Passengers involved in road traffic accidents often don’t realise they have the same rights to claim compensation as drivers do. It’s tragically the case that you may just be in the wrong seat, in the wrong place at the wrong time and now you’re nursing serious injuries that aren’t your fault.
The latest Government statistics show that of the UK’s 89,331 road casualties injured in 2019, approximately 30% were passengers. Unlike drivers, however, passengers are almost never liable for the cause of the road accident. Regardless of whether you were travelling via public transport such as a bus, a car or even a taxi, more often than not you can pursue passenger injury claims if you have been hurt through no fault of your own.
Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we understand that claims of this nature can get a little complicated. However, you can rest assured that we have significant experience in this area. Get in touch today if you would like more information and advice or keep reading for our guide to passenger compensation claims.
Am I Eligible To Make A Passenger Accident Claim?
In order to be eligible to claim compensation as a passenger in a road traffic accident, most people will need to satisfy a few simple criteria. The most crucial of these are;
- The accident happened in the last three years, or your injury became apparent within the last three years.
- Another party was to blame, whether this is the driver of the vehicle you were in (whether that be a car, taxi or bus), another road user, a pedestrian, or any other party.
- You were owed a duty of care by the party who caused the accident.
What we mean by a ‘duty of care is that legally, the driver or operator of any type of motor vehicle has an obligation to drive carefully and safely – to prevent injuring their passengers and to minimise the risk of hitting other road users. If the driver fails to show due care for their passengers’ safety, and this reckless or negligent driving results in a serious injury, the passenger then has the right to claim for any damages which were a direct result of their injuries or loss. This right extends to the driver of another vehicle if they were responsible.
Claiming Against Family or Friends
If the driver responsible for causing you an injury is a friend or relative, you may understandably be hesitant to claim compensation out of concern the person you know will have to cover all costs. However, the claim is against their insurer and any compensation pay-out will come from them. If the responsible party is uninsured, your compensation will be paid by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). Compensation is vital to support you through any physical or mental rehabilitation, and to cover any expenses such as loss of earnings, so whilst we understand if may be uncomfortable to do so, please don’t refrain from filing a claim if you do know the driver.
Debunking the Common Myths Surrounding Passenger Compensation Claims
Be rest assured that even if you were in the vehicle that caused the accident, you can still make a claim. If the driver is claiming against another party who they feel was at fault, as a passenger you still have the right to claim for any injury or loss of earnings you may have experienced. As with any compensation claim, cases are taken on an induvial basis and the first step is proving that the accident was someone else’s fault. Consequently, it’s often much easier for a passenger to claim compensation after a road traffic accident than a driver as it’s highly unlikely that they’d ever been at fault.
What Evidence Do I Need to Make a Claim?
It’s important to gather as much specific information and evidence as you can at the time. Try to record the following:
- Names, addresses and contact details of all drivers involved
- Vehicle registration details for all vehicles involved
- Accident date and time
- Accident location
- Full contact details of any witnesses
Most importantly of course, if necessary, seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to your GP following any hospital admissions. And remember to always report the accident to the police.
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.