Can I make a claim for personal injury if I am the passenger in a car accident?
Accidents can be quite traumatizing, and in cases where you get severely injured the physical and psychological damage incurred often lasts for a very long time. If you were involved in a car accident where you were the passenger and sustained injuries, you can file a personal injury claim. To start the process, you need to have enough proof that you sustained injuries and suffered various losses directly linked to the accident. You may need photos of the accident scene, hospital records, and letters from your employer to prove your case and calculate a favourable compensation. But first, take care of your injuries before starting your claim.
Who Can You Sue?
Passenger claims are easier than those of the drivers. Generally, a passenger, cannot be at fault; therefore, you can go ahead and sue the driver of the vehicle you were travelling in and/or the other driver, or both. You can even go ahead and sue the local council if a fault on the road caused the accident or the vehicle manufactures when the cause of the accident is a vehicle malfunction. When both drivers are at fault, each pays you a ratio equivalent to their contribution to the accident. If both were 50-50 to blame, each party pays half your claim.
Why it’s Okay to Sue Your Driver
It may feel uncomfortable suing your driver even when obliged to do so legally. Probably, he is your friend or family member, which makes the decision hard and awkward. However, it’s not the driver who pays for the claim but his insurance provider, which means you will not be dealing with him at a personal level. Additionally, you can still go ahead and file a claim even when you were in the vehicle at fault. You are not to blame for the driver’s actions such as
- Ignoring road safety rules
- Using a mobile phone when driving
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when driving, providing you can show that you were not aware of this.
You can still lodge a successful claim, but the above findings can drastically affect the driver’s compensation when he was not at fault or was partly to blame for the accident.
What Can You Claim?
You have to prove that you sustained injuries as a result of the accident. You need hospital records such as invoices, doctor’s summary, and eyewitness accounts. If you had to stay away from work for a few days or permanently, you can also claim a loss of income. Any loss directly resulting from the accident can be claimed, including loss of earnings.
When Can You Make the Passenger Claim *
Although the priority is to get you healthy again, proceed with your case as soon as possible. In most cases, the time limit for filing a claim is two years, but this may change when dealing with a minor or the plaintiff is mentally incapacitated. A minor has up to two years after their 18th birthday to file a claim, but it’s always better to start the process immediately after the accident. Also, families of a deceased plaintiff have two years to file the case.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin