Can I make a claim if I was a passenger In a car accident? How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – December 2020 Update

By Martin James. Last Updated 3rd March 2021. Welcome to this guide dedicated to exploring the answer to the question ‘how can I prove fault in a car accident claim?’ Throughout, we will provide free legal advice regarding passenger car accident claims in length.

Over the last couple of years, the mechanics and technology within cars have allowed them to become safer, and laws and policies have been introduced to ensure roads and highways are as safe as possible. However, despite these significant measures, road traffic accidents can still occur.

Sometimes, a road traffic accident can be an unfortunate and unforeseen turn of events where nobody is at fault or to blame. However, there are some cases where a third party could be at fault. In return, their actions could cause an innocent passenger of a car accident to become injured. Throughout this guide, we will outline what road traffic accidents are, how they are caused, what impact they can have, and most importantly, whether a passenger of a car accident could make a claim.

If you have been in a car, van, bus, lorry or another vehicle as a passenger and suffered injuries resulting from an accident you could have grounds to seek compensation. By talking to a company such as ourselves, with friendly solicitors who have 30 years of experience in compensation claims, including passenger car accident claims, you can make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

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.

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Your guide to claiming for compensation as a passenger

passenger car accident claims

passenger car accident claims

According to Government Figures on Reported road accidents, there were 153,158 reported road traffic accidents in 2019, of which 1,752 were fatal. The circumstances surrounding an accident can be complicated.  Multiple insurance companies can be involved, and there may be police investigations if criminal activity is suspected. Throughout the course of this guide, we aim to address the following questions:

  • What is a road traffic accident?
  • How are road traffic accidents caused?
  • Could I make a compensation claim if I was a passenger of a car accident?
  • Can a personal injury solicitor offer to handle my case>?
  • Are there any funding options available to support me and my case?

It is worth noting that no two claims are exactly the same. Therefore, if we fail to touch upon any aspects of your case, please do not worry. All you have to do is contact our team using the number at the top of the page.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Who is responsible for your injuries?

If you were a passenger of a car accident that has caused you harm, one of the primary issues that must be addressed is who you are claiming against. For instance, you must question who caused the accident, and to what extent could the accident have been avoided?

There are several possibilities:

  • The driver of the vehicle you were travelling in.
  • The driver of another vehicle responsible for the accident.
  • The owner of the road
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle you were travelling in
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle that caused the accident

There are some circumstances where accidents leading to passenger car accident claims are clearly the fault of one individual. For instance, if a driver exceeding the speed limit fails to stop when the car in front does, it could cause a collision. Sometimes, accidents are caused by a complicated sequence of events. For example, an accident could be caused if traffic travelling in the other direction crosses into your lane.

The conditions of the road also play a significant role in road traffic accidents. For instance, potholes or insufficient road maintenance has the potential to cause an accident; they could cause oncoming traffic to lose control of their vehicle. For example, a severe pothole could jar your back, causing damage to the spine or make you lose control of your car. Inadequate lighting could make it harder for drivers to avoid each other.

Finally, cars, for all their modern technology and improved build quality, are sometimes faulty. If a design flaw contributed to the accident or your injuries, then you may be able to claim against a car manufacturer for compensation.

Can my passenger sue me?

As a driver, you are responsible for your passenger’s safety whilst they are in your car. If you are involved in an accident that was your fault, the passenger could have grounds to claim the damages they’ve endured. So, if you were in the wrong and have caused damage, “can my passenger sue me” will likely be answered with a firm ‘Yes”. Typically, it will be your insurance company that will deal with the passenger car accident claims, and they will pay compensation as part of your claim with them.

The question of your liability can become extremely complicated. If you’re asking “can a passenger sue a not-at-fault driver”, then the answer depends on the situation. If your passenger is found to have not been wearing a seatbelt then whether you provided one, whether you knew if it was broken, or whether they had suddenly decided to remove it for some reason just before the accident occurred will all have a bearing on to what extent you are liable for their injuries in passenger car accident claims.

If you have been involved in a car accident as a driver and are wondering “I was in a car accident that’s my fault, can I claim personal injury?”, then there are circumstances where you could put in a claim. If you are unsure what your legal liabilities are for a passenger whiplash claim, then you should seek legal advice without delay.

Can I claim against foreign drivers?

If you are involved in a car accident with a foreign driver, you may question whether you could take legal action for the damages you’ve endured. 

Pursuing passenger car accident claims against a foreign driver may sound daunting, but thankfully, our personal injury solicitors are well versed in dealing with cases of this nature. Since 1953 we have been a member of the Green Card system whereby a foreign driver can indicate that they are fully insured in their home country. Therefore, if you are involved in a road traffic accident with a foreign driver, the claim would claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

MIB will deal with compensation for passenger car accident claims involving foreign drivers and will be able to liaise with the driver’s insurance agents. However, in order to make a claim of this nature, you will need to provide evidence, such as:

  • Registration number
  • Vehicle description 
  • Contact information
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Drivers licence 

How can I claim if the driver is uninsured?

Another function of the Motor Insurers Bureau is to run the uninsured driver’s compensation scheme. All drivers pay into the scheme as part of their annual premiums. If the driver responsible for the accident is untraceable or uninsured, you will be able to file a claim against the fund for your compensation.

What to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident?

Should you find yourself in a situation where you are involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, you may consider taking legal action for the damages you’ve endured.  If that is the case, you may question whether you can take steps to support your case.

As a car accident passenger, the best thing you can do is collect evidence to support your case. Having evidence critical when seeking compensation, and without it, making a claim will be incredibly challenging. Within the sections that follow, we have taken the time to outline steps you can take to support your case.

In the meantime, if you happen to have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate from contacting our team. One of our advisers will be happy to speak with you and address any concerns you may have.

Collect Evidence

To make a claim, you will be required to supply evidence that a negligent third party caused the accident. For instance, if you are a passenger of a car accident, then here are some evidence collection measures you could consider:

  • Take photographs: If you are able to take photographs of the accident then, the car you were travelling in, the area surrounding the accident, and of any visible injuries you sustain. These will be much more valuable to passenger car accident claims if taken immediately. But do not put yourself in further danger in order to obtain such evidence.
  • Take Notes: Write down your version of events before you forget what happened. The bare minimum should include the time of day, the date, the weather conditions, what you were doing just before the accident and if you noticed anything unusual before the accident. Notes about when you noticed pain or injury are also helpful. Memories can become corrupted by time and speaking to others, so the sooner you do this, the more accurate your perspective will be.
  • Collect Contact Information: Gather contact details of anyone else involved in the accident. Drivers will need to provide insurance details. Ask pedestrians and anyone else involved in the accident if they will provide a statement and take their details.
  • Inform the Police: Make sure to speak to the authorities. Many road traffic accidents result in a police call-out to deal with the aftermath and investigate what happened. If this is the case, then their reports will also be helpful as evidence in your claim. All road traffic accidents that result in injury should be reported to the police within 24 hours.

The more evidence you can gather, the stronger your passenger in car accident compensation claim will be. This will ensure that you are adequately compensated for your injuries instead of relying on a generic assessment based on the type of injury you report.

How long can I wait before making a claim for a car accident?

Your case must be made within a specific time limit for a solicitor to accept the case to make a personal injury claim. For claims involving adults over the age of 18, you would have to begin your claim within 3-years from the date of the incident. This is three years to the accident’s date in most cases, though it could mean three years from the date on which you became aware of having suffered an injury, mental damage or damage to your vehicle in the accident. 

As mentioned in the above section, there are several reasons why it is a good idea to get started with a claim sooner rather than later as it can make the process easier in several ways. Still, it is also important to remember to get started as quickly as you can to make the most of your time.

Claims from passengers in cars

In the UK, it is outlined in the law that drivers must have appropriate third-party insurance to cover damage and injury that they cause. In the event you are involved in an accident due to the fault of another driver, you could pursue a compensation claim against their insurance.

Those involved in a car accident might not be aware that they could seek compensation. So, if you were a passenger of a car accident involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, why not reach out and contact our team? It can be bewildering trying to work out for yourself who was responsible for your accident, but with our team’s support, they can make this process less stressful.

Claims from passengers on public transport

Road traffic accidents are not restricted to private cars, as you could have been a passenger in a taxi, bus, tram or coach. Passenger car accident claims involving vehicles could also involve trains or ferries in exceptional circumstances.

The main difference between claims involving public transport and other road accident claims is that you may be dealing with an entire organisation rather than a specific individual. When filing a claim, you will still need to have all the details of which vehicle and driver were involved, even if their employer is dealing with the claim filed against them as a whole.

Passenger Accident Statistics

The Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2019 annual report stated that car occupants make up 42% of all road fatalities. Most car accident fatalities are drivers; 508 car drivers were killed in accidents in 2019 compared to 228 car passengers. In 2019 there were just 14 passengers on board buses and coaches died in road accidents.

How to get started

Once you have decided to make a compensation claim, your first step is to talk to an expert. Thankfully, our panel of solicitors has over 30 years of experience in compensation claims of all types and could offer to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. 

If you have questions, such as ‘How much money can a passenger of a car accident get?’ or ‘How much is the average payout for whiplash’ then simply call us to gain more information.

Each claim is different, as no two accidents are the same. So, by speaking with our team, we can offer a free consultation where we can provide free legal advice regarding your case, outline your next steps, and how a personal injury solicitor could be of assistance. The consultation will also give you the chance to ask questions about your claim.

What can I claim as a passenger?

Very simply, you shouldn’t be left out of pocket for an accident which was not your fault. Thankfully, you could claim a number of areas for if you have been a passenger of a car accident that wasn’t your fault. Regardless of whether the car you were in was responsible for the accident or not, you could have grounds to make a claim. You may also have grounds to make a claim if you were a bus passenger, taxi passenger or on a tram that was involved in an accident due to the fault of another. 

When seeking compensation for an accident that wasn’t your fault, it is essential to acknowledge that compensation is often split into two categories known as general and special damages. Throughout this section, we are going to discuss what both damages are, what they include, and most importantly, what you could claim for if you were a passenger of a car accident that wasn’t your fault. 

General Damages

General damages are what most people would think of when discussing compensation for car passengers. Your claim’s general damages section includes an amount for your injuries as detailed in the next section and pain and suffering for passenger injury.

Special Damages

  • Care is often necessary following an accident. If you suffer broken limbs or extensive muscle damage, you may be unable to care for yourself and require assistance at home. The amount payable is related to the type and quantity of care you require and includes any nursing care you may receive in your home.
  • Loss of Earnings covers you for the amount you have lost in pay following the accident. It can also cover the impact of your accident on your future earning potential. For example, if you are a builder and, following an accident in which you were a passenger, can no longer sustain the physical effort necessary to continue in that line of work you would be able to claim for future earnings.
  • Travel Expenses includes all expenses related to travel incurred because of your accident. It usually includes such items as fuel for driving to extra doctor or hospital appointments.
  • Medical Expenses covers healthcare-related costs, such as medication. It could include the use of private medical facilities and provision of aids such as wheelchairs as needed following your accident.

Here at Accident Claims, we understand that this is a lot of information, so if you have any questions, please contact our team. By speaking to our claims team, they can discuss your case in greater length and ensure you claim everything you are entitled to.

Types of injuries

The physical and psychological aftermath of an accident is extremely unpredictable, as they can cause injuries that range between something of minor nature to something sinister. More often than not, the outcome will be heavily determined by the cars’ speed involved in the accident. However, there are specific injuries that are far more likely in a car accident, such as:

  • Whiplash is perhaps the most common injury that people associate with car accidents as it occurs during sudden braking when your head continues moving after your body has stopped. In passenger in car accident whiplash, your head’s momentum sprains the soft tissue in your neck, causing pain and potential long-term damage. Correct use of head restraints can reduce the severity of whiplash suffered by preventing the head from stretching the neck backwards and forwards. It can present similar symptoms to other injuries, so you must be examined promptly.
  • Head injuries such as a concussion can be caused by your head impacting the car’s interior. Modern airbags aim to minimise the impact your head has to deal with, but it can still be severe enough to cause damage leading to symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and confusion.
  • Facial injuries can be sustained through incorrect impact with airbags or from broken windows or shards of metal. Facial injuries can not only be excruciating and debilitating; they can also impact on your whole future if they lead to scarring.
  • Neck injuries are easy to sustain in an accident. Internal damage – such as that caused by whiplash – can be coupled with external damage such as cuts and scrapes.
  • Spinal injuries are some of the most severe injuries occurring as a result of car accidents. In certain situations, it is not the initial injury that is the danger but rather inappropriate treatment resulting in a worsening of your condition. The most severe spinal injuries are life-changing and can result in partial or full temporary or permanent paralysis.
  • A broken pelvis is a particular injury caused due to the position in which you sit in a car. It can lead to difficulty walking and impaired sexual function.
  • Broken or crushed limbs are possible if you become trapped in the wreckage of the car or vehicle you are travelling in. Unsecured objects in the vehicle can also lead to impact injuries. In extreme cases, a car accident can result in amputation.
  • Burns caused by fires due to chemical or fuel spills can also occur during or just after a car crash. If you can leave the vehicle and you smell leaking fuel, you should do so as soon as possible. Friction burns from contact with upholstery or the other interior fabrics can also occur as can abrasions if you are thrown clear of the vehicle.

Medical Assessment

To receive compensation for physical or psychosocial trauma, you will be required to attend a medical assessment to support your claim and validate the damages you’ve endured. 

The medical professional conducting the evaluation will sit you down and ask you a range of questions regarding your injury. They will also examine the severity of the damage and determine whether there are long-lasting implications — such as the need for surgery or physical limitations. 

After the evaluation has taken place, the information will be documented in a report which will then be used to value and support your claim. Thankfully, Accident Claims can help you organise a medical assessment, so why not reach out and speak to our team? One of our advisers would be more than happy to talk with you and help you better understand the medical assessment process.

Compensation estimates

We previously acknowledged how compensation is split into these two categories, General and Special damages. Within this section, we are going to look at general damages in greater length to further your understanding of the process.

Legal precedents are never set in stone, as they take into consideration the unique characteristics at hand. Therefore, it is challenging to offer estimated figures for all cases, as they can vary.

Many firms opt to use a personal injury claims calculator to offer estimated figures. Still, we find that they can be extremely complicated and fail to consider the unique circumstances at hand. It is for that reason why we have included the following table.

Type of InjurySeverityCompensation Range
Shoulder InjuryMinor£2,300 to £4,080
Shoulder InjurySevere£18,020 to £45,070
Spinal Injury Causing ParalysisQuadriplegic£304,630 to £379,100
Spinal Injury Causing ParalysisParaplegic£205,580 to £266,740
Neck InjuryMinor£4,080 to £7,410
Neck InjurySevereIn the region of £139,210
Back InjuryMinorUp to £2,300
Back InjurySevere£85,470 to £151,070
Facial InjuriesMinoR Jaw Injury£6,060 to £8,200
Facial InjuriesSevere Tooth DamageUp to £35,790
Leg InjuryModerate (fractures of crush injuries)£26,050 to £36,790
Leg InjurySevere (Loss of both legs)£225,960 to £264,650
Brain InjuryLess Severe£14,380 to £40,410
Brain InjuryVery Severe£264,650 to £379,100

The table above uses the Judicial College Guidelines’ information to outline how the injury type, severity, and long-term implications play a critical role. However, please note that the table does not list everything, and the amounts provided are only indications. The actual amount of compensation you could receive will heavily depend on the criteria previously listed.

