If you believe you were injured as a passenger in a car accident because of negligence on behalf of another road user or pedestrian then you may have a claim for compensation.
Common Causes Of Car Accidents
There can be many different reasons for car accidents causing injury to both drivers and car passengers. Even though progress has been made in the area of road safety, human error is still a major contributing factor and in those cases a car passenger could claim compensation for their injuries. Common causes of car accidents that passengers claim compensation for are as follows.
In most cases drivers tend to be at fault for road traffic accidents whether this is the driver of the passenger’s car or a third party vehicle. There are occasions where more than one driver may be partially responsible for a car accident and therefore potentially responsible for a share of compensation.
National And Local Authorities
Local authorities up and down the country are in charge of a variety of different highways and byways in their vicinity. The responsibility for main roads and other significant roads tends to fall with the national authorities but both parties have a responsibility to ensure highways and byways under their charge are safe for motorists and pedestrians. There will be occasions where potholes and other damage to roads have been reported but the authorities have had insufficient time to carry out repairs. In the event of an injury in this situation the authority in charge might not be held legally responsible because of the limited timespan to enact repairs.
We often see occasions where pedestrians step out onto roads causing drivers to swerve, resulting in potentially fatal accidents and injuries. While much of the emphasis is placed upon drivers with regards to road safety it is also worth noting that pedestrians also have an obligation to ensure the safe well-being of those in their vicinity. If a pedestrian is found to be responsible for an injury to a passenger in a car accident due to negligence then they may well be forced to pay compensation.
Ensuring Passenger Safety
It goes without saying that drivers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their car passengers in relation to their driving and actions, but they also need to ensure car passengers are sufficiently restrained. When minors are travelling without the appropriate restraints it is the driver who will be held legally responsible.
If a passenger in a car accident is injured where faulty equipment was at least partially responsible, whether this was the vehicle itself, an airbag or seat belt, the manufacturer will likely be pursued for compensation. Where the manufacturer was aware of the issue, but failed to act, there may be further legal action.
There are situations where more than one party may be potentially responsible for a car crash and resulting passenger injuries. There are also situations where the injured passenger may have been partially responsible for example if they failed to use the appropriate seat belt/restraints which led to more serious injuries. In this situation the courts will use “contributory negligence” to reduce any compensation paid by other negligent parties.
Common Injuries To Passengers In Car Accidents
While the type and severity of injury received by passengers in a car accident like whiplash can vary enormously, there are a number of more common injuries. In relation to compensation, general damages are awarded as a reflection of pain and suffering and life changing injuries received by the claimant. Special damages involve financial redress for lost income and expenses associated with the injuries received.
The average injury settlement for car crash accidents relating to general damages that a car passenger might receive can be viewed using our compensation calculator.
Proving Fault For Injuries To A Passenger In A Car Accident
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident and are looking to claim compensation, proving who’s at fault for your injuries is important.
It is imperative that medical attention is sought as soon as possible to ensure there are no complications. Issues such as concussion tend to be commonplace in car accidents but very often the symptoms of concussion may not be apparent until hours or days later. The same with passenger in car accident whiplash where the symptoms of whiplash injury often appear hours or days after the car accident. Receiving medical attention also ensures that your medical records are updated with details of the car accident, injuries and any treatment. These can be used in a court of law when pursuing compensation.
It is vital to gather as much evidence as possible to prove negligence for a car accident such as:
- Photographs of the location;
- Photographs of the vehicles involved;
- Insurance details of all parties;
- Eyewitness statements;
- CCTV coverage applicable;
- Dash cam recordings.
Car Accident Solicitors
Car accident solicitors should have vast experience in pursuing general damages and special damages in relation to car accidents involving passengers. If you contact a solicitor for advice on claiming compensation as a passenger in a car accident they will discuss what’s happened to you and ask for details of any evidence you can provide. Should they decide you should pursue compensation and they ask to take on your claim themselves they will almost certainly want to do so on a No Win No Fee basis. You can read more about what No Win No Fee is, but basically this ensures that you should only pay a fee when your claim is won and compensation is awarded.
After you have agreed with a car accident solicitor for them to process your claim, details of your claim will be filed with the courts and a copy forwarded to the defendant. In cases where negligence for the car accident is accepted the defendant will likely look to agree an out-of-court settlement. Where negligence for the car accident and passenger injuries is rejected or there is more than one driver or other party involved these cases may go in front of the courts. A judge will hear evidence from all parties and deliver a ruling on negligence and compensation.