Sometimes being a passenger can be just as dangerous as being the driver. Even with advances in car safety like better seatbelts, airbags side impact protection and crumple zones, there are still many passengers being seriously injured or killed in car accidents.
If you were a passenger in a car, taxi, motorbike or public transport that was involved in a crash, and you were injured as a result, you are entitled to compensation to cover lost earnings, medical bills, physiotherapy, and any pain, suffering and possible disability that happens as a result.
Personal injury claims by a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an accident are almost always successful. The passenger is rarely at fault, and is, therefore, able to make a legal claim. A claim for compensation by a passenger is made against the at-fault driver.
Here are some questions and answers to help you understand what is involved in a passenger injury claim:
Do I need to make a claim straight away?
You don’t need to rush into making a decision – nor should you. Occasionally injuries and their symptoms don’t show straight away. For example, neck and back injuries, soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, spinal cord damage, sprains and strains, can all be very painful, but the full extent of the injury may not be immediately obvious.
However, it is important to put your injuries on record – if you have been injured in a crash then you will almost certainly need emergency attention. If you develop further issues after the event, speak to your GP as quickly as possible to check nothing is seriously wrong.
Can I claim if no other vehicles were involved?
Yes, you can, if you were the passenger of a vehicle that lost control and swerved off the road, then you can still claim compensation. As we mentioned above, the passenger is rarely at fault and you can make a legal claim if you were injured.
The driver was a friend, relative or colleague – should I feel bad about making a claim?
We understand that you might feel bad about making a personal injury claim against a friend, relative or colleague – but what might make you feel better is that the claim you are making is not against the driver, but against the drivers’ insurers.
Don’t think about it as ‘making money’ – you are entitled to feel healthy and be restored to the condition you were before the accident and injury occurred. If you don’t get your injuries treated correctly, you could not only suffer in the short term, but also in the long term, so it is vital to make sure you look after yourself.
What if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, can I still claim?
If as a passenger you knew that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your claim may be reduced. Every situation is different, but if the court deems that you contributed to your injuries by allowing to be driven by someone who was visibly under the influence you can get a reduction. If there is no way you could have known the driver was under the influence and wasn’t noticeable, you might not get any reduction.
How do I make a claim?
First, speak to a personal injury specialist. Our team of highly experienced lawyers can help in all areas of personal injury litigation and accident claims. At DMA Law we believe no two claims are alike – because no two clients are alike. We like to recognise all of our clients as the individuals they are with their unique circumstances.
We will make sure our clients are compensated for their injuries and that they are properly looked after every step of the way.
Please give us a call or fill in the contact box and we will get in touch. We look forward to getting to know you and helping you with your claim.