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Driving Lesson Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

Driving lesson accident

Driving lesson accident claims guide

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 2nd August 2023. Welcome to our guide on making driving lesson accident claims for compensation. Many teenagers spend their formative years very excited about becoming old enough to drive. Once they hit 17, if they are lucky, they will be allowed to learn. This can feel like a rite of passage into adulthood and the beginning of a lifetime of freedom behind the wheel.

However, on the increasingly busy roads of the UK, learning to drive is not easy, and the potential hazards leading to accidents is high. What happens if, as a learner driver, you have an accident? What happens if you have damaged your driving instructor’s car? Whose responsibility is it if you’re in the car with your instructor? And can you make driving lesson accident claims if it isn’t your fault? We can advise you on how to claim today.

Please read on to learn more about learner driver accident responsibility and to see how you can claim for an accident as a learner driver. You can call us on 0800 073 8804. Or you can reach us online using our contact form or our chat window.

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Your guide to driving lesson accident claims

A leaner or new driver’s first accident after passing the driving test can be a frightening experience, and they may be unsure who is to blame or who should take responsibility or if you can lodge driving lesson accident claims.

This guide examines whether learner drivers have accident responsibility when they crash, even though they don’t hold a full driving licence. It also looks at why younger and learner drivers are at greater risk of having an accident than older drivers and what type of injuries they may suffer as a result.

What Is An Accident As A Learner Driver?

A driving lesson accident occurs whilst you are in the driving seat as a learner driver under tuition. It can also include an incident that involves somebody else taking part in a driving lesson. A learner driver is classed as somebody aged 17 or older, owns a provisional licence, and is supervised by an adult over 21, who has held their licence for over 3 years. Learner drivers should display L plates at all times. The definition of an accident in this situation can include a collision with another vehicle, with another stationary object or crashing into a cyclist or pedestrian.

Driving lesson accident statistics

The Department for Transport supplies accident statistics for drivers aged between 17 and 24 in Great Britain. The latest statistics were published in the 2019 annual report for road traffic accident casualties. The data states that, in this age group, there were: 

  • 248 fatalities 
  • 5,604 people who were killed or seriously injured 
  • 26,988 reported casualties overall. This can range from minor injuries to serious injuries and fatalities.

While these statistics don’t directly relate to learner drivers, this age group may be more likely to consist of learner or newly qualified drivers.

Statistics like this can help show how serious a new driver car accident could be. However, it’s important to note that you would only be able to claim for an accident as a learner driver if you were able to prove that your accident was caused by another road user’s negligence.

What Happens If A Student Driver Crashes?

To be legally entitled to learn to drive, a learner driver must fulfil the following criteria.

  • Be aged at least 17 or over, the age for a full driving licence in the UK
  • Also, be supervised by a driver aged over 21 who has had a full licence for at least three years
  • Have a provisional driving licence
  • Display L plates in the vehicle they’re driving
  • Have insurance to drive the car

The legislation was put in place for learner drivers to protect the driver themselves and other road users. Learner drivers are expected to pay the same attention to the road as more experienced drivers. They should be able to drive safely, recognise road signals, be aware of the traffic around them, including blind spots and stick to the speed limits. Case law established by the Court of Appeal in Nettleship v Weston [1971] states that learner drivers are legally expected to maintain the same standard as other drivers on the road.

As a learner driver, you should not expect the legal system to show leniency if you have been negligent and caused an accident. However, other road users are expected to treat learner drivers with caution. This is why learner drivers are requested to display L plates at all times so that other road users can allow a little extra time and space. Otherwise, the chances of someone filing driving lesson accident claims against a motorist causing a crash would increase.

Who Is Responsible For An Accident During A Driving Lesson?

Learner drivers have the same duty of care that qualified drivers do when using the roads, meaning they should also take reasonable care to reduce the risk of an accident whilst driving. They should also abide by the driving lesson rules to avoid a serious injury happening.

