Advice On Claiming Compensation For An Accident As A Pedestrian

By Mark Anderson. Last Updated 12th March 2021. Welcome to our guide, which covers compensation for an accident as a pedestrian. Having an accident as a pedestrian while on your way to work or while out for a stroll could cause you serious, even life-changing or life-threatening injuries. Suffering an injury as a result of an accident isn’t something that you have to accept. You could be entitled to make an accident claim for compensation. An injury caused by someone else’s negligent behaviour could entitle you to receive a compensation payment from them or their insurer.

a pedestrian lying on the floor after being hit by a car

Legal Helpline is here to help you find out if you could claim injuries after an accident as a pedestrian. That’s why we have put this guide together to explain some of the different types of accidents that could lead to you making a claim. It will also provide you with an estimate of your potential compensation for an accident as a pedestrian with the help of our pedestrian accident compensation calculator.

If at any time you have a query or would like to proceed with making a claim, you can call our team of friendly advisors on 0161 696 9685 for a free, no-obligation chat about your case.

Jump To A Section

  1. A Guide To Claiming For An Accident As A Pedestrian
  2. What Is An Accident As A Pedestrian?
  3. Pedestrian Accidents In Public Spaces
  4. Accidents As A Pedestrian Hit By A Car
  5. Accidents At A Pedestrian Crossing
  6. Accidents As A Pedestrian When Working
  7. What Should You Do If You Have An Accident As A Pedestrian?
  8. Accident As A Pedestrian Compensation Calculator
  9. Special Damages In Claims For An Accident As A Pedestrian
  10. No Win, No Fee Claims For An Accident As A Pedestrian
  11. Why Make Your Claim With Legal Helpline?
  12. How To Contact Legal Helpline
  13. Resources And References

A Guide To Claiming For An Accident As A Pedestrian

Our panel of personal injury lawyers has dealt with countless pedestrian accident claim cases. We know all about where, when and how they can happen and importantly, the process involved in making a claim. This guide will explain some of the key points that you know about making a pedestrian injury claim, including:

  • What some of the more common pedestrian accident causes are;
  • What could constitute grounds for seeking compensation;
  • What you should do after you suffer an accident to improve your chances of making a successful claim;
  • How working with a solicitor (especially one from our panel) can benefit you;
  • And how the amount of compensation for an accident as a pedestrian you could receive is decided.

Whether you know you wish to start a claim or if there is still information you are missing, you can call our team of advisors whenever you like.

What Is An Accident As A Pedestrian?

A pedestrian accident involves a person being injured while walking out in a public place, such as residential streets or parks.  These accidents can occur while crossing the road, while at work or while walking your dog, for instance. Pedestrian accidents, particularly ones involving vehicles, can cause serious injury. Even a simple slip, trip or fall can cause serious harm. Falling over could cause a severe leg injury or head injury. Elderly people who trip and fall over could fracture or break a hip.

Pedestrian Accidents In Public Spaces

Roughly 23,000 people get injured or killed in road traffic accidents while walking every year in the UK. And this figure does not even include the number of pedestrians who are injured in other accidents not involving road vehicles. Meanwhile, in 2019/20, there were 1,752 deaths due to road traffic accidents in the UK. Of these, 470 deaths involved pedestrians, representing 27% of the overall total. Clearly, there is still a good deal of progress yet to be made in making Britain’s roads safe. 

When you are in a public place, the organisation responsible for operating and maintaining that space has a duty of care to anyone making use of it. They must ensure that it is as safe as possible and that all feasible measures are taken to prevent avoidable accidents.

Most pedestrian accidents will likely occur on pavements, which will usually be the responsibility of the local council. However, the same responsibilities apply broadly to all publicly owned and operated premises, such as parks and indoor and outdoor shopping centres. The operators of streets and other public places must consider the needs and health and safety of pedestrians. If not, then the victim may be able to claim compensation for an accident as a pedestrian. This means taking steps such as:

  • Providing proper street lighting, particularly on back streets and in underpasses;
  • Ensuring visibility for both pedestrians and traffic, i.e. by reducing the “clutter” of road signs, advertising boards and bushes;
  • Setting and enforcing speed limits (especially in certain areas, such as in proximity to schools);
  • Ensuring the maintenance and quality of pavements and roads to reduce accidents caused by disrepair;
  • Taking into account the needs of people with disabilities, such as wheelchair users and the visually impaired.

Accidents As A Pedestrian Hit By A Car

Pedestrians are highly vulnerable to being killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents. They are less visible to drivers, are smaller than cars, and appear suddenly from behind corners, parked cars, and other objects that block a drivers line of sight. Drivers are often more focused on looking out for other vehicles than on looking out for pedestrians, so they sometimes may not spot people who are about to cross the road until it’s too late.

Pedestrians are also the least well-protected of all road users. People in cars have at least the metal body of the car between them and an object they might run into as well as their airbags and seatbelts. Pedestrians have no such protection when they get hit by vehicles.

