When a pedestrian is hit by a car: injuries and compensation

If a pedestrian is hit by a car, then compensation is often necessary due to the severe injuries suffered as a result of the crash. As well as being struck by the vehicle, pedestrians may find themselves flung against the windscreen, sent flying onto the road surface or on the kerb.

Australia-wide, almost 1,000 pedestrians are hospitalised each year with often life-threatening injuries from being hit by a car. About 50 of these injured pedestrians were hurt in a collision involving a bus or another heavy transport vehicle.

How the accidents happen

Recent cases illustrate the types of incidents in which pedestrians are injured by cars:

  • A 45 year-old man was trying to cross a highway in front of an oncoming car. The driver tried to swerve and brake, but was unable to avoid hitting him.
  • A car collided with a teenage boy who was crossing the road. The force of the collision was such that the car’s engine was thrown into the street.
  • While walking along the side of a highway, a 43 year-old man was struck from behind and killed by a four-wheel drive travelling in the same direction.
  • An out-of-control car mounted the footpath and hit two pedestrians, both of whom were injured, one of them very seriously.
  • A taxi driver hit a pedestrian who was crossing a road in the Sydney suburb of Waterloo. While the taxi driver was at fault for the car accident, the pedestrian was at fault too. As a result, the final compensation payout was reduced by 40 per cent due to contributory negligence.

Pedestrians’ injuries

It’s important to stay safe as a pedestrian when walking or exercising near roads. Because of the lack of protection, the physical impact on pedestrians is often more severe than that on drivers. The damage may include broken bones, head and brain injuries, back injuries and lacerations.

If you’re injured as a pedestrian, medical attention and assessment of your injuries is naturally your first step. But inevitably, the accident has an impact on other things as well; for example, it could disrupt your routine, causing you to miss work, or the resulting medical bills could leave you out of pocket.

Entitlement to compensation

If you’re injured as a pedestrian, you will want to know if you are covered by the motor accidents compensation scheme.

The good news is that yes, you are covered. The scheme is setup to provide compensation for anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident, whether they are drivers, passengers, pedestrians or riders of motorbikes and bicycles.

Even if you were partly at fault, you may be entitled to payments covering:

  • hospital and medical treatment costs
  • rehabilitation expenses
  • past and future economic loss, if your capacity to earn an income is disrupted
  • permanent impairment
  • pain and suffering.

Legal costs associated with your compensation claim may also be covered.

Hit and run accidents

If you’re injured as a pedestrian in a hit and run accident, it may still be possible to make a personal injury claim. In NSW and other Australian states, the nominal defendant scheme allows people injured in car accidents to make a compensation claim, even if the identity of the driver is unknown.

Road accidents involving children

The first priority of every parent is to keep their children safe from danger and road safety is a key concern. Every year we hear of too many tragic accidents.

In a previous blog post we discussed some tips to keep in mind for keeping children safe around cars, which you can read here.

If your child is injured on the road, then it’s vital to get legal advice as soon as possible. Special provisions are in place to look after children injured in road accidents. Children are entitled to immediate payments for hospital, medical and rehabilitation costs. This is the case even if they are found to be partly to blame for an accident.

For example, they may run out onto the road in front of a car without looking. Children may also be entitled to lump sum payments for permanent impairment, pain and suffering, and future economic loss.

Common compensation claims

A compensation payout will not fix your or your child’s injuries, but it can certainly help reduce the impact of the other stresses on your life, which come as a result of the accident.

The average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in New South Wales is reported to be around $118,000. In the cases involving brain injury, pedestrian claim amounts are often over $600,000.

In some cases, experienced legal professionals have been able to renegotiate much higher settlements with the insurance company, even after the insurer had made an initial offer.

How can a lawyer help?

Dealing directly with an insurance company without involving a lawyer may mean you miss out on some of your entitlements or you may end up with a smaller payout. Therefore, there is no substitute for advice from a lawyer who is experienced in cases of this kind.

Our senior personal injury compensation lawyers can help you through the process, to ensure that your best interests are looked after.

They may be able to find opportunities to improve your prospects and will negotiate with others on your behalf. With expert assistance, it may be possible to avoid expensive court action and achieve the best result in the shortest time.

Call our friendly team at NSW Compensation Lawyers on 02 9601 0088 today.

See how we can help you

< Back to News