Claiming compensation for someone else’s negligence involves establishing several key points. You have to prove:
- The party you are claiming from had a duty of care towards you and they failed in their duty. All road-users have these duties of care to one another. Failing in their duty, in legal terms, means that the other party did not meet the standards of a reasonably competent driver – in either what they did or did not do.
- Their ‘failure’ caused your injuries and other losses.
- The injuries and losses for which you are claiming are reasonable.
In passenger claims, Point 1 will rarely cause a problem. Passengers are not responsible for controlling any vehicle so it would only be in very rare circumstances a passenger could be at fault. However, it does not necessarily mean that the driver of another vehicle is liable for the accident.
If the driver of the vehicle you were in is at fault for the accident, you can still make a claim. Your claim would instead be directed against their insurance company rather than that of any other driver. You may be unwilling to claim against a friend or family member who was driving. However, bear in mind that this is one of the main reasons why drivers must have insurance. Also, in most cases, the compensation for your injuries and losses is likely to outweigh the costs of any increased premiums your friend/family member may have to pay.
Point 2 will often have to be established with medical evidence. However, if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, your compensation claim could be affected. Often it will result in a reduction of your compensation. If the party you are claiming from can prove your injuries wouldn’t have happened had you been wearing the seatbelt, the reduction is likely to be 25%.
All of the above points may sound daunting, but Truth Legal can help you every step of the way. With our specialist experience, we will ensure you recover the right level of compensation.