Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims – When Can You Claim Compensation?
Are you considering pedestrian injury compensation claims? Were you hurt because of negligence on the part of another road user? Collisions with pedestrians can involve vehicles, motorcycle riders, e-scooter riders or cyclists. As such, anyone who fails to drive or ride safely and hits you could be liable to pay you damages.
Government statistics estimate that 24,530 people were killed or seriously injured in the year ending June 2021 on Great Britain’s roads. To be eligible to make a road traffic accident claim as a pedestrian against another road user you must be able to show how the other party is liable for your injuries. This article explains how to build a personal injury claim for compensation. We discuss exactly what you need to know about launching your claim as an injured pedestrian.
In addition to this, we’ll look at the new Highway Code changes and the Whiplash Reform Program and how pedestrians now have a greater level of protection on the roads. Also, we explain how pedestrians are part of a group that includes motorcyclists, sidecar passengers and bike riders who are exempt from claiming in a new way. If you were impacted by an accident like this, please read more or:
- Contact our team for immediate free legal advice on 020 3870 4868
- Email or write to us at UK Law.co.uk
- Use the ‘live support’ option to the bottom of this screen.
Select A Section
- What Are Considered Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims?
- Which Road Users Owe Pedestrians A Duty Of Care?
- Are Pedestrians Ever At Fault?
- How Long Do Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims Take?
- Calculating Payouts For Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims
- Discuss Your Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claim With Us
Pedestrian injury claims can be started if you were hit by any vehicle, motorbike or another road user and you can prove they were at fault for the accident. Under the Highway Code, all road users have a duty of care to each other to consider safety. The Code clearly states an expectation that all road users adhere to the standards of skill and care of the ‘average motorist’ and do their level best to avoid causing accidents or damage. Typically encountered issues could include:
- Collision with a pedestrian at a junction
- Failing to allow pedestrians time to cross at zebra crossings or junctions
- Lack of concentration behind the wheel, failure to see the pedestrian
- Poor street lighting or damaged road surfaces place pedestrians at greater risk
- Failure to look out for pedestrians when reversing, etc.
In addition to careless or dangerous driving, poor road conditions can contribute to a crash. In cases such as this, there could be a liability on the part of the local authority. Councils failing to take reasonable steps to prevent hazards that create an accident such as ice, snow or road surface disrepair could make them liable for damages.
This article aims to provide you with the essential information to start a claim as an injured pedestrian. We discuss the laws that protect non-vehicular road users and what evidence can best bolster a claim after an injury. We conclude by explaining how a personal injury lawyer could help immediately at no upfront cost to you using a No Win No Fee agreement.
All road users owe a duty of care to pedestrians as they do to all other drivers. It’s also important to remember that pedestrians have duties in return and that pedestrian injury compensation claims would need to prove the driver was at fault for causing the accident or another third party.
New Highway Code rules introduced in 2022 have changed the way that motorists must respond at junctions and crossings. The new laws place a ‘clearer and stronger’ emphasis on the duty of care of road users who potentially could cause the most harm. With this in mind, a hierarchy of road users now places pedestrians and cyclists at the top of this shift in priority.
The Highway Code changes do not alter the expectation on all road users to adhere to standards as they did before. They simply increase the safety provision for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders from January 29th. Emphasis is placed on:
- Drivers of HGVs, large passenger vehicles or those deemed to have the largest responsibility to reduce the danger posed to other road users.
- Motorists at junctions should now give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road that they’re turning into.
- Drivers or cyclists need to give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, or pedestrians and cyclists walking on a parallel crossing
- The code clarifies that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts
- The ‘Dutch Reach’ technique requires drivers to open the door with the opposing hand to initiate a more safe way of turning to check the road is clear.
The Whiplash Reform Program
In addition to these changes to the Highway Code, the government introduced a new way to claim for whiplash injuries and other soft tissue injuries. Aimed at filtering out trivial claims that placed a burden on insurance premiums. The Whiplash Reform Program introduced a new Official Injury Claim Service that now requires all injuries valued at £5,000 or less to be processed online. It has also placed a ban on settling claims without medical evidence.
This new way of claiming does not apply to pedestrians just vehicle occupants over the age of 18. Pedestrians would make their personal injury claim the traditional way.
It may be the case that your injuries are worth significantly more and your medical evidence may support this. Pedestrians (like motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders) are exempt from having to use the portal to make their claim so you can still pursue compensation as before the changes. Therefore you can still launch a claim yourself or with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor. Speak to our team on the number above for more information.
When Could Road Users Breach This Duty Of Care?
There are several ways in which a road user could breach their duty of care to pedestrians resulting in causing them varying degrees of injury from minor to serious. Such as:
- Suddenly opening a car door that hits someone walking on the pavement
- Failing to stop at a junction or zebra crossing
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Colliding with a pedestrian while over-taking
- Reversing without looking
- Causing obstructions when parked or waiting that force pedestrians to cross in unsafe ways
- Failing to break or driving too close to other cars in a way that prevents pedestrians from crossing safely
- Driving without due care and attention (using a mobile or sat nav while driving)
- Being under the influence of drink or drugs whilst driving
- Failing to meet eyesight or health rules
Under the principles outlined in the Highway Code, any failure on the part of the motorist to drive as carefully as possible may mean that could be liable if they hurt you. There are reasonable limits to this duty of care and pedestrians have specific safety responsibilities which they could fail to uphold too.
