Can I claim compensation after being injured as a passenger in a car accident?

26 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

The short answer here is yes. Compensation cases relating to traffic accidents are common, but while driver claims are mostly handled by vehicle insurers, passengers are often unsure if – or how – they can make a claim.

The first thing to make clear is that passengers injured in road accidents are fully entitled to claim compensation. It’s important to understand that you can make a claim even if the vehicle you were travelling in was at fault.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to be a passenger in a car, taxi, bus, van or any other vehicle involved in a road traffic accident, we can help you receive any compensation you’re due.

Our long experience in the sector means your claims process will be made as simple as possible, and our team of expert specialist solicitors will be able to maximise the amount you receive.

Being involved in a road accident can be a horrific experience, and injuries sustained as a passenger can be every bit as serious and life-changing as those suffered by drivers. The effects of whiplash and soft tissue damage are at the minor end of the scale.

Bad collisions can result in anything from multiple fractures and broken pelvis bones to catastrophic spinal trauma.

Accident-related injuries can also impact your personal life, mental health and professional prospects.

At Direct2Compensation, we know too that accidents can be doubly traumatic if the affected passengers are either elderly or young children – people who by nature tend to suffer more when injured. That’s why we’re here to help all claimants receive the compensation they’re fairly due.

In which scenarios can I claim as a passenger?

As with any compensation claim, you’ll need to be able to show that the accident was someone else’s fault. If a claimant was somehow responsible for their own injuries, a successful case would be impossible.

As a passenger, of course, showing that the fault lies elsewhere can be an easy thing to prove – and to reiterate, you can make a claim even if the vehicle you were travelling in was at fault.

Road accidents can take any number of forms, and we’re always willing to advise you on individual scenarios, but the following are all very common causes resulting in compensation for passengers:

  • You were sat in a stationary vehicle that was hit from behind.
  • The driver of the vehicle you were travelling in hit another vehicle.
  • The driver of the vehicle you were travelling in collided with a road sign, tree, kerb, or other solid object.
  • The driver of the vehicle you were travelling in lost control and left the road

If your injury has been caused by a driver failing to drive safely, or failing to keep their vehicle well maintained, that driver and their insurers will be liable in the event of you making a claim. This applies regardless of which vehicle you were in yourself.

In short, if you’ve been injured in a road accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you’re fully entitled to make a claim for compensation.

All our passenger road accident claims are made on a no-win, no-fee basis. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be charged a penny.

What evidence do I need to make a claim?

It’s helpful to gather as much specific information about the accident as possible. Try to record the following:

  • Names, addresses and contact details of all drivers involved
  • Vehicle registration details for all vehicles involved
  • Accident date and time
  • Accident location (street name/road number/ roundabout name etc)
  • Full contact details of any witnesses
  • Details of any police involvement (reference number, officer numbers etc)

If the seriousness of your injury means it’s impossible to gather this information at the scene, do what you can to obtain it after the event. In many cases, vehicle drivers will ensure they record the details listed above, and you may well be able to obtain a copy from them.

If you’ve been unable to gather this information, for whatever reason, don’t panic. It can still be possible for you to pursue a claim. We’ll always advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation.

Do bear in mind, however, that claims need to be made within three years of the accident.

Why should I claim?

There are various reasons why passengers sometimes fail to make a claim. It might simply be that they’re unsure how to begin. Similarly, it might be that they don’t want to upset the driver of the vehicle they were in. They might feel especially awkward about making a claim against a family member or friend’s insurers.

There are, however, many compelling reasons for pursuing your legal right to make a claim – and at Direct2Compensation we have the experience to ensure this right is protected.

The end-goal is to get you fair compensation for injuries that were not your fault. A successful claim can also release funds to pay for private treatment (see next question), to speed your recovery process.

Should your injuries have stopped you from working and resulted in lost income – now and in the future – this will also be taken into account. Other incurred costs, such as transport and additional medical treatments, will be covered too.

It’s also important to remember that any compensation pay-out will come from an insurance company, rather than the pocket of your friend or family member, or from a third-party driver. In the majority of cases, people are deeply understanding of the fact that you, as an injured passenger, deserve to be recompensed for what you’ve gone through.

Will compensation allow me to receive specialist rehab treatment?

