What happens when a pedestrian is hit by a car while crossing a road? Injury lawyer Elizabeth Duncan explains the process of making a compensation claim, using a recent case as an example.
The road accident
Our client was a pedestrian hit by a car while crossing a road. She was almost all the way across the road when the car drove into her and knocked her over.
The police were called and the driver admitted that she had not been fully concentrating and had not seen our client crossing the road.
Our client was 65 years old at the time of the accident and was an active lady. She suffered nasty injuries which meant that she had to stay in hospital for 5 nights. On her discharge from hospital she had to have significant help from her family and friends in order to move about and cope with everyday tasks. She needed to use a walking frame for some time.
Free accident helpline
She wasn’t sure whether she was entitled to claim compensation, so she called our free accident helpline for an assessment.
We told her that as a pedestrian hit by a car she was entitled to bring a compensation claim against the driver if the accident was the driver’s fault. Car drivers are expected to keep a careful lookout for pedestrians and the onus is on them to ensure that pedestrians are safe from harm when crossing a road. It is only where a pedestrian suddenly runs out in front of a car, leaving the driver with no opportunity to avoid hitting them, that an accident is likely to be regarded as the pedestrian’s fault.
In this case the driver had admitted she had been careless and we advised the accident victim that she would be entitled to make a compensation claim against the driver’s insurance for her injuries and her resulting financial losses.
We agreed to take on the case under a No Win, No Fee agreement. This meant that she would not face any financial risk in making the claim.
Making a compensation claim
We submitted details of the claim to the driver’s insurance company. As expected they accepted liability for the accident. This meant we could then concentrate on gathering evidence about the injuries that she had suffered and the losses she had incurred.
We obtained an interim payment from the insurance company to help ease our client’s financial situation while medical reports were prepared. Medical reports are very important in an accident claim as the courts use them to determine how much compensation should be paid. We therefore always ensure that the medical evidence truly reflects the seriousness of the injuries so that our clients receive a proper level of compensation.
We obtained medical evidence from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and our client had an MRI scan to fully assess her injuries to her knees, shoulder, hip and back.
A report was also obtained from a Consultant Neurologist because our client had suffered a head injury when she banged her head on the road. The neurologist concluded that the frequent migraines our client had suffered since the accident were due to this impact.
In addition she was suffering from psychological difficulties after the accident. We therefore arranged for her to be assessed by a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. The psychologist concluded that she had been left with anxiety and depression directly arising from the accident. She recommended a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which our client received on a private basis, paid for by the driver’s insurers.
We also gathered evidence of the financial impact of the accident, including the value of the care she had received, the cost of purchasing aids for the home and the cost of medical treatment. We then put together a schedule of our client’s financial losses and presented this to the insurance company.
Reaching a settlement
Following a period of negotiation the driver’s insurer offered our client the sum of £20,000 in compensation, which she was pleased to accept. Our costs were also paid by the insurance company.
This fairly typical case study of a pedestrian hit by a car will give you an idea of what is involved when seeking compensation. However, all cases are different and its important to take legal advice from a specialist firm of solicitors.
If you have been a pedestrian hit by a car and would like to know where you stand legally, then call our FREE ACCIDENT HELPLINE on 0808 139 1590 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org