I was a passenger in a road traffic accident, am I entitled to make a claim for compensation for my injuries?

The simple answer is yes!  As a passenger you are entitled to be compensated for any injuries and losses you sustain in exactly the same way as a driver would be.  It is almost certain that, as a passenger, you would be found to be an innocent party.

When can I make a compensation claim if I am injured whilst travelling as a passenger?

You can make a claim if the accident was in the last three years and you have suffered injury, been off work as a result of the accident or are out of pocket for other losses (e.g. medical expenses, property damage etc.).

Who do I claim against if I am injured whilst travelling as a passenger?

Your claim will be made against the driver who caused the accident.  This could be either the driver you were travelling with or a third party driver that hit the vehicle in which you were travelling.  If both drivers were partially to blame, you may claim against them both.  This will not affect the amount of compensation you receive, other than that it will come from two insurers.

What should I do if I am an injured whilst travelling as a passenger?

The first and most important thing to do is to check to see if anyone is injured and, if necessary, call an ambulance and the Police immediately.  The Police will take a detailed account of the accident circumstances and speak to any witnesses at the scene.  This will form evidence which may be required at a later stage.

If you are able to, you should also try to take down as much information as you can (e.g. details of the vehicle in which you were travelling, any other drivers and vehicles involved, any witnesses).   If the driver of the vehicle you were in is held responsible for the accident, it is very important that you have your own evidence and account of the accident.

You should seek medical attention from the hospital or your GP to ensure that there is a full record of your injuries in your medical records.  If your symptoms continue, keep a diary detailing how you are feeling.  You should also keep a record (as well as any receipts) of any expenses you incur as a result of the accident – loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel expenses all form part of your compensation.

I was a passenger in an uninsured vehicle involved in a road traffic accident, can I still make a compensation claim for my injuries?

Yes, if the at-fault vehicle did not have a valid policy of insurance at the time of the accident and you were not aware of that, you can submit a claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (‘MIB’).  The MIB is a non-profit making organisation that is funded by motor insurers and motorists via their insurance premiums.  The MIB is there to compensate victims of uninsured drivers.  For advice on this, see our ‘Claiming Against an Uninsured Driver’ article.

For more information

Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire, feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.