I Was Injured As A Passenger – What Are My Legal Rights?

By Richie Billing. Last Updated 1st December 2023. If you were an injured passenger in a road traffic accident, you could have the right to seek compensation for any injuries and financial losses you suffered as a consequence. A negligent driver who causes a road accident could be held liable. A passenger who was injured might be able to claim, providing circumstances surrounding the crash allow for it.

Our guide explains your rights as a passenger in an accident. It also offers advice on how this type of personal injury claim can sometimes become complicated if you are unaware of your rights. We provide information on how to make a road accident claim against a negligent driver, and how much personal injury compensation your claim could be worth.

For more advice on your rights to compensation if you were an injured passenger in a road traffic accident, please get in touch with a member of our staff on 0800 408 7825.

passenger in car accident

What To Do As A Passenger In A Car Accident

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What Are Your Rights After A Car Accident?

Everyone using the roads owes a duty of care to other road users to navigate in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others. As part of this duty, drivers are expected to comply with the Road Traffic Act 1988 and rules and regulations found in the Highway Code

If you are a passenger, the driver of the vehicle you are travelling in owes you a duty of care. If you suffered an injury as a passenger in a car accident due to the driver of the vehicle you were in breaching their duty if care you could make a personal injury claim against them. 

However, you may suffer an injury because another road user breached their duty of care. For example, if the vehicle you are travelling in is hit by a speeding car. If this is the case, your claim could be made against the driver of the other vehicle. 

If you have any questions about the rights of passengers in car accidents, please contact an advisor from our team.

Could I Claim If I Was A Passenger In Another Type Of Vehicle?

You could seek compensation if you were an injured passenger in other vehicles. To hold a valid claim as an injured passenger another party must have a duty of care towards you. This duty will have been breached and this negligent action will have caused your suffering. Other vehicles you may be a passenger in include; 

  •  Motorbikes
  •  Buses/coaches
  •  Work/private vehicles
  •  Taxis
  •  Scooters

If the vehicle you were a passenger in isn’t listed, contact an adviser by calling or using the chatbox on this page to see if you can claim.

The Steps To Making A Passenger Injury Claim

Collecting sufficient evidence could help support your personal injury claim. It could help prove who was liable for the accident, as well as the severity of the injuries you suffered.

Some examples of evidence that could be useful for your road traffic accident claim include:

  • A copy of your medical records that state the nature of your injuries and the treatment you required.
  • Videos of the accident, such as dashcam or CCTV footage.
  • Photographs of the accident scene and any visible injuries you suffered, such as cuts or lacerations.
  • The contact information of any witnesses to the accident. They could provide a statement later in the claiming process.

Another vital step in the claiming process is ensuring that you start proceedings within the relevant time limit. Generally, this is three years from the date you were injured in the accident.

However, there are certain exceptions to the time limit. These include:

  • Those who lack the mental capacity to start a claim themselves – The limitation period is indefinitely suspended. During this time, a court-appointed litigation friend could start the process on their behalf. Should the injured party regain this mental capacity, they will have three years from the date of recovery to start a claim if one has not been made already.
  • Those under the age of 18 – The time limit is paused until their 18th birthday. However, prior to this, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. However, once they turn 18, they will have three years to start the process if a claim has not already been made.

Call our advisors for free advice on making a claim if you were injured as a passenger in a car accident.

What Injuries Could You Sustain As A Passenger In A Road Traffic Accident?

Being a passenger in a car accident can result in a number of different injuries, ranging from minor to life-changing. Some examples include:

  • Head injuries: You could suffer a head or brain injury if you hit your head upon impact. This can cause cognitive and physical disability, and a risk of epilepsy. 
  • Broken bones: A car accident can also cause broken bone injuries, such as leg and arm fractures.
  • Amputations: A serious crash could result in a traumatic amputation, which can lead to the use of prosthetic limbs and mobility aids, as well as further surgeries and the need for physical therapy. 
  • Whiplash injuries: One of the most common road traffic injuries is a soft tissue injury known as whiplash, which affects your neck, back, and shoulders. 

