Can passengers claim injury compensation after a car accident?

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

The short answer here is yes, 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.

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 but the following are all very common situations which lead to successful claims 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 – 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 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.

Access rehabilitation therapies

When our solicitors have an admission of liability from the third party 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

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.

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

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Questions & Answers


  1. Chantelle

    I and baby were passengers to an terrible accident which had our car roll not less than 4times. Driver of our car only holds a provisional license and in his attempt to swerve from a fast-driven overtaking car, he lost control, hit into a side steep ditch and the rest found us all injured. Bless God, baby was miraculously unharmed. And contrary I’ve had multiple fractures: broken ribs, fractured back bones (3 of my T-Bones ), crack sternum, and some cuts on my legs and around brows on top of body muscle pains. Driver’s had whiplash and a swollen knee..

    My question is, – considering the driver holds a provisional license with no accompanying full licenced driver in the car at the time of incident, what are chances of having a good case to claim compensation.? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Regardless of the driving status of the driver, we can still assist and help you to recover compensation for your multiple injuries.

      Reply
  2. lee

    I was in a uber taxi going down a slight hill and a car reversed out from a parking bay outside a shop and went straight into us knocked us, i was a passenger only in the back with seatbelt, i went forward and side to side.
    The lady got out of her car and said she couldn’t believe she just done that and was so sorry, the uber driver and driver exchanged notes.
    The uber driver said his car was not allowed to drive but he did drop me off, it was only another 3 mins drive then he went home and not allowed to drive anymore.
    2 days later i started having pain in neck and my lower back is in serious pain. I went doctors twice and spoke to them twice and he diagnosed severe whiplash and possible lower lumbar distruption.
    I have had 9 xrays which have shown tissue damage in neck and lower back problems and have to go for phsio and DEXA scan and being refereed to MIR and CAT clinics.
    I have a few questions, if i cant earn money now as i have been signed off for 3 weeks how do i survive without working as i enjoy my job and don’t want to be off work and lose money?
    Question 2, how long does something like this to be settled?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If you make a claim, the process would last a minimum of 6 months, more likely 12 months or so, but you would recover compensation for your injuries and also recover any loss of income.

      We can help you start your claim for compensation and just need the accident location and vehicle details (if you don’t have those, an Uber reference or the driver ID would suffice). Alternatively, you can call us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  3. Charles

    On 13/09/19 me and my mum were sat in my dad’s parked CRV at our local supermarket.
    Dad was in store, mum was in the front passenger seat, I was in the rear seats and there were three dogs in the boot. Completely to our surprise, a green mini rear ended us, jolting our car, and whilst mum had no after effects, I suffered minor whiplash injuries. The driver of the mini reversed, parked his car, glanced over, assessed the front nearside of his own car, then dashed into the supermarket, giving us no time to approach him.
    Details were exchanged and the mini driver’s insurers accepted liability, forking out four figures to have the damage mended.
    My claim for whiplash injuries however is still dragging on.
    I am told his insurers are contesting the claim, suggesting the impact was at too low a speed to cause injury.
    I have done everything asked of me, seen my doctor, visited their doctor, consulted a solicitor etc…
    The latest I heard is the matter is being referred to Derby Magistrates Court.
    Each time I contact my own solicitor, he seems to simply ‘kick the can down the road’.
    Is what’s happening normal and what do you think the outcome may be?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Although your frustrations are understandable (and shared by many!), the situation you describe is normal. Although the insurers admit to liability for the accident, they are arguing that the collision velocity would be insufficient to cause injury. There is conflicting evidence on this and if your Solicitor remains keen to take this matter to court, you should just allow them to get on with it and not worry too much.

      Reply
  4. Mark

    A taxi ran a red light and hit my car as I was turning right at the junction. The driver and his passenger said I hit them and the light was green. They both went on to claim for personal injury.
    My insurance said because the taxi driver is a professional and his passenger was an independent witness they would accept liability and not go to court.
    Later they were both being investigated for fraudulent personal injury claims.
    Did my insurance company act correctly in this case? I have pain in my knees after the accident and was not at fault.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It would appear that you (& your insurers) were the victims of fraudulent activity – both in terms of the claim against you for vehicle damage and property loss and in terms of personal injury.

      Fraudulent activity within road traffic accident claims has been a contentious issue for some time and needs to be confronted whenever it is identified. You should make a formal complaint to your insurers regarding their handling of this matter and make a formal allegation of fraud on the part of the 3rd party and passenger.

      Reply
  5. Kevin

    I was a passenger in a car accident and had alot of injuries and had my medical report sent to the third party insurers and now they are saying that they are disputing my injuries and the driver has admitted liability. What will happen next.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Do you have a specialist Solicitor acting for you in your claim? If not, please contact us on 01225430285 so that we can get a specialist acting for you to ensure that your rights are upheld and your injuries appropriately compensated.

      If you do have a Solicitor, they should be able to demonstrate – by way of your medical records and the experts report, that your injuries were caused in the car accident and that you are appropriately compensated.

      Reply
      • Kevin

        The only thing I dont understand is that I was a passenger and it’s not my fault I had alot of injuries to this crash. Why would the insurance company go against my medical report and please could you tell me what complex mean please. Thanks.

        Reply
        • Ian Morris

          Without having seen the medical report and your medical records, it is hard to say why the insurers are contesting the contents of the report. It could be that they either do not accept that the force of the collision is consistent with the injuries you have sustained or that your medical records indicate that the conditions were pre-existing prior to the accident? Was the collision at high speed? Were the vehicles badly damaged?

          As for the term ‘complex’, if that is within the medical report it could indicate that the injury you have is not straightforward.

          Reply
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Ellie 29

    I was a passenger in in a car accident in March. Everything has gone in to lock down due to covid since then, so only now am I being offered physiotherapy. The insurance company sent me a pre-proposed claim on what they estimate and asked me to sign it. However, it is full of inaccuracies and false information that I have not said! My medical history cannot have been updated by the GP, yet they have said things like I’ve got no joint problems when I have and never said otherwise!!

    I’ve refused to sign it and I’ve not heard a thing since then from the insurance company. I’ve rang and emailed numerous times. What do I do? What are my rights?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You have done the right thing in refusing to sign a document that is full of inaccuracies. It is vital that only the correct information is submitted when pursuing a claim as any inaccuracies can either lead to a claim being closed due to the discrepancies or a claimant receiving a vastly under valued settlement.

      If you are dealing directly with the insurers, we would strongly recommend that you instruct a specialist Solicitor to take over the handling of your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. You would expect us to suggest this course of action, but the reality is that by having a specialist Solicitor acting on your behalf will ensure that your rights are properly upheld and that your claim is handled correctly and in your best interests. With a No Win No Fee Solicitor, you won’t be at risk of paying costs should your claim fail and although you would have to contribute up to 25% of any awarded settlement towards the costs of the claim if you won, the likelihood is that a specialist Solicitor will ensure a higher settlement than you would otherwise achieve if you represented yourself.

      If you would like to speak with one of our specialist Solicitors and obtain their advice regarding your situation (which you can do BEFORE you have to agree to sign up with them/us), please call our team on 01225430285 so that we can take some initial information and then get one of our specialist Solicitors to contact you to discuss your case in detail. Alternatively, if you would like to liaise directly with me by email, please contact me at ian@direct2compensation.co.uk

      Reply
  9. Katy

    I was involved in an accident, third party went into the side of my friends car. I was passenger, I suffered from whiplash, the third party insurance company have admitted liability to damage. But still no response to my personal injury claim, accident was august 2018.

    My solicitors issues court proceeding, and due to go to court next month.

    Is this common practice for personal injury claims?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is not common for a claim of the nature you describe to go to court – unless it is to reach a judgement on appropriate claim valuation. In your case, as your Solicitor is willing to issue the matter indicates that you appear to have a very robust case and hopefully, your Solicitors actions will be sufficient to get this matter moving in your favour.

      Reply
      • Katy

        Many thanks for your prompt response. The third parties insurers / solicitors haven’t even responded to any of my solicitors letters. Have you heard of this before?

        I guess that’s why insurance premiums are so high.

        Thanks

        Reply
        • Ian Morris

          On some occasions, a defendant insurer will not cooperate, but this is unusual. The court action your Solicitor has started has been done to compel the defendant to cooperate.

          Reply
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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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