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Making a passenger accident claim

If you've been injured in the last three years and the accident was somebody else's fault, then you may be eligible to make a no win no fee claim for compensation.

The first step to making a passenger accident claim is to contact us on . Our legally trained advisors are very experienced in dealing with cases like yours. They'll talk with you about what happened and will then be able to let you know straight away whether they think you have a claim.

If you're eligible to claim and you give us your permission to continue, we'll pass the details of your injury onto one of our specialist solicitors and put you in contact with them.

Your solicitor will then give you a free legal consultation. They'll be able to talk you through the claims process step by step and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

They'll then make contact with the other party and negotiate on your behalf, leaving you with the time to focus on recovery.

Did you know?

3,295 car passengers were seriously injured or killed in the UK during 2018.

Women between the ages of 40 to 59 were most at risk of injury - with men most at risk between the ages of 20 and 24.

Source: Statista market and consumer data, 2020

How do I start my passenger accident claim?

There are two ways to start your claim with us. Either call us on  or fill in our simple online form to request a call back.

We understand that making a claim can seem stressful, which is why we aim to make the claims process as simple as possible.

Once you get in contact with us, you'll speak to one of our legally trained advisors. They'll ask you some questions about what happened to you and will then be able to let you know whether they think you've eligible to make a claim. If we think you do have grounds for a claim and you give us your permission to continue, then we'll select a specialist solicitor for you and put you in touch with them.

Your solicitor will discuss your claim with you and advise you on the next steps. Our solicitors will help you to make your claim on a no win no fee basis, and will keep you fully informed throughout the process.

What are my compensation rights?

The law on accident compensation is clear. If you or a loved one in your family has suffered injury that was wholly or partly someone else's fault, you may have a legal right to compensation.

The compensation you could receive - also called damages - covers pain and suffering, the impact on your daily life, any loss of earnings plus any other financial expenses you've had to pay as a direct result of your accident. To find out if you may be eligible to make a passenger compensation claim, contact us on for a confidential chat with one of our friendly, legally-trained advisors.

All drivers have an obligation to drive carefully and safely to prevent injuring their passengers and minimising the risk of hitting other road users. This is known as a ‘duty of due care' and it also applies to any vehicle operator, from cars, lorries, buses and coaches to trains, planes, boats and ships.

If any driver fails to show due care for passengers' safety that results in injury, then that person has the right to make a no win no fee compensation claim. They also have the right to claim compensation as a passenger if the driver of another vehicle was responsible for the injury.

What type of injuries can I claim for?

In short, you can make a passenger claim for any type of injury. If your claim is successful, the damages awarded compensate you for pain and suffering, the impact on your life and any financial losses you've experienced as a direct result.

Sudden impact injuries like whiplash are common in road traffic accidents, for drivers and passengers alike. They can range from mild where symptoms may last a few weeks to chronic injury that can last months or become semi-permanent.

The rules for making a small personal injury claim following a road traffic accident changed on 31st May 2021. The government introduced a tariff for whiplash claims linking compensation awards to the duration of the injury. They are designed to reduce the number and cost of exaggerated or fraudulent claims plus reduce motor insurance premiums for drivers. The changes mean:

  • The small claims general damages limit will rise for road traffic accident injuries from £1,000 to £5,000.
  • Compensation for soft tissue and whiplash injury claims is now fixed, banded by severity, and lower than before.
  • People can no longer recover their legal costs from the other side in a small claim. These will now be deducted from compensation awards up to £5,000.'
  • Some other minor road traffic accident injuries - like simple fractures - are now classed as a small claim.
  • People now have the option to make a small road traffic accident claim themselves online, without needing help from a solicitor.

The changes do not affect vulnerable road users (like pedestrians or cyclists) and do not apply to other types of personal injury claim like accidents at work, accidents in public or medical negligence cases

What are the time limits for road traffic accident claims?

To qualify for a road traffic accident compensation claim, you must have been injured within the last three years. The accident must also have been wholly or partially the fault of someone else.

  • If you were 18 or over when the traffic accident happened, you have three years to make a personal injury claim from the accident date. 
  • If you were under 18 at the time and no claim was made, you have three years from your 18th birthday until your 21st to make a claim.