In many cases, yes. When our solicitors have an admission of liability from the third party, it means we can then look at securing funds to pay for private medical treatment, if needed. No matter what the scale of your injuries, post-accident rehabilitation such as physiotherapy, tissue massages and osteopathy/chiropractic has been proven to help people get back to normal life more quickly.

Any treatment needed will be covered by the insurers of the third party.

Let us help

Been involved in a car accident as a passenger? You’re in safe hands with Direct2Compensation. Our claims process is transparent and effective, and you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with our no-win, no-fee approach.

To find out more, or to start your claim today, call us on 01225 430285. If you prefer, we can call you back. After just a few minutes on the phone, we’ll have enough information to allow our solicitors to get your claim started.

26 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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Questions & Answers


  1. Ria

    Hello I was wondering can you claim if there was no collision? My taxi breaked very aggressively after accelerating at an amber light (as to avoid a red light)and almost hit a cyclist who was already in the junction. The cyclist had a green light and if the driver was going at the legal speed of 20MPH, he should have had enough time to react and break gently. The driver was driving atleast 30MPH, if not more, in a 20MPH Borough. I sustained head injury and my cervical spine was swollen. I have tinnitus, vomiting and very bad ongoing headache and body pain. I have pre-existing condition of Complex PTSD and this has been made worse as the only was I ever got anywhere was by taxi, I’ve not left the house once since the accident. I also have degenerative disk disease but this was a different vertebrae level than what was observed to be swollen following the accident. Police have told me there is nothing that can be done as there was no collision and because I did not take the details of the cyclists and as such there is no witness.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is possible to claim for injuries in such a scenario and this is a matter our Solicitors can consider and advise you on.

      Reply
  2. jerry

    A few years back, I had an accident when I was a passenger in a car. The driver of car made a claim. I had a neck injury and was in hospital. Since that day I have not heard anything from my friend or his Solicitor. I have tried calling him but he just hangs up on me.

    What can I do? I know he got compensation but I haven’t. Is that right?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not you can do anything will depend on how long it has been since the accident. UK personal injury law requires that any claimant pursue their claim within 3 years of the date of the accident. Therefore, if more than 3 years has passed, you won’t be able to make a claim or take any action.

      If less than 3 years has passed, do you have the vehicle registration details? Did the police attend the scene? If so, we may be able to help you make a claim.

      Reply
  3. Victoria

    Hi, I was in a car accident I was a passenger and wasn’t our fault. I’ve seen a independent doctor who states that I have Neck, Shoulder, Lower back, Anxiety Sleep problems. Does this go as multiple injuries or will they put neck back shoulder as 1 claim whiplash?
    Doctor also says I should recover in 6 months and I’m (moderate) serverity.
    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The way to view this is that you are making 1 claim for personal injury compensation, whether you have 3 separate injuries or 1 injury, the way a claim is valued is essentially the same. The injuries you have will be noted separately with their severity perhaps being listed in varying degrees. Your claim will be valued on the extent of those injuries, the impact that those injuries have on you – both in terms of pain and discomfort, but also their impact on your day-to-day activities and for how long you will suffer the symptoms. The medical expert that has assessed you will provide a report with their findings and prognosis for expected recovery. Based on that report, your Solicitor will be able to pursue the appropriate settlement value for you.

      Reply
  4. Hazel

    I diagnosed wit fibromyalgia few years ago was a passenger in my son car was hit by another car they admitted full responsibility my son was paid for car and his injuries…but my pain has got worse and I also suffer from P T S D and I have not got sorted yet …and I feel my solicitors are not behind me or understand…what can I do

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is important that you inform your Solicitors that you feel that they have not properly understood your situation and that you are not confident that they are handling the claim properly. This will afford the Solicitor the opportunity to review the matter and hopefully give you peace of mind that they are acting correctly.

      If you remain unhappy with your Solicitor, you should make a formal complaint to them and allow them one final opportunity to remedy the situation. If they are unable to do so, you could then look in to the possibility of switching your claim to a new Solicitor. However, this really should be a last resort, for a number of reasons including a possible further delay in any claim and also, the reality being that many Solicitors are reluctant to take on existing claims from another firm due to cost issues.

      Reply
  5. Eunice

    I’ve been in a RTA as a passenger we were in waiting traffic when hit at speed from behind the woman driver has been charged with not taking care and attention I have seen a neurosurgeon in Preston where an M I R shown I have a bruised spinal cord in the c4 c5 I am very much in pain all my left side what I need to know is I’m retired I can’t do my housework.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If you have not already made a claim for personal injury compensation, please start your claim or call us on 01225430285.

      We have specialist expert Solicitors who can pursue your claim on a No Win No Fee basis and seek compensation for the injuries you have sustained and also recover any out of pocket expenses, which could also include the cost or a paid for cleaner or other assistance you may need.

      To make a claim after a road traffic accident, all you’ll need to have are the details of the vehicles involved – which the driver of the car you were in should be able to provide you.

      Reply
  6. Sarah

    I was a passenger in a taxi which crashed into another vehicle which didn’t stop at the scene of the accident. Can I still claim compensation?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If the accident in which you were involved was reported to the Police, you have sought medical attention and have the details of the taxi (vehicle registration and driver details etc), you can pursue a claim via the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) ‘untraced’ driver scheme. We can assist with this on a No Win No Fee basis in which our specialist Solicitors would represent you with expertise to ensure that your claim was handled properly and that your rights and best interests were upheld. You can also make a claim directly to the MIB without legal representation if you prefer.

      Reply
  7. Scott

    I was a passenger in my mates work van when we were involved in a hit & run and suffered whiplash, we got the numberplate of other driver but my mate said I cannot claim as I was not meant to be in the work van.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Of course you can claim – whether or not you were supposed to be in that van is not your problem and as the vehicle in which you were travelling does not appear to have been at fault, there would be no issue.

      To pursue a claim, we’ll need the registration details of both vehicles involved. Please use this link to make further contact with us so that we can help you in this matter.

      Reply
  8. Tracy

    Involved in a rta 23.2.17. I was a passenger in a rental vehicle. The other car hit us and he was uninsured. I went through the mib as was advised. They are now stating after 2 years that the driver of the car I was a passenger in is partly to blame so I should go through his Insurance. Can you advise? The driver of the car that hit us was speeding and hit the car I was in, we were at roundabout at the time. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In their consideration of the circumstances of the accident and your injuries, the MIB have clearly decided that the liability for the collision does not rest with the uninsured party alone. To find out why they have reached this conclusion, you’ll need to ask them for written details of the same.

      As such, the MIB are correct in stating that you will need to pursue any claim against the insurance of the driver of the vehicle in which you were travelling.

      Reply
  9. Mohammed

    I was a passenger of a vehicle that was involved in a crash, we was hit on the back door on the driver side by the police, I have been waiting 10 months for this claim to be sorted, all I get from my solicitor is that there has been no reply, I had to urge them to push it forward so they said they sent them court proceedings in which the third party again failed to respond, now I am being told that my solicitor had written to the court requesting a judgement in my favour, but I feel that my solicitors already know the outcome from the start and have just been wasting my time delaying this process so they can make more money, my representative is a trainee solicitor which has got me really confused… please help what can I say or do here to resolve this claim ASAP THANKYOU!!!

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Why do you feel that your Solicitors are not acting in your best interests? Remember, if you are instructing a Solicitor to act for you on a No Win No Fee agreement basis, they will not receive any funds until they succeed with your claim and their fees will not be increased simply because of the time that a claim takes to settle.

      If you do feel that your Solicitor has acted poorly, the very first thing you must do is formally complain to them in order that they can investigate your complaint and respond to you. If they are unable to satisfy your complaint, you should then escalate the matter to the Legal Ombudsman Service.

      Reply
      • Mohammed

        Thanks for the quick reply, it was the fact that the last 10 months all they would say to me is the third party has not replied, and when I said is there not a protocol for situations like this, I would just simply get ignored, and up until I complained over 7 times to my solicitor then they said they were going to go ahead with court proceedings…

        Now the third party failed to even acknowledge the court proceedings, I am now being told they will have to contact the court for my compensation…

        How long do you think this will take now?
        And what is this procedure?

