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Passenger in Car Accident Claim

Would I be able to make a passenger in car accident claim since I was recently involved in a car crash where I was a front seat passenger and after I suffered with whiplash?

Yes, you can make a passenger in car accident claim for compensation; however, even though being a passenger in a car accident would generally put the injured party in a very strong position legally, a fair and sufficient settlement of compensation cannot be guaranteed.

A rear-end collision which results in a whiplash injury for the passenger is the most common type of car crash featured in claims for passengers injured in car accidents, and the passenger victim would typically have been sitting in the front seat. However, not all compensation claims concerning passengers involve collisions with negligent road users and other scenarios may include; the driver of the car the passenger was travelling in causing the accident, the accident occurring as a result of poor road conditions or a passenger travelling in a taxi involved in an accident where the taxi driver or a negligent road user caused the accident.

To pursue a passenger in car accident claim, the passenger should have followed some procedures following the accident. The most important was to have made your health and safety a priority and had all injuries seen to by a medical professional at the first possible opportunity. You should also have completed post-accident formalities i.e. collected important data, such as names, addresses and insurance details, from the parties involved. If the Gardai didn’t attend the scene you should still have reported the accident as any call is recorded and details of accidents lodged in their accident report book. This may be important evidence if you need to take your claim to court to have it resolved.

To make a compensation claim as a car accident passenger, an application for assessment should be sent to the Injuries Board Ireland, even if your solicitor attempts to negotiate a settlement with the negligent party’s insurance company simultaneously. The reason for this is if the assessment by the Injuries Board falls through or if negotiations fail; you will not have to wait a long time for the issue of the “Authorisation” you will need to pursue your claim in court.

Each individual personal injury* compensation claim, including a passenger in car accident claim, is assessed on its own merits. In addition to claiming compensation for physical or emotional injuries, an injured passenger can also claim for “loss of amenity” compensation — where their injury has affected their quality of life — and they could also be reimbursed for any loss of earnings, overtime and pension contributions and financial expenses you have experienced which can be attributable to your accident. Therefore, the compensation awarded following a claim for a passenger involved in a car accident may differ significantly from the award given to the driver of the same accident.

It is worth noting that the insurance company representing the negligent party may approach you with an early offer of compensation, which may appeal at the time but will most likely prove to be an insufficient amount compared with what you are entitled to. If this situation arises, it would be in your best interest to contact a solicitor immediately as they will be able to evaluate the offer and determine its worth. Claims for car accidents involving passengers have a high potential for being under-settled, and so the assistance of a solicitor will prove highly beneficial in your pursuit of a fair and accurate settlement of your compensation for passenger in car accident claim.