Do car passengers injured in a road traffic accident have an automatic right to receive compensation for an injury?
If you were a passenger in a car or another vehicle when a collision occurred – you do not have an automatic right to receive compensation in the UK, as you must first show that someone was at fault for the accident.
Although, there is no automatic right to receive compensation, the majority of passenger injury claims are successful as an accident will typically have been caused by a driving error of some form. Either from the driver of the car you are a passenger in or from the driver of another vehicle – involved in the same collision.
Unless the passenger in some way contributed or caused the accident – for example by grabbing the wheel of the car, it is very likely a car passenger injury claim will be proved and compensation recovered.
For a full discussion on the different types road accidents causing passenger injury – deductions from compensation for passenger negligence and exclusions on claims when the accident occurs whilst a crime is being committed see our motor vehicle passenger injury claim article.
Court action to force the guilty party to pay compensation
Even if another person was clearly at fault – there is no automatic right to be paid compensation following a road traffic accident in the UK. You will need a solicitor to first prove fault as a matter of law, that the driving error caused you injury and if the guilty party refuses to pay compensation – your solicitor would need to issue the matter at court and have a judge in a trial make an order that compensation should be paid and the exact amount.
Once this court order is made – the guilty party would not be able to avoid paying you compensation, as the court order is legally binding and enforceable.
Car Passenger Injury Claims Summary
In summary – passengers have a right to make a claim for compensation for injury, but do not have an automatic right to receive compensation. However, passengers in vehicles whether it be a car, bus or other vehicle form a class of individuals who are likely to succeed in a claim for compensation.