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Road traffic accident claims

Passenger Accident Claims

If you’ve been involved in an accident as a passenger, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. Speak to a member of our industry-leading road traffic accident team to learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Meet our road traffic accident and serious injury experts

Many of our road traffic accident solicitors are considered leaders in the field with a significant amount of expertise.

Tracey Benson, head of serious injury south

Tracey Benson

Head of Serious Injury - South

Matthew Tomlinson, our Head of Serious Injury in the North

Matthew Tomlinson

Head of Serious Injury - North

Expert profile of Richard Gaffney

Richard Gaffney

Principal Lawyer

Richard Crabtree

Richard Crabtree

Principal Lawyer

One of the UK’s leading specialist law firms.

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The legal 500

When can I make a passenger accident claim?

Being injured as a passenger can be a harrowing and stressful experience. You’ve placed your safety in someone else’s hands, and have very little control over what comes next. Even if the driver of your vehicle acts in the correct way, accidents happen, and the consequences can be severe.

If you’ve been injured as a passenger due to someone else’s negligent or dangerous behaviour, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Under UK law, passengers in vehicles cannot be considered liable for any accidents that occur, which means they are entitled to claim compensation against the party at fault if they’ve been injured.

What are the most common injuries passengers claim for?

The extent of injuries to passengers involved in road traffic accidents can vary significantly, depending upon the seriousness of the accident or collision itself. Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Whiplash or neck injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Psychological trauma or anxiety
  • Broken bones

In 2021, the UK government introduced legislation that changed the way in which whiplash injuries were handled. It means that claims valued at less than £5,000 are now handled via an online self-service portal, Official Injury Claim. For more information, see our page on whiplash reforms.

What can I claim for as part of a passenger accident claim?

You can claim for the full extent of your injuries and any subsequent consequences (for instance, if you’ve been unable to work). This is because UK law does not consider passengers as being liable for road traffic accidents.

The only caveat to this is that passengers are expected to be wearing seatbelts in vehicles fitted with them (such as cars and taxis). If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, your compensation may be reduced to reflect how much this contributed to the extent of your injuries.

When making a passenger accident claim, the damages you can claim for fall into two categories; general and special.

‘General damages’ refers to any physical or mental injuries caused by the accident. The amount that you will receive will be determined by the extent of the injury caused, and by how quickly you are likely to recover, according to a medical expert.

‘Special damages’ refers to any other expenses or losses that you may incur because of your injuries. For example, it can include the loss of any wages if you have been unable to work, any physiotherapy or other treatments you may need to pay for, any adaptations to your home that may be required, or any travel costs (if, for instance, you’ve been unable to drive).

Can I make a passenger accident claim if the driver was uninsured?

If you’ve been involved in an accident that was caused by a driver's negligent actions, whether it was the driver of the vehicle you were in or someone else, you are entitled to make a claim for your injuries. However if the driver at fault was uninsured or cannot be traced, it can leave you wondering where to go next.

It is possible to make a claim for injuries sustained as a result of collision with an uninsured or untraced driver, though the process is slightly different. In this case, the claim would be made to the Motor Insurer's Bureau (MIB) rather than the liable party's insurance company. It would still look to compensate you for any general or special damages, including compensation for your injuries and any subsequent impact they have had on your day-to-day life (such as loss of wages).

Talk to us about your case

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon

Experiencing an accident as a passenger in any vehicle can be harrowing, and you shouldn’t then need to worry or stress about seeking the compensation you deserve to help you get back on your feet. That is why our passenger accident lawyers are on hand to support and advise you on the necessary steps in pursuing your claim.

Our team is consistently ranked highly in reputable independent legal directories, such as Chambers and Partners, and the Legal 500, and are among the best and most experienced injury lawyers in the country. We work closely with medical professionals to ensure each and every one of our clients receives the best possible outcome, both in terms of finances and future care. We also have an in-house rehabilitation coordinator, who is on hand to provide immediate support, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

To start your claim, speak to a member of our team by contacting us online or calling 0330 041 5869.

Talk to us about your case

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon?


We are an award winning law firm and have a dedicated team of road traffic accident solicitors to advise and guide you – no matter how complex your situation may be.

Affordability and advice

We're able to offer affordable expert legal advice and can provide guidance on all aspects of road traffic accident claims. Our Initial Consultation provides tailored advice on your situation giving you clear guidance and options regarding next steps.

Tailored advice

We understand that every claim is different – so we are able to provide tailored advice and guidance to suit your individual needs.

Local access

We are a national law firm, with legal experts available locally across the UK. Meetings can be arranged via telephone or video call, to suit your requirements.

Speak to one of our road traffic accident solicitors today

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Frequently asked questions

How much compensation can I claim in a passenger accident claim?

The amount of compensation you can claim for a passenger accident will largely depend upon the severity of your injuries, and the impact they have on your life. As a general rule, the more severe the injury, the more compensation you will be able to claim.

Other considerations include the cost of any necessary treatment, any time you have had to take out of work to recover, or any adaptations you have had to make as a result of your injuries.

Can I make a passenger accident claim if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?

You can still make a claim for compensation if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. However, this will be considered when determining the amount of compensation due, as not wearing a seatbelt will be seen as contributing to the extent for your injuries.

What should I do if I believe my driver caused an accident?

If you believe your driver has caused an accident, for whatever reason, you could be eligible to seek compensation against them for any damage or injury caused. You will, however, need to prove that your driver acted negligently; for instance, if they were speeding, using a phone, or driving dangerously.

Is there a time limit for making a passenger accident claim?

In general, under UK law you have three years from the date of the accident to make a passenger accident claim. There are certain circumstances in which this time limit may change; for example if you’re claiming on behalf of a child, or someone who lacks mental capacity to do so for themselves.

It’s always best to speak to a specialist road traffic accident solicitor to discuss your personal circumstances in more detail. To get in touch, call us on 0330 041 5869 or reach out online, and we’ll be able to help you start your claim.

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