Pedestrian injury compensation claims
This article sets out what you need to know about making a successful pedestrian accident compensation claim.
Pedestrian accident statistics
Government figures reveal that over 22,000 people were injured or killed in 2015 on Britain's roads. Over 4,900 pedestrians were seriously injured, with 409 pedestrian road users sustaining fatal injuries.
Almost a third of pedestrian accidents involve children and young people. Children who may have not yet have learnt to safely cross roads and fully appreciate the speed of moving vehicles are particularly vulnerable making accidents more likely in near schools or playgrounds.
There is hope that the increasing number of local authorities that are rolling out 20mph speed limits will reduce casualties. According to RoSPA, there is a 'link between the introduction of 20mph zones and a subsequent reduction in casualties'.
Road users have a duty of care to act in such a way as to not place other people in danger.
The established principle is accepted as:
"When a man steps into the road he owes a duty to himself to take care for his own safety…".
This means that pedestrians have owe a duty to other road users to use roads, crossings and junctions safely, only crossing when it is safe to do so.
However, this principle does not mean that if a car collides with a reckless pedestrian that the driver cannot be held liable. Vehicles are far more likely to harm pedestrians, and so drivers are held to a higher standard. This is particularly true in respect of accidents involving children.
Claiming for pedestrian accidents on the street or in the road
To be eligible to make a compensation claim, the accident must have:
- caused the injury in question
- happened in the previous 3 years
- occurred as the result of another's actions or negligence
A personal injury solicitor must demonstrate that, on the balance of probabilities, the defendant can be held legally accountable for the accident and your injury was caused by the accident to win a claim.
What if I am partly to blame?
If both sides are partly at fault, it may still be possible to receive compensation in proportion to the apportionment of blame. Cases are settled in this way with what are referred to as split liability agreements.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
The aim of compensation is put an injured party back in the situation they would have been in had the accident or illness been avoided. A financial settlement can only ever go so far with respect to sufficiently compensating an injured person.
Quittance's panel of expert personal injury solicitors have a track record of negotiating compensation awards for the pain and suffering and loss or reduction of physical and mental capacity, medical treatment costs, travel costs and other expenses, and for any loss of earnings resulting from a pedestrian accident.
Our highly experienced solicitors specialise in helping people receive maximum compensation for pedestrian injuries sustained on pavements, crossings and roads.
Typical pedestrian injury cases handled by our panel of solicitors include:
- Hit and run driver accidents
- Reckless drivers
- Drivers who ignored signals, traffic lights and zebra crossings
- Drivers using mobile phones, GPS devices, or who not paying attention generally
- Drunk drivers
- Drivers under the influence of drugs
Solicitors' advice on pedestrian accident claims
Our solicitors help you to focus on your recovery, giving jargon-free advice throughout.
Injury compensation guidelines are recommended by the Judicial College (formerly the Judicial Studies Board).
Technically these guidelines are not law. However insurance companies, solicitors and the courts will follow them in the majority of cases. It may be possible to claim for pre-existing medical conditions and injuries if they have worsened due to the accident or illness.
Compensation claim awards, or ‘damages', are broken down into two categories;
General damages often comprise the larger part of the award and are paid to compensate the claimant for their injuries.
These awards are calculated in relation to the nature and severity of an injury and are set out in the form of minimum and maximum amounts for a given injury.
It may also be possible to claim for existing injuries or medical conditions that have worsened as a result of the accident. Read more about making a claim for an existing condition.
Special damages for pedestrian accidents
Compensation can be claimed for financial losses (Special damages) including:
- loss of earnings
- the cost of medical treatment (past and potential future treatment)
- damage to property including mobile phones, clothes etc
- any other costs or expenses resulting from the accident, such as travel expenses to and from hospital
There are increasing numbers of drivers on the roads without insurance, with research from the Motor Insurers' Bureau showing that 1.7 million drivers are uninsured, with the majority being located in the larger cities and urban areas of the country.
The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) is an organisation that was established in 1946 as a central fund to make sure that members of the public who have suffered at the hands of an uninsured or untraceable driver can still claim compensation for both their injuries and any damage to property.
The MIB is funded by all underwriters of motor insurance in the UK by virtue of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to pay a share of its running costs.
Unless you are self-funding, claims solicitors now work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
No Win No Fee is an agreement (technically known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') which is entered into between the injured person and the personal injury solicitor.
No Win No Fee means that if your pedestrian injury claim is not successful then you would pay no legal fees at all.
If you do win your case, a success fee will be deducted from the compensation award and paid to the solicitor.
Starting a claim is a straightforward process. A short, no obligation phone conversation with one of our expert road accident solicitors will let you know where you stand and answer any questions you may have.
If you decide that you would like to pursue a claim, the solicitor will send you an information pack. The pack will contain everything you need to know including details of how no win no fee works.
To speak to us about your claim, without obligation, call 0800 612 7456.
Meet the team
The national network of QLS solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of road accident claim, from relatively minor claims to serious, long-term injury. Our lawyers are chosen on the basis of their specialist expertise and their track record in winning claims.
How long will it take to receive compensation?
Many personal injury claims end up being straightforward where financial compensation is awarded without the matter dragging on for too long. More complicated or contentious cases usually take a longer amount of time to conclude. Certain factors can only draw out the process, for instance if the other party alleges blame on both sides.
It can be virtually impossible to forecast how long will be needed to work out a compensation settlement . Sometimes it can even benefit the claimant to reject an initial offer to settle as this strategy can result in a better compensation settlement.
Is there a time limit for making a pedestrian accident claim?
The general personal injury claim time limit of three years also applies to pedestrian accidents. The sooner you can start a claim, the more time your solicitor will have to negotiate a higher settlement.
How likely am I to win my claim?
In order to win your claim, it must be proven that another driver, person or company was responsible for your injury.
The claim has a good chance of success if the other side has recognised their responsibility for the accident or illness. In claims where the defendant will not acknowledge that they were at fault, or holds the position that you were partly responsible, there will be a lower likelihood of winning.
There are a several things that you can do to help your solicitor make a better claim. The following steps should be taken as soon as possible:
- if possible, take photographs of the scene
- take names and addresses or contact details of any witnesses
- report the accident to the police
- make a record of the accident or cause of your injuries in as much detail as you can
- report the accident as appropriate (e.g. to your employer if you are injured at work)
Even where considerable time has passed, doing what you can to help you case is worth considering.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert