Knowledge base

Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims

Pedestrian injury lawyer crossing the road

Pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles are tragically common in Australia. In 2018, pedestrians represented approximately 14% of fatalities from all road deaths nationwide, which accounted for 35 pedestrian deaths in Queensland alone.

A pedestrian injury resulting from a car accident can be life-changing. From loss of income to medical costs and other out of pocket expenses, your financial situation can be hit pretty hard after being hit by a car.

If you have been injured as a pedestrian due to the negligence of a motor vehicle such as a car, ute, truck or motorcycle then you may be entitled to compensation.

Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

Types of pedestrian car accidents that involve pedestrians

Car at traffic lights after accident with pedestrian

While most pedestrian injuries happen while crossing the road, many pedestrian accidents also occur while standing on the footpath, walking alongside the road, and when performing work on the road.

Pedestrian accident claims can involve several scenarios such as incidents involving cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, as well as accidents caused by pedestrians, such as negligence of ignoring “do not walk” signals at pedestrian crossings.

Knowing your rights in a pedestrian car accident

Whether you are a pedestrian, driver passenger, or cyclist, it is critical to know your rights after a pedestrian accident happens. Even if the injury doesn’t appear severe, or if you have made a full recovery, a car accident injury compensation claim should not be overlooked,m. A successful pedestrian injury settlement can help you secure your financial stability in the long run. 

As a general rule of law, all drivers on Australian roads have a duty of care to pedestrians to avoid causing any harm or injury. When that duty of care is breached, a pedestrian hit by a car may be entitled to pedestrian injury compensation.

How do I know if I have a claim?

If the driver breaches their duty of care, causing you to be injured, you have the right to bring a pedestrian injury compensation claim.

Do I need a lawyer for pedestrian accident claims?

It's common to question the need for a lawyer after a road accident. Beyond gathering the right documents and evidence to prove your case, several court technicalities adhere to strict time-frames for pedestrian car accidents.

Having a professional pedestrian injury lawyer to help you with your case, especially in a time of need, can be a huge relief - especially when you’ve found the right one. 

Most Queensland pedestrian and motor vehicle injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis. However, there often is a catch not known to many. For example, if a case doesn’t go your way, a no win no fee approach could still mean an adverse cost order being placed upon you. This means you’ll have to pay the other side’s insurer’s costs, which can be a hefty sum.

What information should I get from a pedestrian car accident?

Pedestrian injury checklist

When it comes to car accidents, the more information, the better, as this will be evidence to help prove your case.

Things like photographs of the scene, car registration numbers, names, contact numbers and home addresses will prove useful.

Where possible, aim to record the contact details of witnesses to the scene.

Evidence such as medical records, treatments, doctor appointments and medications along with their receipts, will help you in your pedestrian compensation claim. 

If the car involved has driven off without exchanging details after a pedestrian accident, you should call the police. This is known as a hit and run car accident and will be discussed in depth further on in this article. 

Pedestrian car accident procedures to follow

  1. Report the incident to the police if they haven’t yet attended the scene.
  2. Get in touch with a pedestrian injury lawyer who will help you with your claim against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the car responsible for the pedestrian accident.
  3. Sign the Notice of Accident Claim Form filled by your pedestrian injury lawyer, which will be served to the CTP insurer. The form includes a medical certificate which needs to be completed by your doctor.
  4. If rehabilitation is required, your lawyers will be able to request payment assistance from the CTP insurer for rehab if the accident is not in dispute. 
  5. Where necessary, your injuries should be assessed by medical specialists to help determine any permanent impairments. This will help with the value of your pedestrian injury compensation claim. 
  6. Your pedestrian injury lawyers will then prepare a Statement of Loss and Damage, setting out all items you are entitled to claim.
  7. Settlement negotiations between your lawyers and the CTP insurer take place. If your claim does not settle at an agreeable sum, further attempts to settle can be made. As a last resort, court proceedings can be commenced. 

Who do I make a pedestrian accident claim against?

In Queensland, it is compulsory for all registered vehicles to have compulsory third party insurance. CTP insurance covered liability for death or personal injury arising out of car accidents. CTP does not cover personal property.

When a pedestrian car accident happens, the pedestrian will make a claim against the CTP insurer of the car at fault. 

Time-frames you must work with for a successful pedestrian injury compensation claim 

Pedestrian accident claims are governed by strict time-frames which is why it is crucial to begin the claim proceeds as soon as possible.

To make a pedestrian injury compensation claim, you must hand in your Notice of Accident Claim form to the CTP insurer within 9 months of the date of the accident. If you consult a pedestrian injury lawyer, the time-frame shortens to within 1 month from the date of consultation, whichever is earlier.

If you fail to meet these time-frames, you will need to provide a reasonable excuse for the delay. 

What to do if the car that hit you drove off

If the car at fault is not registered or cannot be identified, for example in a hit and run car accident, you can make a pedestrian injury compensation claim against the Nominal Defendant government insurance scheme.

A Notice of Accident Claim form must be lodged within 3 months of the date of the accident. If consulting a pedestrian injury lawyer, the timeframe shortens to within 1 month from the date of consultation, whichever is earlier. 

Failing to meet these time-frames require proof of reasonable excuse for the delay. If the Nominal Defendant does not receive the claim form within 9 months of the date of the accident, the claim becomes statute-barred and cannot be legally enforced

How long does a pedestrian injury compensation claim take?

