pay for your solicitor’s work upfront or throughout the course of your claim. You won’t have to pay for their services if your claim fails.

Instead, under a CFA, if you are successfully awarded compensation, a small, legally capped success fee will be deducted from this. This fee is a small percentage that is subject to a legal cap.

Please contact an advisor if you want to learn more about whether one of our solicitors could help you make a passenger in a car accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis. They can be reached via the following methods:

More Resources On Passenger Accident Claims

Here are some helpful links on passenger accident claims:

  • How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Whiplash? – Find out the amounts of compensation you could claim for whiplash injuries.
  • Cycling Accident Claims – If you are a cyclist that has been involved in a road traffic accident, please read our guide to learn more.
  • Pedestrian Accident Claims – Why not read our guide to learn more about making a compensation claim for a pedestrian accident, including “how can i prove fault in a car accident claim”
  • Whiplash NHS info – A neck injury common in passenger accident claims, whiplash can be painful. Read the NHS advice on the condition here.
  • Highway Code Rules – Read some of the most important rules within the Highway Code here. This could answer the question of “how can I prove fault in a car accident claim”
  • Whiplash Payout Scale Claims Guide – Find out how much you could claim for a whiplash injury.
  • Learn about the whiplash recovery time and how to claim with our informative article.

For more advice on passenger accident claims, please get in touch.