Passengers involved in a road traffic accident, what are your rights?

You are entitled to claim compensation for any personal injuries you suffer as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident as a passenger, you are in a strong legal position as you have multiple options. Firstly, you could claim off of the third party who crashed into the vehicle you were travelling in which is what most claimants do in standard road traffic accidents.

However, another option available to passengers is to claim against the driver of the vehicle you were in for negligence. From the outset however, it must be pointed out that you are only able to claim off of one party, not two. Nevertheless, the fact that passengers have more than one option when bringing a claim as a result of injuries sustained from a road traffic accident makes cases such as these difficult to lose.

The most important measure to take if you are involved in a road traffic accident is to call the Gardaí and the ambulance to ensure you and any others involved are looked after. Another important reason in doing this is that the Gardaí and the emergency services are required to make a record of the details of the accident. This can support a personal injury case for a passenger of a road traffic accident as in many situations, disputes can arise with regards to who is liable and this can make the case more difficult. Therefore, adducing any evidence such as incident information sheets from the emergency services and giving a statement to the Gardaí for a report will significantly boost your chances of successfully claiming compensations.

If the injuries you have sustained in a car accident are not severe and you decide not to call the emergency services, go to the nearest hospital or healthcare professionals as soon as possible. This is because insurance companies of the negligent driver will attempt to disprove any facts that you cannot provide evidence for. Therefore, having your injuries cemented into your medical records will strengthen your case and make it harder to disprove.

When a passenger is involved in a car accident, it is usually not their responsibility to exchange details with the third party driver. However, our advice is to ensure you have a copy of their insurance details, name, registration number and any other information that may be relevant to the road traffic accident.

It is important to stress that passengers of road traffic accidents are legally in a stronger position to claim compensation and they usually do not lose. However, if you are offered any type of settlement figure by the negligent driver’s insurers prior to consulting a solicitor do not accept. Due to the high success rate of passenger claims from car accidents, insurance companies may attempt to offer you compensation in order to minimise the amount of money they pay out. But always remember to consult with a personal injury solicitor to discuss your options and any offers made to you due to the injuries sustained from a road traffic accident.

For more information on road traffic accidents, please review our Road Traffic Accidents page.

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