As a passenger in a car accident, you may feel a little shocked about what has just happened to you. You were not put in a position to actively control the vehicle. Instead, you put your trust in the driver. Due to this, you are now are being forced to take time off work because of your injuries. It’s important not to blame yourself if you are involved in a car accident. You were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s why you could be owed car accident compensation for your injuries.
If this has happened to you then should reach out to Gowing Law Solicitors to help with your claim. Passengers who are involved in car accidents cannot be seen as liable. That means you have a high chance of getting a large pay-out to compensate you for your damages. Gowing Law can get you the justice you deserve and help you recover from your losses. Contact us today!
Why am I “not at fault” as a passenger in a car accident?
If you are a passenger that has been involved in a car accident, you are more of a victim of circumstance than someone who could have been held accountable for the accident. You were not the person behind the wheel of a vehicle. Instead, you are known as a “third party”. That means you were involved in an accident but were not the cause of it. You were just a victim of bad luck. Even if you were distracting the driver, it is their responsibility to keep their attention to the road. Any accidents that happen are not your fault.
The vehicles you could be a passenger of include:
- Public Transport
Can I claim compensation from any other party?
In special circumstances you could claim for compensation from a different party, outside of the drivers who were involved in the accident. After all, not all car accidents are caused by a negligent driver. Instead, it may be due to the environment of the road, bad weather or even due to engineering work or the basic design of your car. In these cases, you could make a car accident claim against:
Local authorities/government to fix faulty road surfaces, change broken street lamps or sort out potholes.
The engineer to fix any broken parts of the vehicle that they could have damaged when they last looked at the vehicle.
The manufacturer of the vehicle to have it replaced with a non-faulty vehicle.
If you have been a pedestrian in a car accident, you should bring up these options with your solicitor. They can make sure to help you figure out who is the responsible party to collect compensation from for your damages.
What sort of injuries could I suffer from?
Passengers have a few responsibilities in the vehicle to keep themselves safe. This includes wearing their seatbelt and not distracting the driver. A passenger in a car accident can still get hurt though, even if there is an airbag to try and cushion the blow. They could suffer from whiplash, internal bleeding or broken bones. In the worst case scenario, they could even lose limbs or suffer from head, spine or brain damage.
Whether a passenger has suffered from life-changing injuries or small wounds, they still have the right to make a claim for compensation against either party involved in the accident. Ultimately, it is up to them to decide whether or not they think the claim is worth their time and money. If the pay-out they get in return is very small then it is likely not worth pursuing.
Additional injuries may include:
- Bruises, bleeding and fractures
- Broken bones
- Glass injuries
- Paralysis and nerve damage
- Back trauma
Let Gowing Law Solicitors know exactly what physical injuries you have and we can help you understand how much you could claim for your damages.
How will the drivers pay for my compensation?
Here at Gowing Law, we understand if you feel a little nervous about making a claim against either of the parties responsible for the accident. After all, they may be dealing with general and special damages claims from the other people involved in the accident. However, if you make a claim you will not be asking the person responsible to pay directly from their own funds. Instead, they will be paying from their vehicle insurance. If they do not have insurance then this could increase the amount of compensation that you are owed. After all, it is illegal to drive any vehicle without insurance. If this does happen to you, make sure to report the vehicle and driver to the police. You can then use the police report to serve as evidence for your case.
Can I still make a compensation claim if I was in the vehicle responsible for the accident?
It’s a bit of a common myth that if you are a passenger in a car accident, you can only claim compensation if you were inside the vehicle that was not responsible. However, this is not the case. You can make a claim because ultimately you were not responsible for the accident. As you were not in charge of the vehicle, it is the responsibility of the driver to keep you safe. You can even make a claim if:
- The driver of your vehicle was distracted.
- A mobile device or phone was used during driving.
- Your driver disregarded the advice of road or speed signs.
- The person driving the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Just keep in mind that whilst you can claim compensation, if you knowingly got into a vehicle with someone who could easily breach their “duty of care” whilst driving on the road, the amount of compensation you receive could be lessened. However, this is rare. In fact, in most cases it won’t impact your passenger settlement in any way at all. But it is something to be aware of. If you feel like you were partly responsible for an accident, speak to your solicitor about it. They can help you understand whether or not your compensation will be affected by the individual circumstances of your case.
What kind of damages can I claim for as a passenger?