There are circumstances where you may have longer. For example, if you or a loved one has suffered a serious head or brain trauma that impairs psychological function. 

If you've got questions about making a passenger compensation claim, contact us for free and impartial advice on . We'll listen to what you've been through and let you know if we think you could make a no win no fee claim.

We'll never rush or pressure you into making a claim. We're here to give you impartial passenger compensation advice so you can decide what to do next. If you're eligible and decide to go ahead, we'll put you through to one our specialist accident solicitors. Usually we can usually do this on the same call if that suits you.

Most passenger accidents fall into the following categories:

  • Public transport accidents on road, rail, air and sea.

Don't worry if your passenger compensation injury doesn't easily match the types mentioned above. We still may be able to help you with sound and independent advice. 

Who pays passenger compensation?

Passenger accident injuries caused by another person

If your passenger injury was caused by someone else in control of any kind of vehicle, passenger compensation in a successful claim will be paid by their insurance company. This means the person responsible won't be left with a big bill they can't afford.

Passenger accident injuries involving uninsured drivers

If your injury was caused by an uninsured driver, you may still be able to make a compensation claim. All successful injury claims made against an uninsured driver are paid by the Motor Insurer's Bureau (MIB).

According to the MIB, over 26,000 people are injured and around 130 people are killed in traffic accidents with uninsured drivers each year. That's roughly 16% of all annual road casualties in the UK so it's a very real problem. 

The MIB was set up to compensate drivers involved in a range of challenging accidents. All UK motor insurance companies have to pay into the MIB fund each year. This enables people hurt by an uninsured or untraceable driver to make a passenger compensation claim.

Passenger compensation claims after a hit and run accident

It's upsetting when someone refuses to face up to the consequences of an accident that was their fault. Even more so if you or your passengers were injured as a result.

The other driver may have left the scene without stopping and you weren't able to get their number plate. The driver may not have had a driving licence or the vehicle may even have been stolen. The MIB will pay your compensation in these circumstances if your passenger compensation claim is successful.

Find out more about who pays your road accident and passenger compensation.

Accident injury caused by poor road conditions

If your passenger accident was the result of poor road conditions such as potholes or cracks in the road, then your claim will be made against the person or organisation responsible for the road's maintenance. This is likely to be the local council or the relevant UK highways agency.

It's a requirement for roads to be properly maintained so that they are kept safe for road users. So if you've been injured as a passenger in a road accident caused by poor road conditions, then it's not your fault and you may be entitled to compensation for your injury.

It's important to remember that making a claim will draw attention to the fact that the road is badly maintained. This may prevent others from experiencing what you've gone through.

More customer stories

People sometimes think that passengers injured in an accident cannot make a passenger compensation claim. This is wrong.

It's the driver or vehicle controller's responsibility to drive safely and avoid actions which would otherwise cause an accident. Passengers have significant protection in law and you may be able to make a passenger compensation claim even if you knew:

  • The driver was using a handheld mobile phone.
  • The driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • The driver deliberately ignored road safety advice.

Being aware of any of the above circumstances may affect the amount you're awarded if your passenger compensation claim succeeds.

We know that it's not just the driver who suffers as the result of a road accident. Any passengers in the vehicle are just as likely to have been injured.
If you've been injured as a passenger in a vehicle, then we might be able to help you to claim compensation for your injury. We have over years_since years' of experience in helping people to make passenger accident claims. That means we know how serious car accident injuries can be and how they can have serious effects on your life.

Suffering an injury can mean that you have to take time off work or pay for medical treatment, as well as a whole range of other expenses which can build up to make your situation more stressful than it needs to be.
Claiming compensation can help make it easier for you to get back to your daily life as quickly as possible, by providing you and your family the financial support you need during this stressful time.

All of our specialist solicitors can help you to make a no win no fee claim. This means that if for some reason your case is not successful, you won't be charged a penny.

In some rare cases it's not possible to make a no win no fee claim. Although unlikely, your solicitor will let you know if this applies to you before you start your claim.

