Should you suffer personal injury whilst travelling as a passenger in a motor vehicle or on a motorcycle, you should be entitled to recover personal injury compensation
Where no other vehicle is involved a claim will be pursued against the driver of the vehicle in which you were a passenger. This will be on the basis that they failed to drive with reasonable care. In order to avoid paying compensation it will be necessary for the driver to establish that there was nothing that they could have reasonably done to have avoided the accident. In such circumstances it may be necessary to determine whether a third party may have been responsible, for example where oil or other slippery debris was spilt onto the road.
It is possible to pursue a claim as a passenger even if the driver is a family member and be driving under the same policy of insurance.
Where a collision occurs between two vehicles, a claim for personal injury compensation is almost bound to succeed on the basis that one of the drivers must have been responsible for the accident. Some complications may arise however when pursuing a personal injury claim in certain circumstances, for example:
- The driver of the vehicle was uninsured;
- The driver had taken the vehicle without the owner’s knowledge or the vehicle was stolen;
- The vehicle was being used to escape from or avoid lawful apprehension;
- The vehicle was being used in the course of or for furtherance of a crime;
- The driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol.
In such cases the entitlement to personal injury compensation may depend upon the passenger’s knowledge at the time of the accident.
Failure to wear a seat belt may result in a finding of contributory negligence which in turn would reduce the level of compensation that can be recovered.