Road Traffic Accidents involving Pedestrians
Introduction to Pedestrian Accidents
All road traffic accidents can cause serious injuries; however, pedestrians may be the group most at risk from being seriously injured if they are involved in a road traffic collision; which is why pedestrians must be given right of way by motorists.
One case dealt with by Thompsons' specialist personal injury lawyers involved a pedestrian with good visibility who thought he had time to cross the road and did not use a designated pedestrian crossing. A driver could see him from 200 yards away but still collided with him. The judge concluded that the driver must have been driving too fast or failing to keep a proper lookout. The driver was found to be 75% responsible for the accident.
If the driver of the vehicle which injures you leaves the scene without providing any details or turns out to be uninsured, you may still be able to make an accident compensation claim and should contact Thompsons Solicitors for advice.
Claiming Personal Injury Compensation following a Pedestrian Accident
Information about making a claim after being involved in a Pedestrian Accident
As with all personal injury compensation claims, you would need to prove that another person was responsible for your personal injury (in this case, the driver of the vehicle, which collided with you while you were a pedestrian).
To help your case, you should take names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident and take photographs of the accident locus if possible. You should also contact the Police immediately and report the incident.
If you are intending to claim expenses such as prescription costs and travelling expenses, remember to keep receipts as evidence.
News about Pedestrian Accidents
Accident on a Zebra Crossing
Thompsons Solicitors reported a news story about a trade union member from Devon who secured £4,000 in compensation following an accident as a pedestrian at a zebra crossing.
Mr James Broom, who is a butcher, secured his compensation with the support of the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) free legal assistance scheme and personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors.
In August 2004, 19 year old Mr Broom, from Cullompton, Devon, was crossing the road outside the Manor Hotel in Fore Street, Cullompton, using a Zebra Crossing when a driver failed to give way and collided with him. As a result of the road traffic accident, Mr Broom suffered a soft tissue injury to his knee and was off sick from work.
James Broom said: “I was halfway across a pedestrian crossing when I was knocked down. I was taken by ambulance to Tiverton Hospital. The next day I was told that there was a possibility of a cracked bone. As a result I was off work for two months and on returning to work I was sadly made redundant at the end of February 2006.”
Steve White, from the Transport & General Workers Union in Taunton, comments: “James Broom’s claim demonstrates the importance of union members using their union’s legal service for non-work related accidents. Motor insurance companies are increasingly referring claimants to their own panel solicitors, who may not provide the same independent legal advice as trade union solicitors.
Knocked over by car outside House
Thompsons Solicitors' specialist personal injury lawyers helped a 60 year old man who was knocked over by a car outside his house to claim compensation. Mr Ives was out walking his dog and was using a walking stick as he was still recovering from a knee replacement operation.
The driver of the car was a local 15 year old boy who didn’t have a driving licence and was not insured. After mounting the pavement and hitting Mr Ives, the boy fled the scene but was caught by police. The 21 year old passenger in the car was insured to drive the vehicle which belonged to his employer.
The insurers of the car paid Mr Ives' claim even though they didn't insure the driver of the car. Mr Ives received over £8,000 compensation.
Pedestrian scarred for life when crushed by car
In this case, Thompsons Solicitors helped a pedestrian who suffered horrific crush injuries to his face after he was hit by a car to recover more than £200,000 in damages.
The 53-year-old was injured as he was crossing the road in November 2006. The driver of a parked vehicle reversed into him causing him to be trapped under the car.
He suffered multiple fractures to his face and his eye was displaced. He also had fractures to his left arm, ribs and spine.
The injured pedestrian now walks with a stick and has double vision. His face is severely scarred and he has post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia, meaning he finds it difficult to leave his home.
At the time of the accident the he was working as a bus driver but his injuries were so serious that he has been unable to return to work.
The injured man said "This compensation eases some of my worries about not being able to earn a living when I thought I had at least another ten years earnings."
Comments from clients we have helped with Pedestrian Accident claims
Pedestrian hit by car on pedestrian crossing
Thompsons' specialist personal injury solicitors have recently recovered £14,000 in compensation for a lady injured as a pedestrian. The lady was crossing the road using a pedestrian crossing and had almost reached the pavement at the other side of the road, when she was hit by a car and knocked down.
The pedestrian suffered a broken left radius as well as some soft tissue damage to her left ankle.
Her thank you letter read:
"I wish to thank you for your services and the amount you negotiated. I trust that you will have many more successful cases in the future and wish you all the very best".
Pedestrian hit by car whilst crossing road
Mr Holt suffered multiple injuries when he was hit by an uninsured driver whilst crossing the road. Thompsons personal injury specialists referred the claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau and our client received damages of £65,000
An extract from Mr and Mrs Holt’s thank you letter read:
"May we thank you for all your kindness and care for our well-being and interest during the time you have dealt with our case".
The Green Cross Code
A useful guide for all pedestrians on road safety
The Green Cross Code is something that most of us will be able to remember being taught at school. It has been in use since the early 1970's and it is still a very useful guide for all pedestrians to follow to help them cross the road safely.
Find the safest place to cross
If possible, try to cross the road at a subway, footbridge, island, Zebra crossing, Pelican crossing, traffic light crossing or where there is a crossing patrol officer such as a lollipop lady / man or police officer.
If you can't find any good crossing places like these mentioned above, choose a place where you can see clearly along the road in both directions and where motorists can clearly see you. Never try to cross the road on a sharp bend or just before the brow of a hill.
Take lots of time to have a good look all round you. Stand a little way back from the kerb, where you will be away from the dangerous traffic but where you can still see if anything is coming along the road.
If there is no pavement, stand back from the edge of the road but where you can still see if any traffic is coming.
Look and listen.
Look in every direction. Also, listen carefully as you can often hear traffic before you see it. If any traffic is coming, let it pass and don't cross unless there is a safe gap and you are sure there is plenty of time. If you are not 100% sure, don't try to cross.
When it's safe, walk straight across the road.
Always walk across the road and never run. Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross until you reach the other side.
Other Road Safety
Ways to keep yourself safe as a pedestrian
As well as following the Green Cross Code, there are other measures you can take as a pedestrian to help keep yourself safe when crossing the road or walking where traffic is present.
Wear Light or Reflective Clothing
Particularly at night or during the winter when it is dark from the late afternoon onwards, it is difficult for motorists to see a pedestrian dressed completely in dark clothes on the road. Try to wear a light-coloured jacket or trousers and if possible wear an item of clothing with a reflective strip on it. A lot of sportswear and trainers are now manufactured with reflective strips; however, they can also be purchased separately as armbands or leg bands to wear over clothing.
Don't wear headphones
As mentioned in the Green Cross Code section, it is often possible to hear traffic before you can see it and if you are wearing headphones, the sounds might drown out the traffic and make you more vulnerable as a pedestrian.
Don't use your mobile telephone
If you are talking on a mobile telephone or trying to send a text message while also crossing the road, your attention will not be fully focused on the traffic, leaving you vulnerable as a pedestrian.
Restrain any Pets or Children
Make sure you have a firm hold on any pets or children walking with you. If they step into the road while it is unsafe to do so, they could be injured themselves or could cause the driver to swerve and be involved in another accident.
Organisations which may be able to help you further
Think Road Safety - Here you'll find news of the latest campaigns and road safety advice to keep everyone safer on the UK's roads
The Highway Code - Its rules apply to all road users: pedestrians, horseriders and cyclists as well as motorcyclists and drivers
Direct.gov - Requesting crossings and reducing road accidents through local councils and safe road crossing.
Rospa - Raises awareness about how to prevent road accidents involving car users, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.