With all these inherent dangers, drivers are expected to drive with pedestrian safety in mind and their own. This is known as driving with due care and attention. If their negligent driving has caused a pedestrian to get hurt, then a compensation claim can be made against them or their insurers. Examples of how a driver could be deemed to have been driving negligently include driving while drunk, driving over the speed limit or driving with the windshield obscured by ice or dirt.  

Even in cases where the pedestrian might have been partly at fault, for example, if they ran out suddenly into the street from behind a parked vehicle or did not look before crossing, the driver could still be liable for the accident. Drivers could be liable if they did not take certain steps, such as slowing down when approaching something which might conceal a pedestrian about to cross the street, such as a large parked vehicle or a corner obscured by a building or a large tree.

Accidents At A Pedestrian Crossing

When you are walking down the street, and you want to cross the road, there are several things you should remember to do before crossing. Pausing to look both ways for oncoming traffic and to judge how far away any oncoming vehicles are, cross at designated crossing places (i.e. pelican crossings and zebra crossings) and cross as quickly as you can without stopping. If you are crossing at a crossing with lights, wait until the lights indicate you can cross.

Following the safe methods for crossing streets not only reduces the risk of being hit by a vehicle, but it also means that if you are hit by a driver, you are less likely to have to share any liability, thus opening the door towards compensation for an accident as a pedestrian.

Accidents As A Pedestrian When Working

You are legally entitled to a workplace that presents no avoidable threats of injury or illness. Your employer is obliged to meet this entitlement under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Even workplaces that pose no apparent threat of physical harm, such as offices, should abide by health and safety principles. Part of this entitlement includes removing any hazards that could cause you to slip, trip or fall while moving through walkways. The kinds of hazards which an employer should set a policy of dealing with immediately include:

  • Tripping hazards such as wires, packaging straps and discarded boxes. This might be common in warehouses and factories, for instance;
  • Tripping hazards such as debris like bricks, which might be common on building sites;
  • Ripped and protruding carpets or floor tiles;
  • Outdoor tripping hazards like potholes or broken pavements on the business’s property;
  • Outdoor slipping hazards, such as ice;
  • Indoor slipping hazards, such as wet floors, spillages and leaks. Slipping hazards that cannot be immediately dealt with should be marked with a “wet floor” sign;
  • Stairs with unstable steps;
  • Non-level floors that could catch someone unawares should be marked out with a “mind your step” sign.

Some workplaces may have vehicles operating within them, such as forklifts, electric carts and vehicles carrying specialist equipment. Employers must ensure that all workers are trained to operate these vehicles safely and that all workers know how to work around them safely. The workplace must be organised in such a fashion as to reduce the risk as much as possible of workers being hit by these vehicles as they walk around the workplace.

If you have suffered an injury in an accident that occurred while walking around at work and you believe that your employer may have breached their duty of care in some way, then you could be entitled to compensation. Call us to find out more, and take a look at this dedicated guide to claiming for accidents in the workplace.

What Should You Do If You Have An Accident As A Pedestrian?

If you have an accident and suffer an injury, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. Even if the injury seems like it can wait, you should have it looked at, as it may be more serious than you think. Once you are safe, and you have either had the injury looked at, or you have reason to be sure that seeing a doctor can wait, you can start to collect some evidence. 

  • Please take photos of what caused the accident and of the scene of the accident itself. This could mean taking a photo of a broken piece of pavement you tripped on or taking a photo of the car that hit you ( with the licence plate visible.)
  • Taking down the contact details of people who witnessed the incident to be contacted later to provide evidence.
  • If you were hit by a vehicle, get the driver’s insurance details.
  • If your accident occurs in a business or your workplace, make sure the incident is written down in the accident book.
  • Write down everything you can remember about the accident in as much detail as possible while it is still fresh in your mind.
  • If you didn’t receive medical attention at the time of the accident, visit a doctor as soon as you can. This is crucial because the injury may be more serious than it looks. Plus, having a record of your injuries right after the accident will greatly add weight to the legitimacy of your claim.
  • Get in touch with a solicitor. There is a three-year personal injury claims time limit, so technically, you have up until three years after the accident to begin a claim, but there is no time like the present. The more time you give your solicitor to investigate the case and obtain evidence, the greater the chance of success. Call us to reach an advisor.

If you haven’t taken these steps, don’t worry. It will be your solicitor’s job to put together any evidence that you have not done already. And this evidence could influence your compensation for an accident as a pedestrian. If you were hit by a car, and cannot provide their details because the driver fled the scene, read our guide to hit and run claims.

Accident As A Pedestrian Compensation Calculator

The table you see below is a personal injury claims calculator. It displays rough valuations of certain types of injuries that can be suffered due to common pedestrian accidents. It is not intended to tell you the definitive amount you would receive for a successful personal injury claim. Rather it gives you an idea. These figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication that details the compensation awards made by the courts for different injuries. 

