Car Passenger Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a car passenger accident, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by another driver, cyclist, pedestrian or any other road user, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a road injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about how the road accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

By law, all drivers must have insurance to cover the cost of injury compensation claims. Even if you were injured by an unisured or untraceable road user, a claim may still be possible.

We can help you make a road accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Passenger accident statistics

The latest Government data available in 2022 shows that, of the UK's 89,331 road casualties injured in 2019, approximately 30% were passengers.

Unlike drivers, passengers are almost certainly never liable for road accident.

Regardless of whether you were travelling in a vehicle hit by a negligent driver, or a passenger in the car that caused the accident, you can usually make a claim for compensation.

Typical car passenger injuries

Your solicitor will have years of experience helping both drivers and passengers who have been injured in both minor and serious road accidents. We can help individuals who have suffered injuries including:

Do I have an injury claim?

AN injury claim should be possible if your injury happened:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

Claim eligibility - Common questions

What if the road accident was my fault?

If you think you were partly responsible for the road accident or for your injury, it should still be possible to make a claim.

In these cases, claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.

For example, if you were 50% responsible for your injuries, you would receive 50% less compensation.

Read more about when there is uncertainty as to who is to blame.

What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?

If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.

Read more

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I still make a car passenger injury claim after three years?

In general, a car passenger injury claim can only be made outside of the three-year limit if you were injured as a child and are still under 21, you were diagnosed within the last three years with a health condition that was caused by historic exposure, or you were fundamentally unable to make a claim within the three-year window, due to incapacity.

Low value injury claims - Updated March 2022

The regulations for making a lower-value road accident claim (sometimes called 'small claims') have changed.

From 31 May 2021, some lower-value injury claims should be made using the Ministry of Justice's new Official Injury Claim Service online portal.

If you were injured in a vehicle, and the general damages for your injuries are likely to be under £5,000, the Official portal will be used to make your claim. The portal should also be used if the total value (general damages and special damages) for your claim is less than £10,000.

Claims for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and children are not affected by the new regulations.

The new process can be daunting, and we are here to help. You can still use a solicitor to calculate the value of your compensation and to help you make a low value claim through the portal.

No Win, No Fee compensation for low value injury claims

Some solicitors are no longer assisting with lower-value claims, but we can still help you make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for a lower-value road accident claim.

Read more:

Claiming compensation through the small claims process.

How to use the Official Injury Claim portal to claim compensation

If I was a passenger, who is liable for my injury?

In most cases accidents are caused by a driver, either of the vehicle in which the passenger was travelling, or the driver of another car, van or HGV lorry.

There are occasions where this is not the case; where the poor condition of the road may have caused the accident or the accident was precipitated by poor street or road lighting.

In any case, and irrespective of whether another road user or a local authority is responsible, a passenger wearing a seat belt and riding in a safe manner is rarely considered to be even partly liable for their injuries.

You can make a claim against whichever driver caused your injury, even if it was the vehicle you were riding in that caused the accident.

Who is responsible for car passenger safety?

The law states that every person over 14 years old must wear an adult seat belt when travelling in a private car. This applies to both front and rear seats. The passenger is responsible for ensuring that the seat belt they are wearing is properly adjusted.

For passengers under 14, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that the child is correctly restrained, either by the use of rearward or forward-facing child seats, appropriate booster seats and by a seat belt.

What if I wasn't wearing a seat belt?

You can usually still claim for injuries sustained in a road accident even if you were not wearing a seat belt, but the defendant may argue contributory negligence. Your total compensation may be reduced as a result.

Read more: Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Claiming compensation as a car passenger

Complications may arise where passengers are deterred from claiming because the driver was a friend, relative or partner.

A passenger may also feel they contributed to their injuries by not wearing a seat belt properly or caused the accident by distracting the driver in some way.

In either case, it will usually be a driver's insurance company that pays any settlement.

Should I claim if a family member or friend was driving?

Making a claim against a friend or family member's insurance may affect their premium. You will need to weigh up the need for financial support during your recovery and support to arrange and pay for physio and other treatment against this possible increase.

Even if your injuries are relatively minor, the cost of treatment and lost earnings may be high. A claim will also involve a medical assessment of the full extent of your injuries, will may be worse than you initially suspect.

If you have any concerns, you should discuss these with a solicitor. We can help you explore your options on a confidential basis, with no obligation to start a claim.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious neck injury can be £52,000

For a more minor ankle injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,000.

However, if you have a serious neck injury and a more minor ankle injury, you would typically receive £52,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Will I have to pay tax on my car passenger injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a car passenger injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Can I see the complete Judicial College tables?

The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common car passenger injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a car passenger injury claim take?

The length of time needed to win compensation for a car passenger accident can vary significantly.

For instance, a simple uncontested road accident claim could be settled in several weeks. If the defendant denies liability, a compensation claim can take considerably longer. On average a road accident claim will take 4 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Will I get financial advice?

Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your car passenger injury claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

How does no win, no fee work?

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also called a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a car accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?