        As my solicitor always ignores my questions and when I ring they always seem to be busy

        Reply
  10. Michelle

    I am a passenger in a Ford F-250 accident. MRI shows a protusion in my neck
    The steering linkage broke while driving, the Collision Center told my attorney the linkage broke when we hit the 1st car. THAT IS WRONG! I saw it all happen, the truck drove into on-coming traffic due to the linkage breaking. How do I prove this? 2010 F-250 rebuilt new engine.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The question you ask is the key question that any person wishing to pursue a claim for compensation needs to ask themselves – ‘How do I prove my case?’. For any claim to succeed, there must be supporting evidence available to corroborate a claim and prove that a defendant is liable. In your case, you would need an engineers report that demonstrated that the steering linkage was broken BEFORE the collision with the oncoming traffic. However, obtaining such a report is likely to be extremely difficult – if at all possible – and extremely expensive.

      Reply
  11. Elizabeth Holdgate

    I was a passenger in a cab. I have been in hospital with fractured neck spine plus cervical c5c6 disc has exploded and I have been traumatised. Had surgery. Three months on, I’m waiting to hear about my claim progress from my solicitor. The cab man excepted liability. Sent all my documents of the accident & updating my recovery. My question, is What happens now.? What is my injury likely to be worth?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is not possible to provide an honest estimate of the value of your claim at this stage as the long term prognosis will not be known and we do not have the contents of a medical experts report to review and consider – which is how the value of the injury element of a claim is equated and worked out. However, your claim is clearly of a high value given the lengthy hospitalisation and surgery you have undergone. This article might give you an idea of what amount you could expect for spinal injuries.

      Reply
  12. Manuel

    Hi i was a passenger in my friends car (they were the driver) who crashed into another car. The driver (my friend) had failed the breathalyser test which meant he was over the limit due to alcohol. I wasn’t aware he was drink driving. This accident happened a year ago. After the accident I suffered neck pain, shoulder pain and back pain but I did not attend hospital at that time. Although I was sore, my initial thoughts wee that the injuries were minor and that the pain would soon reduce.

    A few months after the accident, the stiff neck pain was still ongoing so I decided to seek some massage therapy to relax the muscles from my shoulder, neck and lower back which cost me quite a lot.

    On the day of the accident the police attended the scene took my name, and arrested my friend who was the driver due to drink driving. The driver has accepted liability for the other party (the other car crashed into)I have rang the police they have given me crime reference number but they said my name isn’t on the accident scene and they did reassured me the officer who took my name down on his book can still be chased and that can prove I was there. The point is my name isn’t on their database so what if they can’t find the officer who attended the scene because the police have said this incident was booked in by another officer. I do not know the name of the police officer that day of the accident. Also I did not go to hospital straight away at that time but after 9 months I had been to doctor they are aware of the accident and referred me to physiotherapy. My head was all over the place as I felt depressed from the accident and lost my job. Could you advice me if I have a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Clearly, pursuing this claim could be difficult as there may be problems proving two issues – firstly, your presence in the accident (due to the police log not being definitive in this area) and causation in that you didn’t seek medical attention for some 9 months for your injuries. This will allow any proposed defendant to argue that your injuries may have been sustained in another accident as you cannot prove otherwise.

      Reply
      • manuel

        I understand that i did not go to the hospital straight away because after the accident i was suffering from nightmares, anxiety and depression which i wasn’t aware off til i had medical help also my friend died in car accident. since the car accident i had lost few jobs due to depression this is when i realised i needed medical help. After 3 months of the car accident, I had been to doctor they have diagnosed me with anxiety and depression and currently taking antidepressants. I spoken to the police officer via telephone they have said they can trace the police officer attended the scene therefore this could prove i was there on the day of accident. The police officer wrote my name on their handbook and they do not throw handbook away (was told by the police). The police said sometimes they do not put passengers name on the scene but this can be traced if necessary. I have pictures of the accident. surely the other party (car crashed into) can say there was a passenger which can also prove i was there. Surely after the medical check they can see the damages caused on my neck muscles, shoulder and lower back. Do i have a right to claim compensation? you said the injuries can be difficult to prove but that time i was battling depression and anxiety and did not have the strength to put a claim. i remember 4 weeks after the car accident i signed with a law firm but then cancelled within cooling of period due to my mental health depression and anxiety.

        Reply
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