Passenger In A Car Accident Claims Guide

By Megan Cullen. Last Updated 28th November 2023. In this guide, we will be providing advice for anyone who has been injured in a car accident as a passenger. We take you through how to make a car passenger accident claim, explore the circumstances which can often lead to such accidents, look at examples of common types of injury, find out how to establish legal liability of the party who caused the accident, and show you how we can provide you with more advice about using a personal injury solicitor to make a passenger in a car accident claim.

As a passenger involved in any form of car (or other road traffic) accident, you are unlikely to have played any role in causing the accident. If you have been injured, it is likely that you can make a personal injury claim against the person, or persons responsible for the accident.

Please read this guide for more advice on how to make a successful car passenger injury compensation claim and how we can provide with you an experienced personal injury solicitor. Or, contact our team today by:

Car passenger accident

Car passenger injured in an accident

Select A Section

  1. Am I Eligible To Make A Car Passenger Accident Claim?
  2. How To Prove A Car Accident Claim
  3. Common Injuries Sustained By Passengers In Car Accidents
  4. Car Accident Claim – Compensation Calculator
  5. No Win No Fee Car Passenger Accident Claims
  6. Additional Advice

Am I Eligible To Make A Car Passenger Accident Claim?

When claiming for a car accident, you’ll need to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. This is:

  1. A road user must have owed you a duty of care.
  2. This road user breached their duty of care.
  3. Due to this breach, you were injured.

Road users owe each other a duty of care, and must adhere to the rules and regulations set out for them in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. Per their duty of care, road users must also navigate the roads in a way that avoids causing harm to themselves or others. A failure to do so could result in a road traffic accident, and you could be injured as a passenger.

When making a passenger injury claim, you will need to determine who was liable for the accident you were injured in. Whether it was the driver of the vehicle you were in, or another road user.

Furthermore, you must ensure that you start your personal injury claim within the relevant time limit. Generally, this is 3 years from the date of the accident, as stated in the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are certain exceptions to this limitation period.

To find out what these limitation period exceptions are, or to receive free advice for your passenger injury claim, you can contact our advisors.

Time Limit Exceptions For Passenger Injury Claims

Although the usual personal injury time limit for starting a car passenger accident claim is usually three years from when the accident occurred, it can work differently under certain circumstances. For example, if a child has been injured as a passenger in a car accident, then the time limit will not begin for them until their 18th birthday. A court-appointed litigation friend could claim on the child’s behalf before this day comes. If this doesn’t happen, then the injured party will have three years to start their own passenger injury claim once they turn 18.

If the injured party lacks the mental capacity to make a passenger in a car accident claim, then the time limit is suspended indefinitely. A court-appointed litigation friend could claim instead on the injured party’s behalf. If this does not happen though, and the injured party later recovers their mental capacity, then the time limit will begin from the day of recovery.

Contact our advisors on the phone or online today for free for more advice on passenger injury claims and the eligibility requirements for them.

How To Prove A Car Accident Claim

If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, you will need to gather evidence to support your case. This will need to demonstrate the injuries you suffered and who was liable for them, whether it be the driver of the car you were in or another road user.

Some examples of the evidence that could be used to support a passenger in a car accident claim include:

  • Video footage of the accident taking place. This could be from a dashcam or CCTV.
  • Your medical records stating the injuries you suffered and the treatment they needed.
  • The contact information of anyone who witnessed your accident, so that they may provide a statement about the events at a later date.
  • Photographs of the accident scene and any visible injuries you suffered, such as cuts or lacerations.
  • A copy of the police report, if the police were called to the scene of the accident.

To see whether you could be eligible to make a claim for car accident compensation, you can contact our advisors. Thet may also help answer any questions you may have, such as ‘Can I still claim if I was not wearing a seatbelt in a car accident?’

Common Injuries Sustained By Passengers In Car Accidents

Car accidents can dramatically vary in severity. As such, the level, nature and type of injuries suffered in them can also vary quite substantially. This is why we included a variety of injury types in our car accident compensation calculator for passenger injuries. Some of the most common injuries for vehicle occupants include;

  • Whiplash.
  • Other soft tissue injuries, such as serious cuts and deep lacerations.
  • Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
  • Broken or fractured bones.
  • Internal injuries such as damage to your internal organs, or internal bleeding.

You could also make a claim for any psychological injuries you have sustained, such as anxiety after a car crash.

If you suffered any of these injuries or others, find out what your car accident claim could be awarded by contacting or advisors today.

Car Accident Claim – Compensation Calculator

A passenger in a car accident could claim against a driver if they were injured by their negligent actions.

Compensation aims to address the injuries and any subsequent effects the accident may have had on you. For example, suffering anxiety as a passenger after a car accident is not uncommon – severe effects of anxiety can be treated as a psychological injury.

The type of compensation paid out for the pain and distress of an injury is known as general damages. To show you examples of general damages, we have created a table of example awards using figures from the April 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. This document is used by legal professionals to help calculate general damages for claims.

The top entry does not appear within the JCG.

How serious was the injury Body part injured or reason for claim Award band Notes
Severe Multiple Severe Injuries Plus Special Damages Up to £250,000+ Compensation for multiple severe injuries and the financial losses you have suffered because of them, such as medical expenses.
Severe: (i) Back injury £91,090 to £160,980 Severe pain and a form of disability
Severe: (ii) Back injury £74,160 to £88,430 With the injury harming use of the bladder and bowel
Moderate: (i) Back injury £27,760 to £38,780 A fracture causing chronic pain and discomfort.
Severe Arm injury £96,160 to £130,930 Arm injury permanently affecting use of the arm
Less Severe Arm injury £19,200 to £39,170 Recovering showing following an initial disability
Severe: (i) Knee injury £69,730 to £96,210 Severe ligament damage
Severe: (ii) Knee injury £52,120 to £69,730 Leg fracture extending to the knee
Moderate: (i) Neck injury £24,990 to
Continuing pain from a neck fracture
2(1)(b) Whiplash Injury with Psychological Injury £4,345 A whiplash injury with a psychological injury lasting more than 18 months but no more than 24 months.
2(1)(a) Whiplash Injury £4,215 A whiplash injury alone lasting more than 18 months but no more than 24 months.

This is only part of the compensation you can seek, and we’ll explain more about what you could claim for below. However, if you are looking to make a claim as a passenger in a car accident and want information specific to your claim, please speak to one of our advisors.

Car Accident Passenger Claim – Whiplash Claims

If you suffered a minor injury as a passenger in a car accident on or after the 31st of May 2021, how you claim will be different. This is due to the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021, which came into effect on this date. If you are over 18 and suffered an injury that is valued at £5,000 or less, your car accident passenger claim will be made through the Whiplash Reform Programme.

This means that for minor injuries in an auto accident claim, your claim goes through the Official Injury Claims portal instead of through the traditional personal injury route. You would receive compensation according to the set tariff in the Regulations 2021.

It should also be noted that even if you are not eligible to claim through the Whiplash Reform Programme, whiplash or soft tissue injuries may still be valued in line with the tariff.

Call our advisors for further information about the Whiplash Reform Programme.

No Win No Fee Car Passenger Accident Claims

If you are eligible to make a passenger in a car accident claim, you might want to seek legal representation. If so, one of the road traffic accident solicitors from our panel could support your claim. Our panel works under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement.

If your solicitor provides their services under a CFA, they won’t ask for you to pay for their work on your claim upfront or as your claim is ongoing. Furthermore, they won’t ask for payment for their services following an unsuccessful car accident claim.  

However, if your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee from your awarded compensation. This amount is taken as a small percentage which is limited by a legal cap.

Our advisors are here to help. They can provide you with a personalized claim evaluation and can answer questions such as “How much money can a passenger in a car accident get in the UK?” Additionally, if you meet the eligibility criteria, you could be connected to one of the solicitors from our panel. 

To speak with an advisor:

  • Fill in our ‘contact us’ form, and an advisor will call you back.
  • Call 0161 696 9685
  • Connect using our live chat.

Additional Advice

Please read these trusted and external resources and well as other guides on our site.

Read more of our road traffic accident guides below:

Thank you for reading our guide on making a car passenger accident claim.