If you have an accident as a pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation. Many pedestrian accidents involve being struck by a car, either whilst on the pavement or when stepping into the road.
Sometimes the driver will be entirely responsible for the accident. Examples include where the driver fails to stop at a crossing, where the car mounts a curb, or where they are driving too fast and do not notice a pedestrian until it is too late.
Other times, pedestrians find themselves being held partly responsible for the accident. In such circumstances, they will still be entitled to claim compensation, but the amount they receive will be reduced.
Your compensation may include:
- Any actual losses such as lost earnings, travel expenses, damage to clothing and personal possessions, the cost of travelling for treatment, the cost of replacement accommodation if yours is no longer suitable, and the cost of medical care and other care, such as help with jobs you can no longer do
- Any future losses, such as lost earnings because your injury prevents you from working or prevents you from doing the same job, and the cost of future care
- A sum for the pain and suffering you have endured
- A sum for any loss of amenity – for example, if your injury prevents you from enjoying a hobby or pastime that you used to
Q: I stepped out in front of a car – can I claim compensation?
Possibly. If your case does go to court, it would be rare for the court to find that you are more responsible than the driver, unless you suddenly stepped in front of the car and the driver could not under any circumstances have anticipated it happening. Even in such situations, some compensation is usually payable – the amount is just reduced to reflect each person’s respective blameworthiness.
In all cases, the court will consider the facts of the case including, for example:
- Whether the driver was driving in a manner appropriate for the road conditions
- Whether the driver might have expected someone to step out into the road (for example, in a busy area)
- The age of the pedestrian
Q: My child stepped in front of a car – can they still claim?
Children are not expected to act with the same amount of care as adults, and if a very young child is injured as a pedestrian, they will not be held to blame. An older child of 12 or more years may be held partly responsible, but it is still likely they would receive some compensation. In such cases, a responsible person such as a parent or guardian will make the claim for them.
Q: Will my case go to court?
Most claims are settled quickly and efficiently out of court. The exception is for cases involving children – if an offer is made to settle before the hearing, the court will hold a special hearing to determine whether the offer is fair.