If a pedestrian is injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is often necessary to seek injury compensation as the resulting personal injuries can be quite severe. Throughout Australia, more than 1000 pedestrians are hospitalised each year with serious injuries after being struck by a motor vehicle.
Seek medical attention
Your first, and foremost step is to seek medical attention. Pedestrian injuries from a car accident can be serious, even if you feel fine. Common personal injuries include broken bones, head injuries, back injuries and lacerations. Make sure that the incident is reported to the police within 28 days and take down the details of the driver involved and any witnesses at the scene.
If you are a pedestrian injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible to receive injury compensation. You will need to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a good chance of success if you pursue a claim.
In most cases of pedestrians injured in motor vehicle accidents, it is usually the driver who is placed at fault for the incident. However, you may be considered partly at fault if you:
- Made yourself not visible at night, or you were walking on an unlit road;
- Failing to exercise reasonable care and caution to avoid a road accident; or
- Being intoxicated at the time of the accident.
If you are considered partly at fault you may still be eligible for injury compensation but the amount you receive will be reduced accordingly.
Personal injury claims
Pedestrian accident claims are regarded as personal injury claims. Personal injury claims can cover a wide range of criteria, so it is best to discuss with a personal injuries lawyer about what you will be hoping to claim. Injury compensation can cover a number of things such as:
- Medical expenses (hospital bills, prescriptions, specialist visits, travel, etc.);
- Past and future economic loss;
- Physical and psychological suffering; and
- Past and future domestic assistance.
Types of injury claims you can make
If you sustain pedestrian injuries from a car accident you are entitled to claim under both an Accident Notification Form and a Personal Injury Claim Form.
- Accident Notification Form
- The injured party must lodge an Accident Notification Form with the CTP insurer of the driver at fault. You have 28 days to lodge this claim form, so ensure that you do not delay this initial aspect of your claim. In this instance, you may receive up to $5,000 in compensation for any financial loss resulting from your injuries within 6 months from when the accident occurred.
- Personal Injury Claim Form
- You will then need to lodge a Personal Injury Claim Form, in the event you believe your expenses amount to more $5000, or your recovery time exceeds 6 months.
Who will pay out your compensation?
The CTP insurer of the negligent driver will be responsible for paying out the compensation amount. Under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance Scheme, all drivers in New South Wales are required to have a CTP insurer, so be sure to take down the details of the driver’s CTP insurer so you can contact them.
What if it was a hit and run?
Victims of a hit and run accident may still be able to make pedestrian accident claims. In NSW, the nominal defendant scheme allows injured victims of car accidents lodge claims even when the identity of the driver is unknown. Speak to your personal injury lawyer about what will be involved and what is the best course of action.
How long will it take and how much will it cost?
A personal injury claim can take up to 6-12 months to reach a settlement. The time period will depend on how severe your personal injuries are and whether you have reached a stable point where it is unlikely your injury will worsen.
Your personal injury lawyer should be able to answer all your questions about any legal fees that will arise. Some lawyers offer free consultations and a “no win, no fee” guarantee, which means that you will not have to worry about paying any fees until your case is resolved and the amount you pay will be dependent on whether your case is successful or not.
If you have sustained pedestrian injuries from a car accident contact Schreuders for a free consultation on how to make pedestrian accident claims.