Can injured car or vehicle passengers get compensation?

Drivers of vehicles have a legal duty to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury to other road users, such as their own passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and people in other vehicles.

So if you've been injured as a result of a road traffic accident while travelling as a passenger in a car then you should be able to claim compensation from the person responsible for causing the accident. That person may be the driver of another vehicle or the driver of the vehicle that you were travelling in.

As a passenger, your prospects of making a successful claim are normally very good indeed. This is because passengers are seldom, if ever, responsible for causing or contributing to road traffic accidents.

Single vehicle accidents

There does not need to have been another vehicle involved in the accident. You will almost certainly have good grounds for claiming compensation if, for example, the car you were a passenger in crashed because the driver was travelling too quickly for the road conditions and lost control of the vehicle.

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Claiming against a family member or friend

It does not matter if the person responsible for the accident was a friend, family member or your spouse or partner. If they were at fault then you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. It is the insurance company, not the driver, who is responsible for paying your compensation.

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Injured while travelling on public transport?

You may also be entitled to compensation if you were injured in an accident while travelling on public transport, such as a bus, tram or taxi. Again, it does not matter whether the driver of the vehicle you were travelling in or the driver of another vehicle was responsible for the accident.

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Uninsured and untraced drivers

Although the law requires everyone driving a vehicle on a road or other public place to be properly insured, some people break the law by driving with either no or inadequate insurance cover. If you sustain injury because an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you can still claim compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau ('the MIB').

You will also be able to claim compensation through the MIB if the person responsible for causing the accident drove off or gave false details and cannot be traced.

The procedure for making a claim to the MIB is quite complicated, but we will deal with that for you.

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What can you be compensated for?

If your claim is successful, you will receive compensation for the injury sustained by you. In addition, you may also receive compensation for special damages, e.g. loss of earnings, if you had to take time off work because of the injury, as well as reimbursement of expenses that are attributable to the accident. Special damages can include the cost of medical treatment, such as physiotherapy, and the cost of travelling to medical appointments.

Our panel of solicitors can guide you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Call us on 0800 612 7456 or arrange a call back at a time that suits you.

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