Can a pedestrian bring a personal injury claim?

This article will explore personal injury claims made by pedestrians involved in road traffic accidents (RTAs). An earlier article covers circumstances where a pedestrian or anyone else may bring a public liability claim after incidents other than RTAs.

Being involved in an RTA can be shocking and disconcerting in the “usual” circumstances of being the driver or passenger in a car. However, being involved in an RTA as a pedestrian, or any other type of vulnerable road user, for that matter, can be even more distressing.

If you find yourself in this situation, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the vehicle’s driver. In addition, you may also get a higher compensation award due to your status as a vulnerable road user.

How do pedestrian RTAs happen?

As with any collision, various situations could see you involved in an RTA as a pedestrian.

While it’s easy to assume that the vehicle’s driver would automatically be at fault, this isn’t always the case. A pedestrian can be at fault for an RTA, and it’s also possible that both parties could be jointly liable for what happened.

When can I bring an RTA claim as a pedestrian?

If you’ve been injured in an RTA as a pedestrian, you may be able to make a personal injury claim if the driver was wholly or partially at fault. However, if you were entirely at fault for the accident, it’s doubtful you could bring a successful personal injury claim.

However, if you were at fault for the accident but suffered injuries due to the driver being at fault, for example, because they were breaking the speed limit, then you might have grounds for a claim.

The best thing to do in this situation is to speak to a personal injury solicitor who can examine your case and help determine whether you may have grounds for a claim.

When is the driver to blame for an accident?

Common causes of pedestrian accidents where it’s pretty clearcut the driver is at fault include if the driver:

  • Was breaking the speed limit
  • Wasn’t taking due care or paying attention, often because they were using their mobile phone
  • Was driving dangerously for reasons unrelated to speed alone, such as driving recklessly in specific conditions or driving through red lights
  • Was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

When is the pedestrian to blame for an accident?

A pedestrian may be to blame for an accident in situations where they:

  • Failed to look properly before entering the road
  • Were acting carelessly, recklessly, or rushing caused them not to be paying attention
  • Crossed the road hidden by a stationary or parked vehicle, such as crossing the road behind the bus immediately after disembarking
  • Were wearing dark clothing at night, making it difficult for drivers to see them

Remember that every RTA is different! So even if you were injured as a pedestrian and feel like you were to blame, that might not be 100% the case. You should still contact a personal injury solicitor to understand if you may have grounds to bring a compensation claim.

What should I do if I’m involved in an RTA as a pedestrian?

As with being involved in any RTA, the most important thing to do is to ensure you’re safe and to get any immediate attention you require for any injuries. You’ll also potentially be experiencing shock, so you should try and stay as calm as possible.

If you’re involved in an RTA as a pedestrian, try and take the following actions as best you can in the immediate aftermath:

  • If you’re able to move, move out of the road and to a safe spot
  • Call the police to report the accident and an ambulance so you can receive treatment for any injuries
  • Exchange details with the driver involved in the crash. While you might not necessarily swap insurance details should you be involved in an RTA as a car driver, you should ask for their insurance details if you’re injured as a pedestrian.
  • Record the make, model and colour of the vehicle that hit you and its registration details. These details could be vital to any potential personal injury claim if the other driver doesn’t give you their insurance details or challenges any liability claim.
  • If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries and damage to the vehicle(s) involved.
  • Get details of anyone else who witnessed the accident. This could be other pedestrians, drivers or residents if the accident happened in a built-up area.

It’s also worth taking note of your location and observing if any CCTV cameras are pointing at the road or area where the accident happened. Such footage could be crucial evidence should you bring a personal injury claim later.

What if I’m injured in a hit-and-run accident?

If you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident, you might still be able to bring a personal injury claim.

Just as if you’re involved in a “car on car” accident with an uninsured driver or a driver who fails to stop at the scene, you can bring your claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). Of course, you’d still need to be able to prove the accident happened and that you’d suffered injuries. As such, gathering as much evidence as possible, as we’ve detailed above, is vital to being able to pursue a claim.

Can I claim personal injury compensation if my child has been hit by a car?

A child being involved in an RTA is among parents’ worst fears, and when such events happen, they can understandably be hugely distressing.

If your child is under 18, you can instruct a personal injury solicitor to bring a claim on their behalf. If you didn’t bring a personal injury claim on behalf of your child, your child would have three years from their 18th birthday to bring one themselves.

If you bring a claim when your child is under 18, you may also be able to claim special damages for its impact on your life. For example, if you had to take time off work or even give up your job to look after your child, your claim could also include compensation for your financial losses on top of the general damages your child would receive for their injuries.

Can I claim personal injury compensation on behalf of other family members?

This would depend on the circumstances behind the accident and how it has affected your loved one.

For example, you could potentially bring a personal injury claim on behalf of your partner if:

  • They suffered an injury that left them unable to make a decision to claim for themselves
  • They suffered an injury, and a pre-existing condition meant they were already unable to make their own decisions

In this situation, you would require a medical assessment to certify the injured party lacked the mental capacity to make their own decisions before you could bring a claim on their behalf.

How much compensation will I get?

All personal injury claims and the accidents that lead to injuries are different. Your personal injury compensation will depend on various factors, including the circumstances behind your accident, the injuries you suffer, and the short and long-term impact on your life.

When you bring a personal injury claim as a pedestrian, your status as a vulnerable road user is usually considered an aggravating factor and could lead to you receiving a higher compensation amount.

What can I claim for?

If you bring a personal injury claim as a pedestrian, you can claim on the same basis as you would if you made any other personal injury claim.

Your claim would consist of:

  • General damages – the compensation you get for your injury to reflect the pain and suffering you have experienced.
  • Special damages – designed to put you back in the financial position you were in before the accident and can see you claim for things like loss of earnings or medical expenses.

Is there a time limit to bringing a pedestrian RTA claim?

Yes, as with other types of personal injury claim, the time limitation is three years, except for:

  • When a child under 18 has been injured, the three-year time limit starts on their 18th birthday
  • When someone lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions, there is no time limitation on bringing a claim

Have you been injured as a pedestrian in an RTA? Contact LawPlus Solicitors now!

If you’ve suffered an injury as a pedestrian in an RTA, LawPlus Solicitors can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation review of your accident and injury and start your claim today!

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