Your rights as a passenger in an accident

When you’re a passenger involved in a car accident, you might not be aware of the rules around claiming compensation. It may not be as clear as the process would be for a driver.

But the law is clear: if you’ve been hurt as a passenger in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you can make a claim for compensation.

From whiplash to a life-changing injury, you’re entitled to justice when you’re hurt in a car accident.

When can you take action?

If you’ve been a passenger on any form of public transport that has been involved in an accident, you could be able to make a claim for compensation. The same is also true if you were in a taxi or ride-sharing car. If someone drives for a living, they’re obligated to ensure the safety of their passengers. If they don’t, they can be held accountable.

You may have been hurt in an accident caused by a friend or family member. You could have been injured in an accident caused by a colleague while being driven for work.

Meanwhile, if your accident was caused by another car, you can also make a claim. You can do so even if the driver of the car you were in has made a claim of their own. You’re just as entitled to justice as they are. You may want to consider joining forces to pursue a claim together. This is going to be a good option if you’re related or see the driver regularly.

What if road conditions are to blame?

You may have been hurt in an accident that was caused by poor road conditions, such as potholes or cracks. When this is the case, you won’t claim against the driver of the car you were in as they are not actually responsible.

If your injury was caused by the condition of the roads you were being driven on, you can make a claim against the local authority responsible for the roads. They are required to keep the roads in a safe condition, so if they’ve neglected their duty, you can take action. This also means the council is then alerted to the problem. They’ll have the opportunity then to address the poor conditions and try to prevent this kind of accident happening to anyone else.

Should you act?

If you were in the car with a friend or family member, you might feel uneasy or anxious about going ahead with a claim. However, there are a number of factors to consider. Was the person behind the wheel driving irresponsibly? Were they under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Did they disregard your protests to slow down? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you might feel like you should hold them responsible for their actions.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue legal action lies with you. It will typically depend on the severity of your injuries, whether you suffer any financial loss as a result of the accident and how seriously your life may be affected after the injury.

When it comes to an injury after a car accident as a passenger, what you do is up to you.

Image copyright: Cathy Yeulet