Pedestrian traffic accidents are more common than you think. Did you know that around 25,000 pedestrian accidents are reported each year, with over 23% of them having serious injuries or fatal consequences? Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable and do not have the same protection that drivers have during an accident. This means a collision can have significant consequences and injuries that can effect the victims for the rest of their lives.
Drivers operate under a “duty of care” whilst they are on the road. This means they have to keep responsible and always do their best to avoid accidents on the road. If they fail, and have no evidence to prove that they tried to avoid the accident, this shows that they have breached this duty of care. The victim may then be entitled to pedestrian traffic accident compensation.
With the UK slowly opening up more stores and schools, you may need to consider how you are going to manage your commute safely to avoid accidents. This blog will help you understand the most common pedestrian accidents and how you can keep yourself, and any vulnerable people you are travelling with, as safe as possible. Gowing Law Solicitors will be there to support you if an accident does occur. Read on to learn more!
Why are pedestrian traffic accidents so common?
To be blunt about it, the reason there are so many pedestrian accidents is due to the fact that there are a wide variety of different accident types. If you are looking for compensation then you need to prove that you are not at fault, i.e. You need to show that you are not “liable” for the accidents. However, this will depend whether or not you were the one who incited the accident in the first place.
Now, the severity of the accident can depend on a number of demographic factors, including age and the type of vehicle that was involved in the accident. According to the UK’s Road Safety Data in 2019, around 10,552 contributory factors were due to the driver’s negligence. Pedestrians aged between 10-15 years old tended to be the most involved in these types of accidents, as were females over the age of 75. Take a look at the graph below for more information on the contributory influences on pedestrian traffic accidents:
Source: Road Safety Data December 2019
As you can see, there are many different reasons why an RTA between a pedestrian and vehicle could happen in the first place. It is important to consider what factors there were that built up to your accident. This could include the speed of the vehicle, what the vehicle driver was doing and whether or not any environmental factors could have added to your accident. Responsibility of your accident may depend on split liability, meaning that it was not only the other driver’s fault. Instead, there could have been a number of unsafe hazards that caused you to get hurt.
Keep an eye on these factors as they can affect how much compensation you could be owed once your case has gone to trial.
Can I claim compensation if I caused my own accident?
Unfortunately, if you were the main cause behind an RTA you will not be able to claim compensation. This is because you were negligent and breached your duty of safety to the drivers on the road. It does not matter whether you are using a vehicle or are a pedestrian. If you were antagonizing a driver, decided to run out into traffic or left a hazard on the road, this will mean that any accidents that occur for any vehicle, including motorcycles, then you have a responsibility to compensate the drivers who became victims of your negligence.
This may include:
- Paying for hospital treatment
- Financing future recovery treatment
- Recovering lost wages
- Repair costs on vehicles
- Donations to fix contributed environmental damage (aka. roads)
You will not be able to ask for compensation if you have been injured. Instead, you will need to pay for it, and any other victims’ injuries, out of your own insurance. Make sure to be honest with your insurer. This will mean that the cost of your insurance policy may rise, however if you do attempt to mislead your insurer, or perhaps the court, then the consequences could be worse. Be honest and tell people exactly what happened. That way you can get it over with quickly and focus on recovering.
Every type of pedestrian traffic accidents case is different
No matter what sort of accident you have been involved in on the road, no two cases are going to be the same. You could have all the evidence in the world, but the liability of the accident will still depend on what actually took place in general.
When you go to court about your pedestrian traffic accident claim, how much you receive will depend on the:
- Liability of the other driver.
- Driver’s vehicle.
- Environment of the accident.
- Type of injuries you suffered.
- Insurance of the other person.
You may find that several of these factors were the main cause behind your accident. For example, if you walked out on a green man, perhaps a traffic fault occurred in the traffic light and changed the colours too quickly. That meant that a speeding car misjudged your speed of travel, and therefore involved you in a collision. Clearly, the other driver was at fault, but the broken traffic light also had a role to play. Have a look at our infographic below to learn more about the role of these factors in your case:
The different types of pedestrian traffic accidents
Now that you have seen that there are many different types of road traffic accidents for pedestrians, and understand that your compensation case depends on liability, you need to understand what sort of accidents are clear cut and were clearly not your fault. Every driver learns that the pedestrian is a “priority hazard” on the road. If a pedestrian is in front of the vehicle, or on the road in general, then the vehicle should not be moving. That way the pedestrian can safely get off the road without there being an accident.
However, if this does not happen, and you have been involved in an accident, there are number ways you can go about it to get the compensation you deserve. Let’s begin by learning what sort of accidents could give you a compensation case:
The first responsibility of a driver on the road is to keep their attention on the road. That means they need to watch out for other vehicles, hazards and pedestrians. Drivers who are not fully focused on the road are more likely to be involved in an accident. For instance, if a driver is smoking or looking at their phone, it could be too late to notice a pedestrian crossing the street. This sort of distracted behaviour may also include talking to other people inside or outside of the vehicle.
Before you cross the street, make sure to check the speed of the drivers coming towards you. They may not be entirely focused on you and so maintain their speed instead of slowing down to allow you to cross the road. Remember that you do have the right of way if you are at a public crossing or have obeyed the “green light” of a traffic signal. However, some drivers will simply not look up from the task that is distracting them. Judge the speed and appearance of the driver in front of the steering wheel. If they look like they will not stop then refrain from crossing the road. This will prevent one of the many types of pedestrian traffic accidents
Put yourself in this situation, there is a set of traffic lights that are warning that in a few seconds they will change to the “red man”. This means that pedestrians cannot cross. However, a few pedestrians may think that they can still make it. They have judged that they can run fast enough to make it across the street without being hit by oncoming traffic. This is a normal thing, however accidents can happen if a vehicle immediately speeds up to cross the lights.
This is where things can get complicated. After all, it must be the pedestrian’s fault for running out into the middle of the road and misjudging their timing. However, imagine if the person is a small child or perhaps an elderly person who is slower than the others who are crossing the road. Where does the blame lie then? It could fall on the driver who does not slow down in order to protect vulnerable pedestrians.
If this is what has happened to you then make sure to discuss it with your solicitor. It may mean that there is a split liability and that both parties may have to pay compensation.
As you can see from the diagram, one of the major ways an accident can happen is when a pedestrian appears in a driver’s blind spot. This is especially prevalent around street corners, however it can include backing up or trying to park a vehicle. A driver can only see a small amount of what lies around the corner, therefore if a pedestrian is crossing just outside of the driver’s area of vision, this means that a collision may occur. This may not be the driver’s fault as there may have been objects or hazards blocking the driver’s vision. The pedestrian may also have not seen the pedestrian if they came around the corner quickly.
Have you been involved in a similar experience? This can be a complicated issue that will depend on both parties and whether or not they were fully attentive to the road. Speak to your solicitor to ensure that it does not turn into a split liability case.
This is an example of a cut and dry case. A driver has the responsibility to remain sober and observant when they are on the road. Any sort of alcohol or drugs can make it harder to concentrate and see pedestrians that are trying to cross the street. It may also make it less likely that they are able to do an emergency stop in time, if a pedestrian does appear out of nowhere. If a driver has been drinking then you have the right to claim compensation for their negligence and thoughtless endangerment of other people on the road.
Now, when you think about what could be in your blind spot, have you thought about whether other vehicles could become obstacles? Naturally, car accidents can happen between different vehicles, but they could also be an obstacle that pedestrians could walk in front of. If there is a large bus or truck in front of you and you try to bypass them, they may have stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the street. Without realizing, the driver has moved passed them and has now collided with said pedestrian.
This can lead us on nicely to another example of pedestrian endangerment. Drivers should not encourage pedestrians to step out into the street if it is genuinely not safe. A driver will not know what sort of vehicles are behind. They will not know whether another car will dart out in front of them if they have stopped. This will put the pedestrian in danger if they walk into the road and another car moves forward as they are in a hurry. They will not know the pedestrian is there.
This would mean that there might be a split liability case. To put it bluntly:
- The pedestrian should not have stepped out into the road if it was not entirely safe.
- The first driver is also at fault as they should not have recommended that the pedestrian should step into the street when they did not know it was not safe.
- The overtaking driver caused the collision as they were not aware that there was a pedestrian in the middle of the road. They did not act patiently and wait behind the first driver. Instead, they acted too brashly and decided that they had “right of way”.
What is a pedestrian traffic accident claim?
If you are not at fault for your accident, and have been seriously hurt as a result of it, you could be due compensation. The first thing you need to think of, outside of getting treatment for your injury, is collecting evidence of your claim. If you go to court with just a “he said, she said” statement then it is highly likely that you will not get the compensation you are looking for. Instead, consider the following:
- Photographic evidence (your wounds, the scene of the accident, the vehicle and their registration number).
- Video evidence (i.e. a phone recording).
- Evidence of what you were wearing (i.e. bright clothing, protective gear that could be easily seen).
- Witness Statements
- Police Statements
- Financial losses you have made due to the accident (i.e. Wages, medical payments).
Overall, your evidence needs to prove that you were acting responsibly when you tried to cross the street. If you were following all of the rules of the road, this shows that the accident is the responsibility of the other person involved.
How long do I have to make an accident claim?
You will have around 3 years from the time you received the injury to make a claim. From there, the amount of time needed to resolve the case may be months or even longer. Be patient with your solicitor as they will do their best to keep you as updated as possible about your claim. That way you will always know precisely where you stand with them.
How do I move forward with my pedestrian traffic accidents compensation case?
Before you even think about your case, the first thing you should do is put your evidence together and contact your insurer to tell them that you have been involved in an accident. If you are not to blame for the accident then your record will not be affected. Instead, this will prepare you for the legal battle ahead. Once you have put all of your evidence together then you should try and find a lawyer who would be willing to represent you in court. It may be tempting to go after compensation on your own, but these sort of traffic accident claims can be very complicated. A trained pedestrian traffic accident claims solicitor can make things simple and let you know about the best way forward. They will be trained to help you with these claims and so know the correct pathway to take.
A trained pedestrian accident Gowing Law solicitor can help you!
All of our solicitors specializing in pedestrian traffic accidents are experienced and know exactly how to handle any sort of case. They can offer you free advice and consultations about your accident. If you want to work with us, then we can offer our support on a ”no win-no fee” basis. That means even if you do not get compensation then you will still come out on top.
Should you want to speak with us about your pedestrian accident compensation claim, please call 0800 041 8350, email firstname.lastname@example.org or have a quick chat through our messaging system on our contact page.
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