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By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 4th April 2024. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, such as being hit by a car, you may want to learn about your legal rights. 

If so, you’ve found the right place. In this guide, we discuss pedestrian accident claims in comprehensive detail. We discuss how such incidents can occur and the criteria for making a personal injury claim.

We also provide details on potential compensation payouts and how you can take legal action  and make a road traffic accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

While money can rarely make up for what you can potentially lose in a car accident, compensation can help your life return to normality.

If you’d like to make a personal injury claim, we can help. We offer everyone who gets in touch a free case check and compensation estimate without any obligation to proceed. Our aim is to provide quality legal advice that you can trust.

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A distressed driver crouches next to an unconscious pedestrian who has been hurt in an accident

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What Is An Accident Involving A Pedestrian?

A pedestrian accident is one in which a person who’s walking along a pavement or crossing a road is struck and injured, usually by a car, motorcycle or cyclist.

Such accidents could happen in:

  • Car parks
  • On country lanes
  • On busy city centre roads
  • In some cases, on pavements where vehicles have mounted the kerb

A pedestrian accident can impact anybody, from children right up to elderly people. And given that there’s little protection from the impact of such heavy vehicles, the injuries can be severe and in some cases, fatal.

Can A Pedestrian Make A Claim If Hit By A Car?

Road users have a duty of care to prevent injury and damage to themselves and others. To uphold this duty, they should follow the Highway Code, as well as the Road Traffic Act 1988. This duty of care applies to pedestrians as well as drivers. However, pedestrians are vulnerable road users and as per Rule 204 of the Highway Code, those who can cause the greatest harm, have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they pose to others. As such, drivers have a greater responsibility than pedestrians. 

If a driver has breached their duty of care towards you, causing you harm, you might wonder whether you could start a pedestrian injury claim.

In order to form the basis of a valid pedestrian accident claim, your case must meet the personal injury claims criteria. This means that you need to establish that another road user owed you a duty of care and that your injuries were caused by a breach of this duty.

If you contact our advisors for free today, they can offer guidance on whether you’re eligible to make pedestrian injury claims and may connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation?

To make a pedestrian accident claim, you must comply with the time limits that are set out by law. If you fail to do so, you might not be able to make a claim at all.

From the date of the accident, you have 3 years to begin proceedings in your claim. So if you suffered an injury on 1st April 2024, you’d have until 1st April 2027.

The best thing to do is to take legal action as soon as you’re able.

Can I Make A Pedestrian Accident Claim On Behalf Of A Child?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, the standard time limit for pedestrian injury claims is three years from the date of the incident.  If a child pedestrian is hit by a driver, then they will not be able to start their own claim until the day of their 18th birthday. However, while the time limit is frozen, a claim could be made on the child’s behalf by a litigation friend.

You can apply to be a litigation friend, or you could be appointed the position by the court. If you don’t claim on behalf of the child before they turn eighteen, they can start their own claim within three years of their 18th birthday.

The time limit is also suspended for those who lack the mental capacity to claim for themselves. To learn more about the exceptions to the time limit, or to find out if you could make a pedestrian injury claim on behalf of your child, contact our team today.

A blurred group of people walk across a zebra crossing beneath a bridge

What Are The Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents?

As we’ve already mentioned, you must be able to establish that you were injured as a result of negligent actions in order to make a pedestrian injury claim. Some examples of how this could occur include:

  • A driver drives through a red light, hitting you as you cross at a pelican crossing. This could cause broken bone injuries, as well as a traumatic head injury.
  • A drunk driver swerves onto the pavement, injuring the pedestrians walking there and causing multiple physical and psychological injuries.
  • A car speeds around a junction, and does not have enough time to stop safely, hitting a crossing pedestrian. This could cause bruises, lacerations, and chest injuries.

These are only a few examples of how a car could hit a pedestrian as a result of a breached duty of care. You can contact our team today to learn more about making pedestrian accident claims, or read on to get more information on claiming for road traffic collisions.

What To Do If You Get Hurt In A Pedestrian Accident

If you’ve suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident, the first and most important thing to do is get medical help.

If your injuries aren’t severe, or if you’re able to return to the scene of the accident after you’ve received treatment, it can help to undertake the following steps:

  1. First, take photographs of the scene. If you can show the position of the vehicle and how it struck you or your loved one, this will be very helpful.
  2. Look for any CCTV cameras covering the area. You can speak with the owners to see if they’ve retained footage and if they’d be willing to share it.
  3. Look for any eyewitnesses and ask them for their names and address. If they’re willing to help, your solicitor can take a statement from them in support of your case.
  4. Report the accident to the police, if necessary. In some cases, such as a hit and run (which we discuss below), a crime may have been committed and will need reporting to local police
  5. If you wish to claim compensation, seek legal advice. A solicitor can properly value your case and ensure you get the treatment and compensation you need to get back on your feet.

