News Article

Pedestrian Hit By Car Compensation


Pedestrian Hit By Car Compensation

Thousands of people are involved in motor vehicle accidents each year; many of them are pedestrians. 

Injuries sustained by pedestrians can range from minor injuries to life-changing and even life-threatening ones.  

If you have been hit by a car and it was the driver’s fault, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.   Whilst bringing a claim may not be the first thing on your mind, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unable to work for weeks, months or even years due to the severity of your injuries.    The financial impact of this can add to your stress and worry at a time when you are in the process of trying to recover from your injuries.   If you are suffering financial hardship it is possible to make a claim for an interim payment from the driver’s insurance company whilst your claim is progressing, rather than wait until the end of the case.  

Pedestrians and Car Accidents

There is no doubt that pedestrians are highly vulnerable even if they are on the relative safety of the pavement or on a pedestrian crossing.   In 2016, Department of Transport statistics showed that over 180,000 pedestrians were involved in accidents and nearly 25,000 of these were seriously injured.

There are a number of factors which could put you at risk as a pedestrian. The first is the road condition. If it’s raining or snowing, visibility can be low and there is a greater risk of someone losing control of their vehicle.  Roads that are badly maintained or where there isn’t enough room for pedestrians to walk safely can also present a risk.

Busy city roads where there is a large variety and high volume of traffic, including trucks and buses, tend to be more dangerous than quiet roads.

Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable groups that use our roads and they are not very well protected. They are likely not to be expecting a car, lorry or motorbike to suddenly appear around a corner or veer off the road and hit them.

In 2016, 25% of road deaths in the UK involved pedestrians and there were 448 fatalities. Of those who were in a road accident that caused injury some 26% were under the age of 15.  As well as children, the elderly can be more at risk as they may can be less mobile. 

Types of Accidents we see at DSM Legal

At DSM Legal we across different situations where pedestrians that have been injured by a vehicle. These types of accidents vary considerably and are often caused by human error, such as a driver not paying full attention or failing to react in time to the presence of a pedestrian.  Some common examples are:-

  • A driver texting and/or looking at their sat nav whilst driving not noticing a pedestrian crossing the road.
  • A driver may turn a corner and not notice that there is a pedestrian crossing the road.
  • Driving above the speed limit and failing to stop in time if someone crosses the road between parked vehicles.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and not having full control of the vehicle.
  • Ignoring a red traffic light at a crossing or failing to spot a pedestrian on a zebra crossing.

Of course, pedestrians have a responsibility when it comes to using the road safely.  Dodging in between traffic on a busy road rather than using a crossing could mean that you may be found to have been partly at fault.   However, drivers still owe a duty of care to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians as well as other road users.   That means, for instance, that they should not be using a mobile phone whilst driving, nor ignoring traffic signals.  Drivers must also signal properly to warn pedestrians of their intentions.

Can I Make a Claim If I Have Been Hit by a Car?

If the accident was not your fault, you can make a claim against the driver of the vehicle. It’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible and determine what your rights are.   There are very strict time limits involved in bringing a claim and if you leave it too long you may find that a solicitor would be unwilling to take your claim.

We advise that you gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident.  Ideally, this includes taking photographs of the accident area, making a note of the make, model, colour and registration number of the vehicle(s) involved in the accident, obtaining the driver’s name, address and insurance company details, insurance policy number and names and contact details of potential witnesses.    

Of course, none of this may be possible if you are seriously injured.   

If you are involved in a serious accident you will require immediate medical attention and an ambulance will attend the scene, as well as the police.  The police will undertake an investigation and ascertain whether there was any blame attached to the driver of the vehicle (including testing for alcohol) and if this is actionable through some form of prosecution.   

In this case we will obtain a copy of the police accident report which should contain all of the information that we will need to process your claim.

If the driver leaves the scene without giving their details, they are committing an offence.   However, even if the police are later unable to trace the driver or the driver is uninsured you can still bring a claim.   It is even more important in these circumstances that you act as soon as possible to bring a claim as investigations where there is no identifiable insurer are likely to take longer. 

Getting Advice from DSM Legal

You have three years from the date of the accident or injury occurs to make a claim (in cases involving adults) but it’s important to seek legal advice while details of the event are still clear in the memory of witnesses and documentary evidence is still in existence.  

At DSM Legal, we have a long track record of handling claims arising out of road traffic accidents.  We offer hospital and home visits free of charge if your injuries mean that you cannot get to our office.   We will provide a free initial consultation to establish if you have a claim.   This can be done by telephone, by email or in person.  There is no obligation to proceed further if you do not wish to do so.  However, like most solicitors nowadays we offer a conditional fee agreement if we believe that your claim has reasonable prospects of success.  This is also called a no win no fee arrangement.

What this means is that a solicitor will take on your case and not charge fees until there has been a successful conclusion and an amount of compensation awarded. The fees are then taken out of the award, usually as a percentage.  Unlike some solicitors we do not charge an admin fee.

The benefits of No Win No Fee are that firstly, you can bring a claim without having to find money upfront to pay for the action.  Secondly, your solicitor will have a vested interest in winning your case as otherwise they will not be paid.

Finding a solicitor that you trust to handle your pedestrian accident claim is essential. At DSM Legal, we have years of experience of dealing with personal injury claims.  Our aim is to provide an honest appraisal of your claim whilst ensuring at the same time that you receive the support that you need.

Contact us today to find out more.