 If you have any questions, feel free to call us for a no-obligation chat about your situation.

Why choose AccidentClaims.co.uk?

We know that picking up the pieces and returning to a state of normality after an accident can be challenging, even when an accident is of a minor nature. It is more than understandable to consider taking legal action if you have suffered due to a third party’s negligence, and here at Accident Claims, we could be of assistance. 

When making a compensation claim, you want someone who is dedicated, experienced, and will ensure the best possible outcome for you and your case. Thankfully, our solicitors panel is well-versed in personal injury law and have up to 30 years of experience. Should you choose Accident Claims to handle your case, then you will be thrilled to hear that we can offer all this and more:

  • We have a large team of experts that allow us to provide you with expert advice, whatever circumstances you need to claim.
  • All team members are highly experienced in their chosen field.
  • We work on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you don’t need to pay us a penny until your claim is paid.
  • We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

No Win No Fee service for all claims

Finding affordable legal representation can be incredibly daunting, and there are many circumstances where claimants shy away from taking legal action because of the upfront fees. However, here at Accident Claims, we firmly believe that everybody should have the option to take action, seek compensation, and receive justice for any damages they’ve endured. For that reason, our personal injury solicitors could offer to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement.

“A No Win No Fee agreement may also be referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).”

We offer a free consultation to assess your claim and to talk you through the rest of the process should you decide to continue. Should a personal injury solicitors offer to handle your claim, they will handle the case under a No Win No Fee agreement. So what does that mean? A No Win No Fee agreements would give you access to the following benefits:

  • No upfront fees, allowing you to begin your case as soon as possible. 
  • At no point throughout the claims process, would you be required to pay a fee or cover a costs.
  • Should the claim be unsuccessful, under the agreement, you would not be required to cover the costs of your solicitor.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, your solicitor would retain a small amount of compensation if the case is successful. There may also be referred to as a success fee, but please do not worry, as it is capped by law. All of these details will be outlined in your agreement, and your solicitor will ensure you fully understand before signing the document.

Why not speak with our claims team to discover if a personal injury solicitors can handle your case.

Why not speak to us and see how we can help?

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by talking to one of our helpful advisers. When speaking to our team, they will be able to answer all your questions – even the minor ones you think are too silly to ask. Our team can also explain what the next stage of the claim process will be. 

Our friendly, compassionate and knowledgeable staff are available at any time of day and will continue to be there for your questions throughout the whole claims process. 

  • So, don’t delay – call 0800 073 8801 today!
  • Enquire online by clicking here.
  • Use or online chat by clicking the icon on the right corner of the webpage.

Helpful Links

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.

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.

The MIB

The bureau set up to protect accident victims in situations where drivers cannot be traced or held accountable for accidents.

Passenger car accident claims FAQ.

Can I claim compensation for whiplash if I was a passenger in a car accident?

If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident, whether you were a passenger or a driver, and someone else was at fault, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Could a passenger be held responsible for an accident?

Cases, where a passenger is ruled to be responsible for an accident, are rare. Even in cases where a passenger may have been causing a distraction, the driver is usually held accountable. In the unlikely event that a passenger could be held responsible for an accident, it could be because they had directly interfered with driving the vehicle, such as by touching the steering wheel or the driver or obstructing the driver’s vision.

How can I get the most compensation for a car accident?

To best improve your chances of winning more compensation:
• Obtain evidence from the scene
• Talk to the police
• Consult a doctor
• Obtain witness information
• Keep track of all your financial losses and expenditure

Who do I claim against in an accident where I was hurt?

In most cases where a passenger has been injured, they could claim against the driver, as the driver is the one responsible for their passenger’s safety. The driver could be made to pay compensation out of their driver’s insurance. Otherwise, you could claim against someone else if someone else was clearly responsible.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on passenger car accident claims. We hope you’ve been able to find the answer to the question, how can I prove fault in a car accident claim?’