Paul was a passenger in a car accident that was caused by another motorist colliding with his car. Paul contacted us when he suffered a life-changing eye injury.

Paul was a passenger in a car accident that was caused by another motorist colliding with his car. Paul contacted us when he suffered a life-changing eye injury.

Paul was a passenger in a car accident that was caused by another motorist colliding with his car. Paul contacted us when he suffered a life-changing eye injury.

What might my no win no fee passenger compensation claim be worth?

It's difficult to give an accurate figure before your solicitor has begun negotiating with the other side. Passenger compensation claims vary in severity, complexity and the impact they can have on your life.

To get an idea of how much you can get for your passenger accident claim, our compensation calculator can estimate the amount you could receive. Your solicitor will give you a clear idea of what your passenger compensation claim may be worth after they've assessed the circumstances.

If you've been injured as a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend or family member, we completely understand that you may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about making a claim against them.

You may be worried that your compensation will leave that person out of pocket. Please don't worry, it's their insurance company who will pay their compensation, so you can be sure that your claim will not leave them with a bill that they can't afford, but will enable you to get your life back on track.

Car accidents can often happen because the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The legal alcohol limit for drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. In Scotland, the legal limit falls to 50 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.

If your friend or family member was over the limit and you were aware of this, then this is likely to affect the amount of compensation you could receive, but you still may be able to claim. If you didn't know they were intoxicated, then this will have no effect on your compensation.

If you're still unsure about claiming or have any questions about our claims process, you can contact us on for free, confidential advice with no obligation to make a claim.

James is a Senior Litigator at National Accident Law

Vehicle accidents resulting in injury can often be very traumatic for all involved.

It's our job to make the process of making a passenger compensation claim as hassle-free as possible so you can focus on getting well.

We work on no win no fee terms that means you pay nothing if your claim doesn't succeed.

James Ilic

Senior Litigator, National Accident Law

You may have been injured while travelling on public transport, for example, as a passenger on a bus, train or in a taxi.

Public transport drivers, including those driving for app-based taxi firms like Uber, have a duty of care to you and an obligation to drive safely and responsibly. If they've failed to do this and you have been injured as a result, then you may be able to make a compensation claim.

Below are some common causes of public transport passenger injuries:

  • The bus or taxi you were a passenger on collided with another vehicle.
  • The bus driver pulled away while you were exiting the vehicle, causing you to fall.
  • Careless driving caused you to bump your head on the seat in front of you, fall off your seat or fall over on a bus.
  • The train you were a passenger on derailed or was involved in a collision.

There are many other causes of injuries on public transport, so if you'd like to find out whether we think you have a claim, you can contact us on .

Our advisors will talk with you about what happened and let you know straight away whether they think you're eligible. Your call with us is free, confidential and there's no obligation to claim if you're eligible.

We know how serious motorcycle accidents can be and how easily and quickly they can happen. If you've been injured as a pillion passenger on a motorcycle, you may be able to make a compensation claim to cover the pain and costs of your injury.

Alternatively, if you were driving and somebody else caused an accident to you and your loved one, we can help. Please visit our dedicated page on motorcycle accidents.

Lee is the Head of Customer Operations here at National Accident Law.

Every accident has its own unique set of circumstances and that's why we take great care to listen and understand just what our customers have been through.

Making a passenger compensation claim can feel daunting as most people and we're here to put people at their ease and give them the information they need.

Lee Lucas

Head of Customer Operations, National Accident Helpline

Unfortunately, road accidents often result in serious injuries for passengers. If you've suffered a life-changing injury that has left you in pain, or unable to return to your normal routines we're very sorry and we understand how traumatic and upsetting this must have been.

We know that no amount of money can take away the pain and suffering that you may have experienced as a result of your injury. But claiming compensation can help to reduce the impact that your injury has on your finances so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Getting compensation for your injury means you'll have less to worry about.

When you feel ready to talk about what happened, you can call our friendly advisors on for free advice and information on how we can help you. We'll also be able to let you know whether we think you have a claim and will be happy to answer any questions.

To find out more about how we can help you, visit our serious injuries page. In the terrible event of a passenger fatality, please read our dedicated page.