ParaplegiaCases of paralysis below the waist where the exact amount depends on the degree of pain, independence, impact on sexual function, impact on life expectancy and impact on mental health.£205,580-£266,740
Quadriplegia Cases of paralysis below the neck in which there are varying degrees of impact on awareness and life expectancy.£304,630-£379,100
Immediate unconsciousness/death within one week. Injuries in which the patient is initially awake and aware of their injuries but becomes unconscious soon after, or is immediately rendered unconscious and dies within a week. Or cases where a patient dies of their injuries on the same day as their accident. £1,290-£2,620
Chest injuries (a)In which the victim has sustained injuries to the chest requiring the removal of one lung and significant damage to the heart. Will include significant scarring and pain.£94,470-£140,870
Chest injuries (b)Injuries to the chest causing impairment of function of the heart and/or lungs. Causing disability and impacting on life expectancy.£61,710-£94,470
Chest injuries (c)Damage to chest and lungs causing some degree of disability.£29,380-£51,460
Chest injuries (d)A simple injury causing some permanent tissue damage but not impacting on lung function.£11,820-£16,860
Chest injuries (f)Collapsed lung injuries from which the patient makes a full recovery.£2,060-£5,000

Special Damages In Claims For An Accident As A Pedestrian

There may be effects to being injured in a pedestrian accident beyond the injury itself. Being injured may force you to take time off work until you have recovered. You may find yourself permanently unable to work due to a disabling injury. In such circumstances, it’s possible to claim compensation to make up for your losses.

If you have had to spend money on things related to your recovery, such as painkillers, physiotherapy, cosmetic procedures, home care or home adaption, then if you can provide the receipts and invoices, you could claim them back as part of your compensation. The same goes for any travel expenses or expenses from cancelled plans, such as holidays. For further details on what could be claimed under special damages, call our team.

No Win No Fee Claims For An Accident As A Pedestrian

You may be wondering how you will pay for the legal fees of a solicitor if you go ahead with a claim. In a nutshell, you don’t have to. All of the solicitors on our panel can give you the option of entering into a No Win No Fee Agreement. This means that should your claim be unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. Plus, you won’t be asked to pay anything upfront or during the claim.

If your case is successful, your solicitor may ask for a small contribution toward their fees. This is known as a success fee and would be deducted from the compensation for an accident as a pedestrian you’re awarded at the end of the case. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped. 

A No Win, No Fee claim is an excellent way to pursue justice without risking any further financial loss and without having to pay any upfront costs. For more information about how No Win, No Fee claims work, call our team.

Why Make Your Claim With Legal Helpline?

The personal injury solicitors on our panel are specialists in this field with decades of experience behind them. They will put that experience to good use in making sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. They’ll guide you through the complexities of the legal process with ease, explaining legal jargon along the way. And if ever you have a query or would like an update, they’ll be on hand to take your call.

How To Contact Legal Helpline

Contacting us is simple. Just call 0161 696 9685 to get straight through to a member of our friendly team, or fill out this enquiry form to ask us to call you back as soon as possible. Once you’re on the phone with us, you can discuss the circumstances of your accident and ask any questions you have about making an accident claim. If we believe your claim has merit, we’ll put you in touch with a specialist solicitor from our panel who’ll get to work on your case right away. 

We look forward to representing your battle to receive compensation for an accident as a pedestrian!

Resources And References

The Highway Code for pedestrians

If you feel that a busy road near you should have a crossing on it, you can use this page to contact your local council to request one.

Guide to pedestrian controlled crossing signals.

Paralysis injury claims guide.

Car accident claims where the victim doesn’t wear a seat belt.

Cyclists being hit by a car pulling out of a driveway.

Compensation For An Accident As A Pedestrian FAQs

What happens if I hit a pedestrian by accident?

If you were to do this, then the injured pedestrian could file a claim against you. They still have to produce evidence of wrongdoing from you, which includes proving that the accident was avoidable aside from your carelessness. But they could decide to take legal action against you nonetheless.

Can you claim against a pedestrian?

There is a chance to file a claim against a pedestrian if they damage your vehicle in any way. Again, it’s important to have concrete evidence in your favour. But as long as you can prove their misbehaviour, then you could take this course of action.

Does insurance cover hitting a pedestrian?

Yes. Car insurance policies generally cover any situations where you happen to hit a pedestrian and vice versa. Meanwhile, its liability elements handle any medical bills which the pedestrian racks up if you’re responsible for the accident.

Is hitting a pedestrian covered by collision or comprehensive insurance?

If the vehicle is in a car park and is struck by another motor, collision insurance comes into play. Comprehensive insurance, meanwhile, covers other situations such as fires, strong winds or vandalism that impacts your vehicle.

Guide by JY

Edited by REG

Thank you for reading our guide about compensation for an accident as a pedestrian.