When an accident occurs, many people are unaware of the rights of those travelling as passengers in the vehicles involved in the accident, especially if the driver is responsible for the accident. For this reason, we are going to explain what compensation can be claimed by passengers in a traffic accident.
First of all, we should make clear that no matter what type of vehicle they are travelling in, nor whether the driver is responsible. Passengers or occupants are always considered to be victims in the accident. They are therefore entitled to compensation for the damages they have suffered.
After an accident, it is essential to clarify who is at fault, in order to know which insurance company will be responsible for compensating the injured parties. However, fault is only attributed to the driver of the vehicle and never to the passengers, except in these cases:
- If the occupants of the vehicle were travelling in breach of safety regulations, such as the compulsory use of seat belts or helmets, then the amount of their compensation will be lower, as they are considered to have contributed to the aggravation of the damage.
- If the accident vehicle is stolen and its occupants were travelling in it knowing this situation.
Next we will analyse what rights the occupants have depending on the type of vehicle they are travelling in and the responsibility of its driver in the accident.
In cases where the vehicle involved in the accident is a motorbike or moped, the person travelling as a passenger has the right to claim compensation for injuries and material damage suffered.
If the driver of the motorbike is at fault in the accident, then it will be the insurer's responsibility to compensate not only the passenger, but also the other injured parties, if any. On the other hand, if a third party is at fault, his or her insurance company will be responsible for compensating all the victims, including the driver of the motorbike.
Private car accident
Both the co-driver and the other passengers in a private car can claim financial compensation for damages suffered in a traffic accident.
The insurance company of the driver of the vehicle that was at fault in the accident will be responsible for compensating all the victims. Therefore, if the person who was driving the vehicle in which you were travelling is responsible, his insurance company will pay your compensation and that of the rest of the injured parties, if there are any.
On the other hand, if the accident was caused by the driver of the opposite vehicle, then his or her insurer will be responsible for compensating the injured parties, including the driver.
If at the time of the accident you were travelling as a passenger in a public means of transport, such as a taxi, your rights are the same as in the case of travelling in a private car. Therefore, you will be able to claim compensation for the injuries and damages you have suffered.
In this case, the insurer of the vehicle responsible for the accident will also be responsible for paying compensation to the injured parties.
Compensation for common companions
There are different types of compensation that can be claimed by an occupant or passenger of a vehicle after a traffic accident, the most common are the following:
- Compensation for temporary injuries. This compensation will cover the days that the recovery of the injuries has lasted, each day being valued according to the damage caused to the victim (very serious, serious, moderate, basic). Likewise, the injured party will be compensated for:
- Each operation or surgical intervention required.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Compensation for after-effects. Once the temporary injuries have healed or stabilised and the medical discharge has been received, if there are after-effects, a doctor specialised in the assessment of the damage must assess them by points and depending on this score, they will be assigned an amount that will be the amount of the compensation.
- Compensation for patrimonial damage. Here compensation may be claimed for:
- Material damage to personal objects suffered in the accident.
- The costs of medical care, medicines, etc., incurred as a direct consequence of the accident.
- Income lost as a result of sick leave.
- Compensation for death. In these cases, the calculation takes into consideration the age of the victim, the relationship of the injured party claiming compensation and family circumstances, among other matters.
However, in any traffic accident, several factors must be considered in order for victims to be able to claim fair compensation. It is therefore advisable to enlist the help of a lawyer specialising in road traffic accident compensation.