Claiming Compensation For A Hit And Run

A hit and run is an accident in which a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle and the driver flees the scene. It is against the law and a criminal offence to flee the scene of an accident, especially if you’ve inflicted injuries on other people.

The concern with these types of pedestrian accident cases is that the offending driver sometimes is never traced. As a result, it’s difficult to identify which insurance company to lodge the claim against.

In these cases, a claim is still possible. Instead, your solicitor can help you submit the claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). This is an organisation funded by the insurance industry that’s designed to compensation victims of hit and run accidents.

Compensation is paid by the MIB in the same way as a standard compensation claim. The process, however, is a little different, so it always helps to get legal advice. You can call us for free on the number above to speak with us today.

Proving Liability In Pedestrian Accident Claims

When claiming for a road traffic accident, collecting evidence is crucial. Evidence can help bolster your claim by illustrating who is responsible for your injuries, how your accident occurred, and how your injuries will affect your life in the future.

Some examples of evidence that could be useful in pedestrian accident claims include:

  • Photographs: Photographs of both the accident site and your injuries can be helpful in proving your road traffic accident claim, as it can help illustrate how they occurred and how severe they are.
  • CCTV footage: If your accident was caught on CCTV, you may be able to request the footage to help prove your claim.
  • Witness statements: Taking down the contact details of those who witnessed your accident means that their statements can be taken by a professional at a later date.
  • Medical records: Your medical records can help illustrate what medical treatment you need to recover and how severe your injuries are.

If you choose to work with a solicitor on your pedestrian accident compensation claim, they can help you gather evidence. To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, contact our team today.

Compensation Payouts In Pedestrian Accident Claims

Compensation for a pedestrian injury claim can generally be split into two different heads: general damages, and special damages. General damages is the head of your claim that addresses your injuries, including psychological injuries, and the impact that these injuries will have on your life.

When solicitors and other legal professionals value this head of claim, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document offers guideline compensation amounts for various types of physical and psychological injuries. You can find some examples of these guidelines below, but please note that these are not guaranteed figures. Also, take note that the first entry in this table is an estimated figure which is not taken from the JCG.

Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special DamagesSeriousUp to £1,000,000+
HeadVery Severe£282,010 to £403,990
HeadModerate (i)£150,110 to £219,070
HeadMinor£2,210 to £12,770
BackSevere£38,780 to £160,980
Back ModerateUp to £38,780
BackMinorUp to £12,510
NeckSevere£45,470 to the region of £148,330
NeckModerate£7,890 to £38,490
ElbowA Severely Disabling Injury£39,170 to £54,830
ArmSubstantial Injuries£39,170 to £59,860
LegSerious£39,200 to £54,830
FootModerate£13,740 to £24,990
AnkleVery Severe£13,740 to £24,990
ShoulderSerious£12,770 to £19,200
KneeSevereUp to £96,210

Can I Claim For Financial Losses And Property Damage?

Special damages, the second head of claim, addresses the financial losses caused by your injuries. For example, if your leg was amputated as a result of being hit by a car, then you may need a wheelchair or prosthetic going forward. In this case, the cost of these aids could be covered by special damages. 

This heading can also help to cover the cost of:

  • Lost earnings
  • Home adjustments, such as the installation of a stairlift 
  • Domestic help, like cooking or cleaning
  • Childcare
  • Travel

To find out more about what could be included in pedestrian accident compensation claims, contact our team of advisors. Or, read on to find out how our specialist personal injury solicitors could help you claim compensation for pedestrian accidents.

A man lays injured in the road after being hit by a car while two pedestrians try to help him

Claim Compensation With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you are looking to make a claim for a pedestrian accident, one of our solicitors could help you. If one of them agrees to take on your case, they may offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.

When working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you won’t need to pay any legal fees upfront. You also won’t need to pay any fees while your case is being processed. Additionally, if your claim is not successful, you don’t need to pay your solicitor for their services.

Should your claim prove successful, your solicitor will subtract a success fee from the compensation awarded to you. The percentage your solicitor can deduct as a success fee is capped by the law.

You can contact our advisors if you have any questions about how to claim compensation for a pedestrian accident. They can also offer you free advice for your potential claim and may connect you with one of our solicitors.

You can reach our advisors by:

Learn More About Pedestrian Accident Claims

If you’d like to learn more about claims and getting compensation after a road collision, please see the guides below:

For more advice on pedestrian accident claims, please get in touch.

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    • 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.