As outlined in Annex 3 of the Highway Code, learner drivers must have a valid provisional licence and can only drive a vehicle that displays red L plates. Additionally, learner drivers must be supervised by someone over the age of 21 who is fully licensed. If an accident happens and these rules aren’t followed, the learner driver has acted negligently and may be liable for any harm caused. However, the driving instructor will have insurance that covers the learner driver, meaning you could claim on their insurance.

It’s worth noting that the instructor could be liable for a road traffic accident if they act negligently. For example, they may supervise a learner driver whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, they could also be on their phone and therefore not paying attention to the roads, when it is a driving instructor’s duty to do so. In these circumstances, you would claim against the instructor.

If you are a learner driver or instructor, you may make a car accident claim against another driver if you can prove that they acted negligently and caused an accident in which you were injured. Get in touch at any time and we can go through the vehicle accident claim process with you free of charge.

Common Accidents for learner drivers

Accidents occur more frequently amongst young drivers due to their youth and inexperience. Younger people are more likely to display risk-taking behaviour and be influenced by their peers. Inexperience means that they are less likely to respond quickly to unforeseen hazards. The most common reasons for young people to have an accident after passing their driving test are as follows:

  • Speeding– losing control whilst driving too fast is a major contributory factor in accidents involving young people.
  • Alcohol and drugs– driving accident statistics by age in the UK suggest that younger people are twice as likely to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs than older people. This is more commonly a problem amongst young men than young women.
  • Seat belts– failing to use a seatbelt is a common cause of serious injuries following a car crash. Younger people are less likely to use a seatbelt, possibly due to peer pressure.
  • Mobile phones– using a mobile phone whilst driving is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous distractions in the modern world. Young people are more likely to be using a mobile phone whilst driving even though their driving requires more concentration than an older person with more experience.
  • Nighttime driving– for newly qualified drivers, driving at night requires greater care, and yet people tend to be more tired and are more likely to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Recreational driving with friends in the car means that young people are vulnerable to crashes whilst driving in the dark.
  • Unsafe cars –younger people are more likely to be driving older, cheaper vehicles which are more unsafe, leading to a greater prevalence of accidents.

One way you may be able to claim compensation for an accident as a learner driver is if you’re able to prove that the accident was caused by instructor negligence. If you’re wondering “what happens if a student driver crashes?”, you would need to be deemed at least partially not responsible for the accident to receive compensation.

For more information on claiming for an accident as a learner driver or an accident involving a learner driver, call our team on the number above.

What to do in a driving lesson accident

If you are a learner driver involved in an accident recently, you must take heed of the following steps to make a driving lesson accident claim in the future, should you wish to.

  • Seek medical attention – get yourself checked out by a doctor and ensure that any injuries you have received are recorded in writing.
  • Report the incident – This is not only useful for any future compensation claim, but you will also need the details for your insurance claim.
  • Witness details – it can be really helpful to gather details of any witnesses who saw the accident take place. This can help to establish responsibility in the future.
  • Call Legal Expert – as a new driver, you may feel frightened and unsure what to do next after being involved in a learner car accident. At Legal Expert, we have teams of people who can give you clear and helpful advice whilst showing sensitivity to your concerns and vulnerabilities. And we can advise on personal injury claims for calculating general damages and special damages for your case.

All of these steps are crucial when it comes to successfully filing driving lesson accident claims. Additionally, they can ensure you gather relevant evidence to support your driving lesson accident claim.

If you need more information on what happens if a student driver crashes, call our team. They can provide further clarification on the steps you could take to seek compensation.

A car pulled out on me on my driving lesson causing injury – can I claim?

Yes, as long as they were in the wrong, as all drivers owe each other a duty of care. Determining learner driver accident responsibility could involve referring to the Highway Code.

Although your L plates indicate to other drivers to proceed with caution, many road users become frustrated by new drivers and begin to drive aggressively. If you can prove that the driver who pulled out on you acted recklessly or illegally, then you may be able to claim.

I had a crash on my driving lesson – Would I have cause to claim?

