Essential things to know about pedestrian accidents

Pedestrians accidents are more common than we realise. The Roads and Maritime Services show an increasing trend in pedestrian fatalities from 2014 to present. 

Pedestrian fatalities represent 16% of all fatalities in Australia. There is also a high count of serious injuries suffered by pedestrians in a 3-year period, which is currently at 3,447 people. Since pedestrians and motorists share spaces in close proximity, there are common risks which both motorists and pedestrians share when it comes to road safety. However, it’s important to understand that motorists and pedestrians have very different rights and liabilities under the law.  

What classifies a pedestrian accident

There are 3 common instances where pedestrian accidents occur:

  1. Crossing the road and being struck from the near side (54%)
  2. Crossing the road and being struck from the far side (18%)
  3. Playing, working, laying or standing on a median strip (8%).

A pedestrian accident can occur for many reasons. Common reasons include drivers failing to stop in time, not give way, lack of visibility and not checking their blind spots. 

Pedestrians also put themselves at risk when they jaywalk, disobey traffic and safety rules, fail to check before crossing a street and being occupied on a mobile phone. There is a greater risk factor due to muted senses, like having a lack of auditory awareness of the surroundings from wearing headphones.

Many serious pedestrian accidents occur when an individual is on a bike and their vision is obscured by a surrounding building, especially during entering and exiting a narrow laneway. This, coupled with a hasty driver, can result in a serious pedestrian injury or fatality. 

Serious pedestrian injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Severe head trauma 
  • Brain injury
  • Bone fractures and breakages

Pedestrian compensation claims

When an incident occurs, what the injured person says to the ambulance officers, hospital staff and police at the scene becomes very important should a case ensue. Unfortunately, when a pedestrian accident occurs, the victim is usually unable to speak to the police at the scene due to their extensive injuries. The police typically end up taking a statement from the vehicle driver most of the time. Often, this provides a skewed and one-sided representation of the incident, one that frames the pedestrian as being at fault. 

What does a pedestrian accident lawyer do?

When involved in a pedestrian accident, a pedestrian accident lawyer may be your best chance at seeking justice. 

A pedestrian accident lawyer:

  • Gathers evidence from public agencies to determine how the accident occurred.
  • Locates witnesses and takes their statements.
  • Engages other experts on how the accident happened, as well as the causes. 

It’s best to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible. This helps you safeguard against misleading statements by the other party which were made to the police or ambulance at the scene.

Drivers are more liable when a pedestrian accident occurs

Typically, the law will hold drivers responsible for a pedestrian incident. For example, if a pedestrian was jaywalking and got hit by a car, even though the pedestrian was in the wrong, the driver will be held liable for not having full control of their vehicle and not being fully observant of their surroundings. This is because motor vehicles are seen as lethal weapons under the law – a projectile on wheels. 

It’s expected that drivers who are keeping the speed limit and aware of their surroundings are able to stop and divert away from an offending pedestrian.

Taylor & Scott’s offer for pedestrian accident claims

In all pedestrian compensation claims, at Taylor & Scott we offer:

  • A Free Case Assessment at one of our offices or at your home, hospital or other convenient location.
  • If we act for you or your loved one, it will be on a no-win/no-pay basis meaning if you don’t win, we don’t get paid.
  • We retain the best experts to prove liability and to prove each aspect of the pedestrian’s compensation claim, for example, by retaining medical experts, rehabilitation experts and experts on liability.

So if you or someone you know is an injured pedestrian, you can trust Taylor & Scott’s expert pedestrian compensation lawyers to do everything they can to ensure maximum compensation.

Our team of dedicated professionals is committed to helping you and your family to a better future. 

Please note: If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you must lodge a claim form with the motor vehicle insurer within three (3) months of the accident date. If you wish to receive statutory benefits (weekly payments) from the date of the accident, you must lodge the claim form within 28 days of the accident.

Contact us on 1800 600 664 or complete the Contact Form on this page.

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