There are many other kinds of injuries that you could sustain and make a passenger injury claim for, no matter how major or minor. To find out if you could claim road traffic accident compensation, contact our team of advisors today. They can evaluate your claim for free, and could potentially connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

Compensation For A Car Accident

If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident and you make a successful claim, your compensation could be made up of two components. The first, general damages, is awarded in every successful claim. It aims to address the injuries you sustained in the crash, both physical and mental.

When legal professionals calculate how much compensation you could get in terms of general damages, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This text provides guideline compensation brackets for injuries that you could suffer if you were a passenger in a car accident. You can find some examples in the table below. Please note that the first entry in this table is not taken from the JCG.

Injury Notes Amounts
Multiple Severe Injuries + Special Damages Multiple severe injuries paired with high financial losses, such as lost earnings, the cost of mobility aids, and the cost of prescriptions Up to £250,000+
Moderate Brain and Head Injury (ii) There is a slight risk of epilepsy with a moderate intellectual deficit. The person’s work ability is also significantly reduced. £90,720 to £150,110
Hand Injury One hand was crushed and then amputated. Whether the hand was the dominant one, will affect how much is awarded. £96,160 to £109,650
Severe Knee Injury (ii) A leg fracture that extends into the knee and causes constant pain and limited knee movement. £52,120 to £69,730
Severe Back Injury (iii) Severe pain and discomfort with impaired agility due to a disc lesion or fracture. £38,780 to £69,730
Serious Leg Injury Serious comminuted or compound fractures, or injuries to the joints that require prolonged treatment and will result in leg instability. £39,200 to £54,830
Moderate Neck Injury (i) A neck injury such as a fracture or dislocation that may require spinal fusion and will cause immediate symptoms that are severe. £24,990 to £38,490
Moderate Foot Injury Continuing symptoms and a permanent deformity due to displaced metatarsal fractures. £13,740 to £24,990
Serious Shoulder Injury Pain in the neck and shoulder, with aching in the elbow due to the shoulder being dislocated and the lower brachial plexus being damaged. £12,770 to £19,200
Arm Injury Simple forearm fractures. £6,610 to £19,200
Whiplash Tariff A whiplash injury and minor psychological damage with symptoms that last 18-24 months. £4,345
Whiplash Tariff A whiplash injury with symptoms that last 18-24 months. £4,215

The second head of claim is special damages. This aspect of compensation is aimed towards your finances and the losses caused by your injuries. For example, special damages can help you claim back the cost of:

  • Lost earnings
  • Travel
  • Housekeeping
  • Childcare
  • Home adjustments
  • Counselling
  • Prescriptions

To learn more about what you could claim for following a car accident, contact our team of helpful advisors today. Or, read on to find out how a solicitor from our panel could help you make a claim for compensation.

The Whiplash Reforms

It is also important to note that the way low-value road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales have changed due to the Whiplash Reform Programme.

If you were a passenger or driver of a vehicle who is over the age of 18 and your injuries have been valued as less than £5,000, you now make your claim through the government’s Official Injury Claims Portal.

Your injuries will be valued in line with the tariff of injuries that is set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.

Do not hesitate to contact our advisors today if you are unsure which avenue you should take when making your claim.

Injured As A Passenger – Make A No Win No Fee Claim

If you have been injured in a car accident as a passenger, a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel may be able to help. They have experience with various types of road traffic accident claims, and may offer to represent you in your case under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement and means that the solicitor working on your case wont charge you any upfront or ongoing service fees. Furthermore, they won’t charge you for their work if your claim fails.

Should your claim succeed, a success fee will be taken from your settlement. This fee is a legally capped percentage.

To discuss the validity of your claim and to see if you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel, you can get in touch with our advisors. They are available to offer you free advice and answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To get in contact with one of them, you can:

Quick References

For more information on what to do if you’ve suffered an injury as a passenger in a car accident, please follow the links below: