Can I Claim Injury When Family or Friends Were Driving?
Car Accidents Caused By Family Members
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident caused by a family member or friend, you are still entitled to claim compensation for any injuries or damage done to your vehicle, irrespective of whether you were a driver or passenger.
If you were a passenger in the vehicle that your friend or family member crashed and you suffered injuries, you may be able to file for a claim against the driver’s insurance company. This is also the case if you are driving and you collide with a relative or friend’s vehicle – if you are not at-fault, you can claim against their insurance company.
You are also able to claim compensation on behalf of someone else, for example, if your child is hit and injured by a family member or friend who was driving.
Claiming for compensation may seem like an inconvenience and slightly awkward to begin with, but you should remember that it is your right to receive compensation to help financially if you’re injured after an accident that wasn’t your fault. It’s always going to be a difficult decision, but you could even speak to the at-fault party first and explain the situation.
It’s also worth noting that it won’t directly affect the at-fault party financially, but it could increase their premiums slightly.
Who Pays Injury Compensation?
If you claim against a family or friend, they will not necessarily pay the compensation themselves. You will essentially be claiming against their insurance provider, and it is that company that pays your compensation.
As standard after a car accident, there is a chance that the at-fault party’s insurance premiums could increase as a result of the claim, but your relative or friend will not be required to pay the compensation directly.
What to do After an Accident
Whether you are hit by a total stranger, or a close relative, the same rules apply in terms of what you should do after a car accident.
If you are involved in any type of road traffic collision, the safety of all parties should be the first priority. If someone (including you) is injured, or any vehicles are blocking a road, the emergency services should be called immediately.
However, if you are involved in a minor accident in the UK, you can report it to the police using the non-emergency ‘111’ number. You are legally obliged to report an accident to the police, but minor incidents should not be reported via ‘999’, only ‘111’.
If you are not injured and everyone involved has been medically assessed (if necessary), you should begin gathering information and evidence from the incident.
The information and evidence you should gather after a car accident includes the following:
Involved cars’ registrations
Contact information for other drivers involved
Contact information and statements from witnesses
Photographs of the scene and damage as evidence
Medical reports and documentation
Receiving Medical Documentation
If you are injured and want to make a personal injury claim, you must be examined by a medical professional in order to ensure your safety but also to generate official documentation, which can act as evidence in your favour.
The official documentation authenticates your claim of an injury, and will help prove that your injury is genuine. If you aren’t seen by a medical professional and try to claim for personal injury, questions will be raised and you may be required to attend thorough examinations from independent consultants.
How Much Can I Claim for Whiplash?
If your family or friend accidentally collides with you and you suffer whiplash, you could receive compensation from anywhere between £1,000 for injuries that you can recover from within a few weeks, to huge sums of almost £100,000 for severe cases where your symptoms are on-going.
In the more severe cases, it’s likely that you will need to be examined further by medical professionals, and the claim may well need to be heard by a court.
The spike in the amount of false whiplash claims in recent years has also pushed the Government to clamp down on dishonest claims, meaning that the amount of evidence needed has increased and you are likely to be required to attend physiotherapy sessions to prove that your injury is genuine.
Claiming as a Passenger
As a passenger, you expect a relaxed, stress-free journey; which is not always the case in reality. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident as a passenger that was in no way caused by you, you could be entitled to compensation.
As a passenger, you are able to receive compensation relating to personal injury – including whiplash, injuries to the head and back, fractures and broken bones – as well as any psychological damage done.
Bear in mind that being a passenger does not necessarily mean that you are always the victim, as it is still possible for you to be the cause of an accident – by being a distraction to the driver, for example.
Who is Responsible for an Accident?
The person or people responsible for a car accident can be straight-forward or complex, depending on the situation, with the latter incidents often leading to court cases.
The most common causes of road traffic collisions include:
A driver’s carelessness (the driver of another vehicle or the vehicle you’re in)
Passengers being a distraction to the driver
Pedestrians (or even animals) unexpectedly stepping onto the road
Road maintenance issues (potholes, for example)
Vehicle malfunctions (more rare but manufacturers are usually to blame)
As a passenger in the UK, you have responsibilities that you must ensure that you abide to. For example, you are legally required to wear a seat-belt, and to refrain from getting into a vehicle when you know the driver is intoxicated.
Making a Claim When You Were Not Driving
If you have been involved in a car accident that happened to be caused by a family member or friend, you must remember that you are still entitled to claim for compensation.
Claiming – when family and friends are involved – can be a difficult process, but our trained advisors are on-hand to guide you and help you make the challenging decisions that you may be faced with.
Get in touch today to begin your claim, either by calling us on our Freephone telephone number or completing our short contact form and we will get back to you at a time that suits you.