Suffering an injury in road traffic accident is a traumatic experience at the best of times. But when you are a passenger in a car and you are injured because of the driver’s negligence, it can be even more difficult to come to terms with.
It’s a common misconception that passengers aren’t able to get compensation for their injuries, but fortunately that isn’t true. If the driver of the vehicle you were travelling in or another driver was at fault for the accident, then you can bring a claim for compensation.
A driver’s duty of care
The driver of a vehicle has an obligation to drive safely so that they minimise the risk of other road users and prevent injuring their passengers. In legal terms this is called a duty of care and also applies to the operators of any other type of transport, such as buses, boats and aircraft.
If a driver fails to show a duty of care and this results in an injury to the passengers of that vehicle or another, then they can sue for damages.
What if a friend or member of my family was driving?
A lot of people feel awkward about taking legal action against the driver if they are a friend or loved one. However, you should remember that it is your legal right to get compensation for injuries you suffer through no fault of your own.
The money you receive is to cover your losses, compensate you for the injury you suffered and to help get you back on your feet. You should also remember that it will be the driver’s insurer that will be paying any settlement, and not your loved one.
What can I claim for?
As with all personal injury cases there are a number of things you can claim compensation for. These include:
- General damages for any pain, suffering and injuries you sustained
- The costs of any medical care you received
- Medical expenses including treatment, drugs or equipment
- Travel expenses for trips to get medical treatment
- Loss of earnings, both now and in the future
Are there any time limits on making a claim?
You have up to three years from the date the incident took place to make a claim, or until your 21st birthday if the accident happened when you were under the age of 18.
For anybody who does not have the mental capacity to make their own legal decisions, for example if somebody has suffered a serious brain injury, there is no time limit.
If you have been involved in an accident as a passenger you should seek out specialist legal advice from road traffic accident solicitors like those working with First4Lawyers to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve.