Injured Car Passengers & Their Rights: Dispelling The Common Myths

  Posted: 26.06.20 at 08:21 by The Editor

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As the lockdown eases and our roads start to return to the ‘new normal’ busy, then so local accident claim solicitors Thatcher + Hallam LLP expect enquiries to start building again from clients injured following their involvement in a road traffic accident.


Lauren Martin is part of the personal injury team at Thatcher + Hallam. Here Lauren explains that many approaches to the firm are from passengers in a vehicle who have been injured in an accident and are unsure whether as a passenger they are still able to make a claim.

‘It is very often a case of being an innocent passenger in the wrong seat in the wrong car at the wrong time,’ says Lauren, who is of the view that the injured passenger is very often regarded as the ‘forgotten’ party in an accident. Here, Lauren spells out some sound advice on how the injured passenger can now start to look after their own interests.

‘Dispelling common myths and misinformation about passenger injury claims

As a passenger in an accident, you may have been told by the driver or their insurance company that you are not able to make a claim for injuries. This is incorrect and untrue.

It is the driver’s responsibility to drive safely and avoid any actions which would cause an accident and passengers often have far more compensation rights than any of the drivers involved in an accident.

You can make a claim as an injured passenger even if you:-

Knew the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Knew the driver was using a handheld mobile phone while driving.

Knew the driver deliberately ignored road safety advice.

I was a passenger who was injured in a car accident – who can I sue?

As passengers are rarely if ever at fault for the accident, they are often able to recover compensation for their injuries.

Our personal injury department has experience of successfully suing on behalf of passengers where the driver has lost control of their car and collided with trees and barriers, etc (where the driver was at fault). We have also successfully claimed against drivers who have driven into the back of other cars that passengers were sitting in, as well as drivers who have failed to stop at junctions and traffic lights, to give just a few examples.

You may be able to sue:-

The driver of the car you were in

The other driver (if it was a two vehicle accident)

Both drivers.

The Motor Insurer Bureau if it was a hit and run accident or the driver responsible was uninsured.

But the driver was a friend or a family member – who would pay damages?

The majority of motorists on the roads are insured, so you should never feel uncomfortable when making a claim if it was a friend or family member who caused the accident.

The insurer for the vehicle will be involved in the process of your claim and it would be that insurance company (and not your friend or family member) that would pay out the compensation you are due and reimburse you for any rehabilitation treatment you have required (e.g. physiotherapy, chiropractor treatment, psychological therapy).

You should not feel guilty or awkward about making a claim for compensation as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, it is reasonable to pursue compensation regardless of the scenario and especially if you have suffered injuries that are impacting on your day-to-day life.

Who do I contact for further information?

At Thatcher + Hallam LLP we are experts in making personal injury claims following a road traffic accident. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault then please contact our specialist local team to find out more about the claims process and whether you may have a claim. There is no need to worry about putting your money and savings at risk. A free informal initial chat with us can often point you in the right direction and we do of course operate a Law Society approved No Win No Fee scheme if indeed a claim is made.’

Lauren and her team can be contacted either by telephone on 01761 414646 or by visiting here: the Thatcher + Hallam website

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