What is a negligent pedestrian? In road traffic accidents it can be difficult to apply blame accurately. Pedestrian injury compensation claims may involve fault on both sides. If pedestrians walk or run into the path of on-coming traffic and the car was unable to avoid injuring them, the other driver could use a defence of contributing negligence. Compensation can still be awarded in cases such as this but as a reduced, proportionate amount and this is called ‘split liability’.
The Highway Code Rules 1 – 35 sets out requirements for pedestrians.
Here is a list of ways pedestrians can protect themselves while out and about:
- Avoid being too close to the kerb with their back against the traffic
- Look both ways before crossing the road
- Remain alert to the environment and avoid distractions
- If there is no pavement, pedestrians should face on-coming traffic. Also, walk-in single file
- Allow motorists as much chance as possible to see you
- Wear high visibility clothing that helps in the dark
- Ensure children are always accompanied and refrain from pushing a buggy into the road when checking to see the road is clear.
There are no hard and fast timescales to personal injury claims and each one differs based on the complexity of the case and the severity of injuries involved. There is a three-year time limit to start a personal injury claim under the Limitation Act 1980. This can commence from the date of the accident or the ‘date of knowledge’ when you became aware of your injury or illness. There are exceptions to this time limit.
In addition to these factors, there can be instances when the driver failed to stop or was uninsured. It is still possible to claim compensation in ‘hit and run’ cases or accidents caused by uninsured drivers such as this through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB). This agency tries to help award damages to drivers or pedestrians harmed in scenarios where the normal provision of insurance is missing or invalidated. A personal injury solicitor can help guide your claim in cases like this.
Personal injury compensation amounts are calculated by looking at general and special damages. An independent medical assessment can be arranged to assess the full extent of your injuries from head to toe. This examination is conducted by an unbiased GP or specialist who produces a report for the courts based on their findings.
These injuries are then compared with those listed in a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication gives award bracket amounts for a cross-section of typical injuries listed in severity. The table below gives a short example:
|Injury||Severity||Judicial College Guidelines award brackets||Notes|
|Head||Moderate (c) (iii)||£40,410 to £85,150||Ability to work is impacted due to increased risk of epilepsy or poor concentration and memory issues. Limited dependence on others|
|Neck||Severe (a) (iii)||£42,680 to £52,540||Tendon ruptures and serious soft tissue damage leading to chronic conditions and significant disability of a permanent nature.|
|Back||Severe (a) (ii)||£69,600 to £82,980||Nerve damage and associated loss of sensation with impaired mobility, sexual function issues and scarring.|
|Arm||Less severe (c)||£18,020 to £36,770||Despite a quite high level of disability, full recovery is expected.|
|Pelvis||severe (a) (iii)||£36,770 to £49,270||Injuries that cause degenerative changes to leg stability and increasing the potential need for hip replacement surgery|
|Leg||Very serious (b) (ii)||£51,460 to £85,600||Permanent mobility issues and the need for walking aids for the rest of the sufferer's life. The need for extended treatment. Serious deformity or limited movement,|
|Knee||Severe (a) (i)||£65,440 to £90,290||Long period of treatment required, significant loss of function and pain, risk of osteoarthritis|
|Foot||Serious (e)||£23,460 to £36,790||Traumatic arthritis caused, the need for fusion surgery and a prolonged need for treatment|
They aim to address pain, suffering and damage to the quality of the claimant’s life. They are not guaranteed compensation awards. Instead, they offer the scope to request a similar amount if the claimant’s injuries match. A personal injury lawyer can help you arrange this medical assessment to evaluate your general damages request from head to toe.
As well as this, you can calculate any out of pocket expenses that the injuries caused. Using documentation to prove expenses, it can be possible to request these amounts back under the special damages heading.
Receipts, statements, bills and bank statements can all be used to prove what the accident and injury cost you. You may be eligible to claim for:
- Loss of earnings or missed financial opportunities
- Domestic care costs for family, friends or paid professionals who helped you
- Travel expenses to hospital or work
- Costly and necessary medical procedures or equipment not available on the NHS
- Adaptations to home or car
- Extra child care costs
- Damage to personal possession such as eyewear, clothing or your mobile phone
- Impact on your hobbies or missed special occasions
Special damages aim to incorporate all these expenses and prevent claimants from suffering financially. Personal injury claims need to include predicted or future costs as well. It is not possible to request more compensation after the case has settled. Therefore, a solicitor can offer the expertise and insight to ensure you request the fullest and most appropriate amount.
At UK Law we aim to connect you with personal injury solicitors who are experts in pedestrian injury compensation claims. Working under a No Win No Fee agreement, our panel of solicitors could enable you to access specialist legal representation at no initial costs or any as the case develops.
If the case fails there are no fees to pay your No Win No Fee solicitor at all. With only a 25% fee deducted in cases that win, No Win No Fee agreements (also called Conditional Fee Agreements) can offer claimants fast and cost-effective legal representation. Learn more about starting pedestrian injury compensation claims by:
- Calling our team on 020 3870 4868
- Getting in touch at UK Law.co.uk
- Or accessing instant free legal advice with the ‘live support’ option below
Resources For Victims Of Road Traffic Accidents
Thank you for reading our guide on pedestrian injury compensation claims. We hope it has helped to clarify your position and you feel more confident about launching a claim. You can read more about:
- Compensation for pedestrians hit by a car at a junction
- Car accident injuries
- How to calculate special damages in your injury claim
- Or access educational resources for young people and road safety
- Also, safety tips for all pedestrians
- Lastly, the NHS offer details on whiplash injuries which can apply to pedestrians under certain conditions.