Just like a vehicle owner, a compensation claim will take into account all of the damages that you have suffered. These are separated into “general damages” and “special damages”. General damages take into account your physical suffering (i.e. physical and emotional trauma). Special damages will help you get compensation for your financial damages. Take a look at the infographic below to see more information on what exactly you could claim for as a passenger in a car accident:
The more evidence that you keep about your damages, the more likely it is that you will be able to claim for more money. After all, you are not just putting forward a “he said-she said” case. You are demonstrating what your damages are, how you were damaged and the evidence to prove they happened. This should ultimately show that you were the victim of the accident and deserve to be compensated for your losses.
What evidence can I use to support my claim as a passenger in a car accident?
The more evidence you have to prove that you have a legitimate claim, the higher your compensation pay-out is going to be! That’s why it’s always better to have too much evidence than too little evidence. Now, you can take evidence from the scene of the accident or from the difficulties you encounter after the accident. You are trying to prove that you are victim of damages, therefore any problems you encounter in your day-to-day life thanks to your injuries can show that you are owed compensation.
Evidence you should consider includes:
- Photographs of your injuries
- CCTV Footage
- Dash-Cam footage and video footage
- Witness Statements
- Police reports
- Medical Reports
- Financial Receipts
- Communication with your insurance provider
- Diary entries
Of course, if you do get hurt, make sure to put your safety above everything else. You can collect evidence later on. Just make sure to get yourself checked out for injuries so that anything hidden away does not get any worse.
What should I do if I am a passenger involved in an accident?
As stated previously, as a passenger in a car accident, the first thing you should do is get out of the vehicle and try and contact emergency services as quickly as possible. They will help you with any injuries and make sure you get treatment for internal damages. You may also want to contact the police so that a report can be taken down of the accident. If there is another party involved in your accident (i.e. another driver) you should leave your driver to speak to them about insurance details and contact information. However, you may want to note down their licence plate.
If you are well enough to collect evidence, if you see any witnesses then make sure to take down their statements or their contact numbers. You should also take photos of your damages and see if there are any other recording devices around the area (i.e. CCTV). But make sure you are well enough to do this. If not then focus on your own safety above anything else.
What should I do if the other party responsible for my injuries will not admit it?
Road traffic accidents (RTA) are complicated. This is because no matter what type of RTA claim you are involved in, the circumstances will always be different. In most cases, a settlement agreement will be drawn up between the different parties. That means that you will get an agreed amount of money for your injuries. However, if the party responsible does not admit to your damages, it is up to you and your solicitor to push forward with the claim. You need to use your medical records and evidence to come up with a settlement agreement. If they still refuse, you can bring the case to court. Here a judge will decide on whether or not you are owed compensation for your losses.
How much could I claim as a passenger in a car accident?
The amount you get from compensation depends on the extent of your damages and how bad your losses are. The more you have suffered, the more likely it is that you will get a bigger pay-out. Speak to a solicitor about getting an estimate for the amount of compensation you could be due. They can look at your evidence and your damages and give you a rough amount. Keep in mind this may change during the case or if you have a settlement agreement.
How long will it take to make a car accident claim?
Unfortunately, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, it may take longer than previously to get you your compensation. As the UK courts were shut down to protect the public, there is now a backlog of cases. The UK courts are also prioritizing some more urgent cases over others. This is why you need to get in your claim as quickly as possible. That way the delays will not be too severe when it comes to your case. Speak with a solicitor to figure out a timeline or how long is required to deal with your claim. They can keep you updated.
Work with Gowing Law Solicitors on your car accident compensation claim
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we understand that any type of road traffic accident can be traumatic to all parties. That’s why we want to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Our trained solicitors in Manchester can offer you free advice and consultations remotely to get you started. If you are happy with this and decide to work with us, we can work with you on a “no win-no fee” basis. This means even if we do not win your case, you will come out on top. That means there’s no risk to stop you from making a claim.
If you are ready to work with us, contact Gowing Law Solicitors today at 08000418350, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our direct messenger located on our contact page. One of our team members will then get in contact to help you with your claim.
Learn more about traffic accident claims
We pride ourselves on having a law blog that is kept updated with the latest legal advice and information about the UK courts. Take a look through our blog page to read up about different accident claims and how we can help you with your claim. If you cannot find what you want to read, let us know! We would be more than happy to write about your suggestions or questions. Email email@example.com and we will write an article about your request as quickly as possible.
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