It's extremely important for your own safety that you wear a seatbelt when travelling in a car.

The law states that every passenger over the age of 14 must wear an adult seatbelt if it is available and that children under the age of 14 must either wear a child restraint or a normal seatbelt.

We advise that you always wear a seatbelt to reduce the chances of injury. If you've been injured as a passenger in a road accident and you weren't wearing one, then you may still be able to make a compensation claim, but it's likely that you will receive less.

What's typically covered in a passenger compensation claim?

We understand that injury can alter your life. We don't believe you should be left to foot the bill, especially if your condition was caused by someone else's negligence. For this reason, we fully consider the impacts your injury has had on you and your family. 

The circumstances of each passenger compensation claim are unique. How much you could be awarded if your claim succeeds depends on injury type, severity, recovery time and the financial effect on your life. This means road traffic accident and passenger compensation amounts often differ.

Our no win no fee solicitors will look to recover compensation for any negative impact your injuries have had on you. These include:

  • Time off work and loss of earnings.
  • Future loss of income and effects on your job prospects.
  • Any changes to your ability to work.
  • Care or support you've received, even if given freely by family or friends.
  • Changes you may have needed to your home or vehicle as a direct result.
  • Any travel costs you've incurred, for instance attending treatment.
  • The cost of any specialist treatment prescribed to you that's not available on the NHS.

We're proud to say that we treat each case on an individual basis. This means when you contact us you'll always speak to somebody who listens carefully and offers tailored advice.

It also means that the amount of compensation you're owed depends on your particular situation. Unfortunately, for this reason we're unable to let you know how much compensation you could receive when you do call us.

It's hard to say how much your passenger compensation claim may be worth before your solicitor has investigated it. However, you'll get a clear idea when your solicitor begins negotiating with the other side's insurance company. 

We have more than years_since years' road traffic and passenger compensation experience so why not try our compensation calculator? It'll give you an estimate about what to expect in a successful claim for your type of injury.

The Judicial College part of the Ministry of Justice. Part of what it does is to set the guidelines for general damages that can be awarded. People often ask us how much can a passenger get in a car accident compensation claim. Below are some examples of the injuries that can occur and the range of general damages for each. 

The figures are from the 15th and latest edition of the guidelines, published in November 2019. Any financial losses you may have experienced will be added on top in a successful passenger compensation claim.

Type of injuryRange
Whiplash£240-£4,345 (with recovery in 1-2 years)
Head injury£1,880 - £379,100
Severe neck injury£38,800 - £139,210
Moderate brain damage£36,740 - £205,580
Severe back injury with spinal cord damage£77,700 - £151,070
Hip or pelvis injury£3,370 - £122,860
Fractured thigh bone (femur)
£7,780 - £13,210

What are early passenger compensation payments?

Early compensation payments are also called interim or immediate needs payments. They're issued to people who need early financial help before their compensation claim is actually settled.

This could be for several reasons - typically it's when their accident injuries are so severe that they leave people in financial distress. 

Early payments could cover the cost of homing your family near where you're having treatment. They might also cover rent, mortgage or other bills because you're on statutory sick pay or reduced income.

If you're unable to cover the financial aftermath of your injury, your solicitor will work to secure these payments for you. They'll do this while also negotiating your final passenger compensation settlement.

For more information, call us free on . You can also check if you have a potential claim online or simply book a call-back with us and we'll be in touch at a time to suit you. 

All of our solicitors can work on a no win no fee basis. Your solicitor may need to take out a special legal protection insurance policy for you. It pays the costs if your claim were to fail and ensures claiming is risk free. Simply put, this means that if your claim is unsuccessful then you don't pay a penny

You've already had to deal with enough stress and unwanted surprises. Making a no win no fee claim with us takes the risk out of claiming so that you won't be left out of pocket.  

If you win the claim, you'll be asked to pay any costs and expenses, not paid for by the other side, from your compensation. We guarantee you'll never pay more 35% of your damages. There are some rare cases where it may not be possible for you to make a no win no fee claim. If this applies to you, then your solicitor will let you know before you start your claim and will talk through the other options with you.