Passenger injury claims guide


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Road traffic accidents are extremely common, but something people often get confused about is whether or not they have the right to make a claim if they were a passenger in the car at the time of the accident.

The answer is yes – if you suffer and injury in a car accident when someone else was driving, you have the right to make a claim. And importantly, you have the right to claim if the driver of the car you were in was at fault.

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What can an injured passenger claim for?

If you, a passenger, sustained an injury in a car accident then you can claim for the same losses that an injured driver would. So personal injury, loss of earnings, medical costs and rehabilitation.

If you were a passenger (or riding ‘pillion’) on a motorcycle, you also have the right to make a claim. In these cases, it is not unheard of for people to make a claim for damages to their protective equipment such as helmets and leather clothing.

How much compensation can I receive?

Being a passenger will have no effect on the amount of compensation you receive. If you were to sustain the exact same injuries as the driver of the car, you would receive the same amount of compensation.

Common passenger injuries

The most common injury sustained in a road traffic accident by drivers and passengers is whiplash.

In addition to whiplash, cuts and bruises are also common injuries sustained in a car accident.

What if the driver is uninsured?

After a road traffic accident, if it becomes apparent that the driver at fault doesn’t have any insurance, you can still make a claim for compensation. The only difference is you will have to go through the Motor Insurers Bureau.

The Bureau is a UK Guarantee Fund that can compensate those who are injured in car accidents when the fault is an uninsured driver.

It is important to note that even if the driver cannot be traced after an accident takes place, it is still possible to pursue a claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau.

Things to remember

Whether you were the passenger or not, you should always ensure that the following things are done:

  • The car is stopped as soon as the impact occurs
  • Emergency services are called if necessary
  • Details are exchanged with other drivers involved

In addition to the above, you should make sure that the accident is reported to the police. The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that any driver or passenger involved in a road traffic accident should report the accident if:

  • Any parties sustained and injury
  • The other driver didn’t stop
  • The drivers did not exchange details

Failure to report an accident to the police is an offence and you could land yourself in hot water for failing to do so.

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