Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims

By Cat Mulligan. Last Updated 26th April 2023. Welcome to our guide on the topic of road traffic passenger accident claims. This article addresses the topic of claiming compensation as a passenger in a car accident. As a passenger, you have the same rights to claim compensation as drivers and other road users.

Road traffic accident passenger claims guide

Road traffic accident passenger claims guide

This guide will look at how the Whiplash Reform Programme has changed the way that low-value claims for adult drivers and passengers are made. We will also address how you may still be able to make a claim if you are hit by an uninsured driver or if you’ve been involved in a hit and run.

Get in touch with our advisors today. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions. If we determine that your claim has a chance of success, then we could connect you with one of our expert solicitors from our panel to get you started on your No Win No Fee claim.

There are a number of ways you can reach us:

  • Contact us by filling out the form on our website
  • Speak to us over the phone by calling us on 0800 408 7825
  • Use the pop-up window in the corner

Select A Section

  1. What Are Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims?
  2. Types Of Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims
  3. How Long You Have To Make Passenger Accident Claims
  4. Do Drivers Owe Passengers A Duty Of Care?
  5. Who Pays Your Compensation Settlement?
  6. How Much Are Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims Worth?
  7. Why Make A No Win No Fee Passenger Accident Claim?

What Are Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims?

If you are a passenger in a road accident, you could sustain a number of different injuries. Some less severe accidents could result in minor injuries such as:

More serious accidents can be the cause of injuries of a worse nature. Some examples include:

  • Broken bones, such as a wrist or foot
  • Lacerations
  • Loss of limbs
  • Death

If the injuries sustained by drivers and passengers over the age of 18 are worth less than £5,000, they can make a claim in a different way. If the accident was sustained on or after 31st May 2021, then the claim may be affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme (WRP). This doesn’t apply to child passengers, cyclists and pedestrians; their claims can be made through the usual channels regardless of their value. 

Furthermore, the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 contain tariff amounts that apply to minor whiplash injuries. These tariff amounts might still be used to value injuries, even if the claim isn’t worth less than £5,000. 

Check with our advisors before making a claim. You can get in touch for free legal advice using the information to the top and bottom of this page. 

Types Of Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims

This section addresses the various ways you could be injured on the road due to negligence. 

Taxis And Commercial Vehicles

If your taxi driver has acted negligently and caused a road traffic incident, you could be injured. In this instance, you could make a claim against the driver’s employer. This could be the taxi firm, but it could also be the driver themselves if they are self-employed.

If the taxi driver was not at fault, then you could claim against the driver who caused the accident that led to your injuries. 

Buses, Coaches And Public Transport

As with taxi drivers, those who operate public transport such as a bus or a coach have a duty of care towards their passengers. If they drive or act negligently then they risk the health and wellbeing of anyone aboard the vehicle that they are responsible for. 

For example, they could fail to keep a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front, causing a rear-end collision. This could cause you to be thrown from your seat and sustain injuries.

Private Vehicles

Vehicles of this nature refer to personally owned cars, motorcycles etc. If you are the passenger in a car, you can make a claim against the driver if you’re injured due to their negligence.

This is true even if you have a personal relationship with the driver. They would not be left in personal financial distress as a result of the claim. The compensation would not be paid by them, but by their insurance company.

You can also make a claim as a passenger against the driver of another car. To do this, you would need to show they were responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. 

Motorcycle Passenger Accidents

As a motorcycle passenger, you could be injured more severely than if you were travelling by car. This is because of the reduced amount of protection that a motorcycle offers when compared to a car.

However, you can still claim as a motorcycle passenger. As with car accident claims, you could claim against the rider who is transporting you or another road user entirely. It depends who has acted negligently and resulted in you being injured. 

How Long You Have To Make Passenger Accident Claims

You may be wondering if there is a time limit for starting passenger accident claims. According to the Limitation Act 1980, you will have three years to start your claim, starting on the date of the accident. A passenger can begin a claim at any point during these three years.

However, there are some circumstances in which exceptions apply to the three-year rule. For example, if the injured party is under the age of eighteen when they are injured, then the time limit is frozen. It reinstates on their eighteenth birthday and runs until their twenty-first birthday. At any point while the time limit is frozen, a litigation friend can make a claim on behalf of the injured party.

The time limit is suspended indefinitely if the claimant lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves. If they become capable of pursuing their own claim, then the time limit restarts as of the recovery. If not, then a litigation friend can make the claim for them while the time limit doesn’t apply.

To learn more about making car accident passenger claims, get in touch with our team of advisors today.

Do Drivers Owe Passengers A Duty Of Care?

Drivers, as with other road users, owe everyone on the road a duty of care. This means that they must act in a manner that keeps the risk of injury to themselves and others to a minimum. This can be achieved by abiding by the advice in the Highway Code

This is a set of guidelines that should be followed to avoid accidents and injuries taking place on the road. If drivers fail to follow these guidelines, it could result in an accident leading to injury. 

