People traveling on foot are some of the most vulnerable of road users. If a vehicle collides with a pedestrian the resulting injuries can often be life threatening. Any road traffic accident has the potential to cause serious injury but when an accident involves a pedestrian, especially a child, it can leave victims with long-term physical and psychological damage.
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If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence of another, then you may be able to make a successful injury claim. All road users whether they are driving a a car, van, motorcycle or those traveling on foot have a 'duty of care' for one another. In essence this means that road users each have a legal responsibility to act safely at all times.
Below are some common causes of pedestrian accidents which we are able to help with:
Pedestrians may not always be entirely blameless when they are involved in road accidents as they too have a responsibility to act in a safe manner around traffic. The public should walk on the pavement, cross roads only when it's safe to do so. Parents with young children should, keep them closely supervised and generally follow the green cross code.
However only in rare circumstances are vehicle drivers likely to be found wholly blameless when they are involved in accidents with pedestrians, because vehicle drivers are under a duty of care to make sure they don’t hit a pedestrian, even if the pedestrian does something careless or reckless eg walks into the road from behind a parked vehicle. The pedestrian may in some cases be considered partly to blame (known as contributary negligence), but the greater onus is still on the driver in most cases, to ensure they don’t hit pedestrians who come onto the road.
Crossings are designated areas of the road where people walking have priority over other road users when they want to cross the road. Whilst these dedicated crossings are designed to improve road safety for all of its users, unfortunately collisions and injuries do happen.
All road users are expected to understand the differences and functions of each road crossing however, below are quick explanations of how to both distinguish and correctly use some of the most popular types of crossing:
Zebra Crossings are normally identified as a black and white path on the road surface with beacons or poles at either end of the path. Pedestrians are given right of way, and any oncoming vehicles should stop to allow pedestrians waiting to cross at zebra crossing and must stop if the pedestrian has already placed a foot on the crossing.
Pelican Crossings are controlled by traffic lights. Pedestrians push a button on a pole on the pavement next to the crossing, when they want to cross. When the pictogram on the pole on the opposite side of the road changes from red to green, it is an indication that it is safe for the pedestrian to cross as the traffic lights controlling the crossing have changed to red.
Walking to school is a great way to keep a child active, but children are considered to be one of the most vulnerable groups of all of road users. Children often misjudge the speed and distance of vehicles and have a lack of road safety awareness. Their parents are responsible for keeping children safe on and around roads.
Rachel Brown, a lawyer and member of Spencers' road accident team, shared a number of useful tips about child road safety for parents, in her blog "The Short School Walk - Keeping Your Child Safe".
If your child has been injured in a road traffic accident, then it is possible to bring a pedestrian compensation claim on their behalf, against the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.
However, until a child gets to the age of 18, they are not able to make compensation claims themselves. An adult has to do this on their behalf. This person is called a 'litigation friend'. Usually this person will be the child's parent or guardian. So it would be the 'litigation friend' who would make the pedestrian accident injury claim, on behalf of the child.
The claim can be made immediately following the accident or at any time up until the child becomes an adult at 18 years old. In reality though, it would be wise to make the claim as soon after the accident, as possible so that evidence can easily be gathered from witnesses and up to date medical evidence of the child’s injuries can be obtained.
If you are an adult who was hit by a car as a child but never sought legal advice or compensation, you may still be able to make a claim. You must do this within 3 years of reaching the age of 18, otherwise it will be too late to claim. To find out more please read our guide can I make a claim for injuries sustained as a child?
Our specialist teams will guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the support and compensation you deserve.
If you are worried about having to pay legal fees if you lose, don't be. Pedestrian accident claims are normally dealt with under a no win no fee arrangement.