Only if it was caused by negligence – if a third party driver was behaving inappropriately, for example, by driving too close to you or trying to overtake, leading to a crash, then they could be held accountable if deemed negligent. Aggressive behaviour such as beeping a horn at a learner driver, resulting in a crash, may also indicate third party liability and lead to driving lesson accident claims.

I have whiplash after a driving lesson accident – do I make a claim?

Whiplash is a common injury following a car accident. It is caused during a collision when the head is thrown forwards or sideways due to the impact. This impact puts pressure on the neck ligaments and can result in sprains and strains. Whiplash often gets better over time, but serious cases may involve disc herniation and require physical therapy or even surgery for the most severe cases.

If you are suffering from whiplash due to a personal driver accident, you may be eligible to make a claim. To do so, you will need to establish blame. Legal Expert can help you do this but holding a third party accountable will usually involve proving that another driver has been negligent.

 Learner Driver Accident Claims – The Whiplash Reform Programme

The process of how certain low-valued road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales was changed on 31st May 2021 by the introduction of the Whiplash Reform Programme.

It now means that your claim will have to be made via a different avenue if you were a driver or passenger of a vehicle over the age of 18 who suffered injuries valued at £5,000 or below. Whiplash and minor soft-tissue injuries are covered by this change.

If this does apply to you, then your whiplash injury will be valued in line with the tariff set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. These are set amounts. If you are claiming for other injuries that aren’t covered by this tariff, they will be valued traditionally. However, these tariffs might also apply to claims that don’t need to be made via the new method.

For more advice on how to be compensated for whiplash following a learner driver crash or another type of road traffic accident, contact our advisors on the phone or online today.

Suing a Driving Instructor After a Hit And Run

If you’ve been involved in an accident during a driving lesson, compensation can still be awarded to you. However, you will need to establish that the other driver was negligent.

General advice following a road traffic accident is for all relevant parties to exchange insurance information. This is so that a claim can be made. Although, sometimes a driver may flee the scene without taking this step. This does not mean that you can’t still make a claim.

If you have been injured in a hit and run, then making a claim would be carried out through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). The MIB is an independent company that exists to make sure those injured in hit and runs and by uninsured drivers can still claim compensation. This includes making a claim after a driving lesson accident as well as just after general driving.

You will still need to provide evidence of your injuries. This can be done in a few different ways. Medical reports can be submitted, for example. Our solicitors can also assist you in arranging an independent medical assessment as part of the claims process. This could provide additional details on the full extent of your injuries.

Get in touch if you have any questions on this topic, such as what happens if you crash with a provisional licence.

Common injuries for driving lesson accidents

Whilst learner drivers should expect that lessons will go safely with their instructor or supervisor acting to safeguard them if a learner driver crashes a car, this can lead to several common injuries. The injuries that could make up your driving lesson accident claims can vary in severity.

  • Neck injuries– whiplash to the neck is a common injury experienced after a car crash. The impact can damage ligaments in the neck, causing pain and discomfort and disc herniation in the most severe cases.
  • Lower leg– Lower legs can be crushed on impact in a car accident, and subsequent leg and knee injuries can vary in severity from bruises and cuts right through to broken bones. Knees can be dislocated, and ligaments are torn. Even ankles and toes can be damaged.
  • Fractures and breaks– broken bones always need hospital care. A cast may be sufficient, but surgery may also be needed. It depends on the bone and severity of the break. Serious cases may even need metal plates and screws. The most serious type of break is a compound fracture in which the bone sticks out of the skin. This is considered to be a major emergency.
  • Back Injury – backs can be harmed as a result of the impact. A supportive brace may be sufficient treatment for minor cases, whilst greater damage can result in a temporary or even permanent loss of mobility.
  • Concussion– concussion is a brain injury caused by a significant impact on the skull, which shakes the brain. In the case of a collision, a driver’s head could hit the steering wheel or windscreen. And this could result in symptoms such as vomiting, headaches and disorientation. A mild concussion can be resolved with rest, but more serious cases may result in surgery.

What will I be compensated for in successful driving lesson accident claims?

If you’re successful in a driving lesson accident claim, there are several things for which you could receive compensation.

General damages– this covers any pain and suffering you experience as the result of a car accident. If you’re in a car crash, you’re likely to suffer some level of injury and can claim accordingly. It’s important to note that for a new driver car accident, as with any type of accident where you’re attempting to claim compensation, you could receive compensation for physical and psychological injuries.

Care claim– following an accident, your injuries may render you incapable of looking after yourself at home. In this scenario, the person caring for you can make a care claim.

Loss of earnings– after an accident, you may be unable to work for a period of time, creating financial difficulties, particularly if your sick pay is much less than your standard salary. Therefore, you may be eligible to claim a loss of earnings for the time you cannot work.

Travel Expenses– if you have had to pay transport costs to attend medical appointments or perhaps rehabilitation sessions as a result of your car accident, then you may be entitled to claim back these costs.

Medical Expenses– if medical costs have left you out of pocket, you can claim these back as part of your overall compensation claim.

Your individual circumstances will dictate what expenses you are eligible to claim back. Not everybody’s accident will necessitate these costs. Legal Expert can help you to work out what damages and expenses you will be able to claim.

Rules for claiming for young drivers

There is a standard time limit of 3 years for claims by anyone over the age of 18. This means that a claim needs to be put forward within 3 years of the day of the car accident. However, the rules are slightly different for minors (people under 18). The 3 year time period for minors does not commence until their 18th birthday. Therefore, a minor has until their 21st birthday to begin their driving lesson accident claims.

Compensation Payouts For Driving Lesson Accident Claims

If you are injured in a car accident as a student driver, then you may be able to claim compensation if you could prove you were injured due to negligence. The amount that is awarded in accordance with the effects of your physical and psychological injuries is called general damages. Various factors can affect how much this payment can be worth. Because of this, legal professionals require resources to assist them in their calculations.

For instance, the publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can be helpful for calculating general damages. This was last updated in 2022. We’ve shown you how the JCG is laid out by including some figures taken from it in the table below. These figures are used to help legal professionals arrive at a figure that is deemed appropriate for your injuries.

Injury Type Typical Award Bracket Any Further Information
Minor brain or head injury £2,210 to £12,770 Amount awarded depends on recovery time, severity of injury and any continuing symptoms
Digestive system £6,610 to £12,590 Damage caused by seatbelt pressure following a collision.
Neck injury £13,740 to £24,990 Soft tissue injury, wrenching injury and we’ve disc lesion
Neck injury £7,890 to £13,740 Moderate soft tissue injury
Neck injury £4,350 to £7,890 Minor soft tissue injury and recovery within 1 – 2 years
Neck injury £2,2450 to £4,350 Minor soft tissue injury and recovery within 3 months – 1 year.
Arm injury £6,610 to £19,200 Simple fracture of forearm
Elbow injury Up to £12,590 Simple fractures and lacerations
Leg injury £27,760 to £39,200 Multiple or complicated fractures
Leg injury £17,960 to £27,760 Fractures with incomplete recovery
Leg injury Up to £9,110 Simple fractures
Whiplash £4,345 This tariff may be applied if the victim has experienced a whiplash injury along with a minor psychological injury that has symptoms lasting between 18-24 months.
Whiplash £4,215 This tariff may be applied if the victim has experienced a whiplash injury with symptoms lasting 18-24 months.

You could also be eligible to receive special damages. This could include costs such as medical bills or a loss of earnings. In other words, you could be reimbursed for financial losses experienced due to your injuries. Reach out today for more information.

If you’d like a more accurate valuation that pertains to your specific circumstances, get in touch with our advisors today. We can even give you useful information such as what to do as a driving instructor in a hit and run accident.

No Win No Fee driving lesson claims explained

If you have limited finances, you may worry about how you will pay for legal representation. No Win No Fee means that you will not be required to pay a fee upfront.

If you do not win your case, then there will be no success fee to pay your solicitor. Any fees payable in a successful claim will be taken out of your compensation as a legally capped percentage.

Why call us for advice on driving lesson claims?

Legal Expert have many years of experience in the field of driving lesson accident claims. We have teams of experts who can help you access the compensation that you are entitled to. Our experts are friendly, understanding and very approachable.

We also have solicitors with experience in handling claims for an accident as a learner driver.

Getting started on your claim

If you have been involved in a car crash during driving lessons that have led to a personal injury, then you may be entitled to compensation.

Call Legal Expert today, and we can help you get started with your claim as soon as possible. Our free phone number is 0800 073 8804, or contact us using our online form.

An advisor can offer advice on learner driver accident responsibility to help you understand who was liable for the accident.

Helpful links

Car accident claims

Have a look at our helpful guide to find out how much compensation you could claim following a car accident:

GOV guide to accidents

This government guide gives you step by step information about what to do if you are involved in an accident:

GOV Statistics for accidents

This helpful link looks in detail at the UK road accident and safety statistics, year on year:

Act covering road traffic

The highway code was first published in April 1931, but regular additions have relevance to today’s drivers. The Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out the duty of care for other road users.

Here are some other guides you may find useful:

Driving Lesson Accident Claims FAQs

What happens if you crash with a provisional license?

If you crash whilst driving with a provisional licence, you could risk facing the same consequences as a driver with a full licence. For example, you may face a fine, receive points on your license or be put on a driving ban. If your negligent behaviour caused another road user injury, they could potentially claim; this could be against the insurance of your driving instructor or, if you are a named driver on another’s insurance policy, against the primary driver’s insurance.

What happens if a learner driver has an accident?

As a learner driver, you have a duty of care to other road users to behave in a way that reduces the risk of harm. This includes if it’s your first time driving. If you are injured in an accident caused by another road user’s negligence, you could potentially claim against them.

Can I claim for anxiety after a car accident?

You can, but you need medical evidence to support you having anxiety. You also need to demonstrate that someone else’s negligence resulted in your suffering anxiety in the car accident.

What happens if you drive alone with a provisional license?

This would be illegal, thus meaning that you risk receiving a fine and points on your license.

What happens if a student driver crashes during a driving lesson?

There are several steps that could be taken if a student driver crashes during a driving lesson. For instance, the accident may need to be reported to the police if it causes damage or injury to those involved.

Additionally, it may be necessary to seek medical attention for any injuries sustained as a result of the accident.

Furthermore, if you wish to claim compensation for injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence, you could seek legal advice. If you have a valid claim, a solicitor could help you take steps to get the compensation you deserve.

What are examples of an accident a learner driver could be involved in?

There are various types of car accidents that could result in a learner driver accident. It’s important to note that it may not always be the fault of the learner driver. Examples might include:

  • Another driver may have driven aggressively and started tailgating a learner driver. As a result, when the learner driver stopped at a set of traffic lights, the other driver may have crashed into the back of them.
  • The driving instructor may have instructed the learner driver to reverse into a parking bay. However, there may have been a pedestrian walking behind the car making it unsafe to do so. The learner driver and instructor may have failed to break and carried on performing the manoeuvre. As a result, the pedestrian may have experienced a broken leg from being hit by the car.

For more information on liability in an accident with a learner driver, call our team on the number above.

What is learner driver accident responsibility?

The driving instructor has a duty to ensure the learner driver is adhering to the rules of the road to prevent other road users from experiencing harm.

This could include ensuring the learner driver is:

  • Checking their mirrors before making any manoeuvres
  • Adhering to the speed limit
  • Paying attention to road signs

The learner driver also has a responsibility to adhere to the rules of the road to ensure other road users are kept safe from harm.

If either the learner driver or instructor fails to uphold their responsibility, it could result in accidents that cause other road users harm.

For more information on claiming after an accident with a learner driver, call our team on the number above.

Thank you for reading our driving lesson accident claims guide. If you’ve had an accident as a learner driver, you can contact us for free at a time that works for you to see if you can claim. To learn more about learner driver accident responsibility and receiving compensation for a new driver car accident, you can call us using the above details.

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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