Who Pays Your Compensation Settlement?

It is a legal requirement to have an insurance policy in place when operating a vehicle on the road. If someone is negligent on the road and causes injuries, then the insurance provider can pay out the relevant compensation.

Individuals need to have insurance as well as those who drive commercial vehicles and operate public transport. However, in the latter two examples, the insurance policy is more likely to belong to the company that owns or runs the vehicle(s).

Alternatively, no driver may be at fault. For example, an incident may have been caused by a damaged road. In this scenario, road traffic passenger accident claims would be made against whoever was responsible for the upkeep of the road, for example, the local council. 

Hit And Run Or Uninsured Driver Accidents

Road traffic passenger accident claims can still be made in instances that may seem more complex. For example, the driver who caused your injuries may not have been insured. Alternatively, they may have been insured but chose to flee the scene immediately after without having been identified.

Whilst it may seem much more difficult to be able to claim compensation in these circumstances, you can still make a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

The MIB work with insurers, police and the DVLA in order to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on the road. They also pay compensation to those who have been hit by an untraced or uninsured driver. 

Hit And Run Statistics

A Freedom of Information Request was made to Transport for London, asking about the frequency of hit and run accidents in 2018.

The graph below illustrates the results of this request. It shows that 7,410 were involved in a collision with a vehicle that failed to stop in 2018. Of these, 17 died. There were 391 child casualties resulting from these incidents.

Road traffic accident passenger claims

How Much Are Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims Worth?

When you claim compensation for injuries you sustained as a passenger, your compensation could be split into two different heads of claim. These are general and special damages.

The amount that’s awarded to you for your physical pain and mental suffering is known as general damages. It’s calculated with the help of a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assistant them in this process. The JCG contains a description of various injuries and how much the victim could be awarded as a result.

We’ve included some examples below. These amounts have been taken directly from the latest edition of the JCG. 

Neck(a) (i) Severe - when the injury is associated with incomplete paraplegia with the constant wearing of a collar for years In the region of £139,210
Neck(a) (ii) When the injury involves damage/fractures to the cervical spine, causing disabilities but not as severe as in (a) (i)£61,710 to £122,860
Arm(E) Amputation - (b) (i) loss of one arm, amputated at the shoulderNot less than £128,710
Chest(A) (c) Chest and lung(s) damaged with ongoing disability as a result£29,380 to £51,460
Shoulder(c) Moderate - Frozen shoulder and limited movement with discomfort. Symptoms will persist for about 2 years£7,410 to £11,980
Brain/head(e) Minor - minimal brain damage, if any. Lower amounts are suitable for those who have completely recovered in a few weeks£2,070 to £11,980
Back(c) Minor - (i) when there is a full recovery to nuisance level in 2-5 years without surgical intervention£7,410 to £11,730
Finger(j) Fractured index finger£8,550 to £11,480
Whiplash Injuries With Psychological InjuriesLasting 18-24 months£4,345
Whiplash InjuriesLasting 18-24 months£4,215

In cases of passenger accidents, it’s possible that the passenger may be seen to have contributed to their injuries. For example, if they choose not to wear a seatbelt, this could be interpreted as contributory negligence.

If this is the case, then the claimant could receive a reduced payout. In some instances, it may make them ineligible for a payout at all.

Other amounts can be added to general damages. For example, there is a figure known as special damages. This is made up of the outgoings and losses caused by your injuries. For example, if you have experienced a loss of earnings due to a forced absence from work.

For more information, get in touch with us today. If you have a valid claim, a member of our team could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel; read on to find out more about what this means. 

Why Make A No Win No Fee Passenger Accident Claim?

If you are concerned about being able to afford a personal injury lawyer to make your claim, we may have the solution for you. All of the lawyers on our panel work with all of their clients on a No Win No Fee basis.

This is a kind of agreement that sets out the conditions that need to be met before your solicitor asks for payment. It means that you won’t be in a position where you’re asked to pay your solicitor despite the fact that your claim has failed.

In fact, you won’t be required to pay anything to your solicitor unless your claim is a success. In this case, a small percentage will be taken from your settlement. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not need to pay your solicitor.

Reach out to us today to get started:

  • Contact us by filling out the form on our website
  • Speak to us over the phone by calling us on 0800 408 7825
  • Use the pop-up window in the corner

Get Further Help As A Crash Victim

We have included some links to additional helpful material that may be of use to you. 

  1. Signs of and possible treatments for a broken bone.
  2. Statistics for road traffic accidents in the year ending June 2021.
  3. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  4. Our general guide on road traffic accident claims.
  5. What to do if you’re involved in a car accident as a pedestrian.
  6. Our guide on car park accidents.

Thank you for reading our guide on road traffic passenger accident claims.

Guide by AI

Publisher ET