If you were injured after being struck by a vehicle while you were walking along the side of the road or on the pavement, you may have a legal right to file a pedestrian accident claim for compensation.
The lack of any physical protection makes pedestrians the most vulnerable of all road users. While some pedestrians may be lucky enough to escape with minor bruises and cuts, most pedestrians involved in an accident suffer traumatic, life-changing injuries.
Not all pedestrian accident claims are the result of a negligent driver. In case of an accident where a pedestrian runs out on the road trying to beat an oncoming vehicle or crosses the road while distracted on their phone, the blame may not necessarily be the driver’s. If you’re unsure you can claim compensation you should speak with a personal injury solicitor and the can advise accordingly.
Common Injuries In Pedestrian Accident Claims
Minor injuries – Minor injuries may range from scrapes, cuts, bruises, and sprains, to deeper lacerations and gashes accompanied by profuse bleeding. Although most pedestrian hit by car injuries may require only minimum medical intervention to heal, they often leave the victims with permanent scarring. Regardless of the severity of the injuries, being involved in a road traffic accident also impacts the victim’s emotional well-being.
Broken bones – Even if the driver was going slowly, a pedestrian may suffer from broken bones simply because of the weight of the vehicle and the way in which the impact happened. Broken bones can require extensive medical treatment and can have a huge impact on a person’s life and their ability to perform their everyday chores.
Traumatic head, brain and spine injuries – Often when people are struck by a vehicle, their entire body hits the ground, and because it happens so fast, they do not get a chance to break their fall with their arms. Pedestrians usually do not have anything to protect their head, neck, and spine from the pavement below, and this can result in serious head, spine and brain injuries.
Emotional trauma – Many people experience long term emotional trauma after being involved in any road accident, whether as a driver or pedestrian. Being afraid to walk on the pavement when there is traffic or cross a road after the accident are signs that you may be suffering from emotional trauma.
Death- Far too many pedestrian accidents result in death and this is because of the complete vulnerability of the pedestrian. For advice on fatal accident claims please refer to this page.
Things To Do After A Pedestrian Accident
Of course assessing your injuries should be your topmost priority after any road accident. This is even more important for pedestrians because of the likelihood of being severely injured. If your injuries are serious, call for an ambulance right away. Even if your injuries do not look very serious, you should get medically examined at the earliest to rule out the possibility of any internal injuries.
If you can, there are a few things you can do immediately after the accident that will help to strengthen your pedestrian accident claim.
- Get photographs of the scene of the accident, with photographs of the surrounding area as well. You want the photographs to show exactly where you were at the time of the accident so that the driver cannot dispute it later.
- Get photographs of your injuries. These photographs will serve as proof of the severity of your injuries, which will help determine the amount of compensation you are awarded.
- Get the contact details of any other people around who saw what happened. They can help give witness statements to support your pedestrian accident claim.
- A solicitor can do this for you. If there is CCTV in the area they may have captured the accident. A video recording of the accident should provide strong evidence of what exactly happened.
- Make a complaint at the nearest police station and keep a record of the report.
- Keep receipts of all expenses associated with the accident. This includes the cost of any medical treatments, travelling to and from doctor or hospital appointments, changes made to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries and home-care costs if applicable.
- Keep your documents to show loss of income or loss of promotional avenues if you have been absent from work as a result of the accident.
How Much Compensation For A Pedestrian Injury?
When calculating how much compensation for a pedestrian injury you might receive as a settlement, various factors will need to be taken into account. By using our personal injury compensation calculator below you will get an indication of typical compensation amounts for injuries to various parts of the body. In a pedestrian accident claim these are known as general damages and relate to how bad the injury is and how much pain and suffering the injury has caused and may cause in the future.
There are also special damages to take into account which can increase compensation considerably. Special damages essentially relate to out-of-pocket expenses. These may include costs such as travelling expenses for medical treatment, replacement of damaged or lost property, loss of income and so forth. More information on general and special damages can be found on this page.
Making A Pedestrian Accident Claim
Sometimes, things happen so fast, you may not be sure who is to blame and whether you have any legal right to make a pedestrian accident claim. In case of any doubt, it is better to consult with a personal injury solicitor and explain the circumstances. Most personal injury solicitors offer a complimentary, obligation free consultation that you can take advantage of to get expert advice as to whether or not you should pursue a pedestrian accident claim for compensation.
At this consultation, the solicitor will listen to all the details and ask about any evidence that you may have already gathered. If everything points to somebody else being at fault, the solicitor will advise you to go ahead and file a pedestrian accident claim. They will also help you fund the claim with no financial risk by proposing you proceed on the basis of a No Win No Fee claim. This is exactly what it sounds like. If you do not win any compensation, you are not liable to pay any legal fees. You only pay if your claim is successful. The amount you have to pay and the mode of payment will be laid out in the No Win No Fee contract.
Precautionary Note About Pedestrian Accidents
In many cases, if the driver was clearly at fault, their insurance company may approach you with an out of court settlement. One of the common terms of the settlement is that you have to consider it final and give up all rights to pursuing any further compensation.
As a rule, you should never immediately accept any out of court settlement with an insurance company as this is likely to be lower than the compensation you could be entitled to. Always consult with a personal injury solicitor first as they will give you the best advice on how much compensation for a pedestrian accident claim you may be entitled to.