Stopwatch icon to represent time for pedestrian injury claim

Each pedestrian accident claim is assessed individually, which affects the time frames between one case and another.

As a general rule, if your injuries are minor and there is no dispute as to who caused the accident, your claim will be quicker to resolve. If your claim involves severe injuries and uncertainties, it will take longer. 

Most claims are finalised within 12 months from the date of assessment of your injuries.

Time is of the essence when it comes to making a pedestrian injury compensation claim. If you leave it for too long, you risk the chance of getting your claim rejected.

How much will a pedestrian injury compensation claim cost?

With most Queensland pedestrian injury lawyers, there is a no win no fee arrangement. However, this arrangement often comes with a catch and may leave you out of pocket should things not go your way in court. For example, an adverse cost order may be placed on you where you will have to pay the CTP insurer’s costs.

Our pedestrian injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis with no catch, which in simple terms means there are no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket. You only have to pay for our legal services when we are successful at obtaining a settlement for your claim.

If your claim for damages accrues to a certain figure, part of your legal fees can be recovered from the CTP insurer. 

To learn more about how much a pedestrian injury compensation claim costs, get in touch with one of our experienced pedestrian injury lawyers today.

How much pedestrian injury compensation can I claim?

Calculator to show how pedestrian injury claims are calculated

Every pedestrian injury compensation claim is different. The compensation amount is affected by a prediction of what your future would have been like without the road injury and how your life path has changed since the injury.

You may be entitled to claim certain costs such as medical expenses and lost wages, depending on the nature of your claim. 

To find out more about how much pedestrian injury compensation you can claim, it’s best to get in touch with a qualified pedestrian injury lawyer who can help you create a Statement of Loss and Damages for your claim. 

For example, in the case of Yamaguchi v Phipps & Anor [2016] QSC 151, a tourist who was hit by a bus at a pedestrian crossing was awarded $2.087 million in damages. Her injuries included chronic pain and debilitation, followed by the development of a serious psychiatric disorder. Prior to the accident, she was fully independent at 23 years old and enjoyed an active social life along with sports and recreational activities. After the pedestrian accident, she could no longer return to these interests leading to a loss of enjoyment of life.

What would I receive compensation for?

The following areas are assessed when calculating a pedestrian injury compensation claim:

  • Pain and suffering and loss of amenities (including enjoyment of life)
  • Economic loss, such as loss of income (both past and future)
  • Medical expenses such as treatments, medication, gaps in doctors fees, etc. (both past and future) 
  • Gratuitous care and assistance received from friends and family
  • Nursing and professional household assistance expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Costs associated with fund management and administration should you no longer have the capacity to manage your own funds
  • Loss of superannuation entitlements 
  • Legal fees depending on the settlement amount or judgment amount

What to do when a family member has died in a pedestrian accident 

Where a car kills a pedestrian in an accident, and it was the driver who was at fault for which there is a CTP insurer, the spouse and/or children of the deceased can make a pedestrian injury compensation claim against the CTP insurer of the car at fault.

Dependants may be able to claim for funeral expenses and loss of dependency, known as a loss of dependency and services claim. Get in touch with a qualified pedestrian injury lawyer to find out more about what to do when a family member has died in a pedestrian accident. 

Factors that will impact a pedestrian accident claim

Pedestrian road sign

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, pedestrian laws and a driver’s duty of care play a part in considerations for issuing a settlement.

The following factors are generally most likely to influence a pedestrian injury settlement:

  • The type and extent of injuries - more severe injuries typically warrant higher compensation amounts. 
  • The amount of lost income
  • Extent of necessary medical treatments - if the pedestrian accident resulted in surgery or specialist treatment, your injuries may carry a higher value, thus resulting in higher compensations.
  • Details of the pedestrian accident - the type of vehicle that struck you, the speed it was travelling at, the state of the driver, are all factors that will affect the outcome of the case. 
  • Accident liability - pedestrians are rarely assigned the majority of the fault for a pedestrian car accident. However, a reduction in damages due to contributory negligence can see a reduction in damages awarded.
  • Criminal charges against the driver - where the driver was going above the speed limit, drink driving, or otherwise breaking the law at the time of the accident, the pedestrian case becomes much stronger. 
  • Long term effects of the pedestrian accident - permanent complications such as disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and so on, often reflect higher compensations in the form of pain and suffering damages. 
  • Death of the pedestrian - loss of life resulting from a pedestrian accident gives rise to a loss of dependency claim being filed instead of a personal injury claim.

Why pedestrians should seek legal advice after an accident 

Scale of justice and seeking expert legal advice

Insurance companies do their best to pay out as little as possible for each pedestrian injury compensation claim they receive. The industry has many tactics that they use to reduce the compensation amount given to victims, such as taking recorded statements from a victim to a pedestrian accident with no legal representation and who has not fully recovered from the accident. Other tactics include social media spying where they will use posts to friends and family containing words indicating that the victim is doing fine after the accident. The most common tactic insurance companies use is to offer a low settlement to an injured pedestrian with the lure of fast payment being traded for fair compensation. 

In addition, without a lawyer, an individual has no way to push a claim through as far as court. With legal representation the majority of claims can be settled out of court as the insurer knows the case could result in a costly court case if they fail to settle.

Get in touch now with our team of pedestrian injury lawyers can help get expert advice on your rights.

How many pedestrians are killed each year in Australia?

In 2018, pedestrians represented approximately 14% of fatalities from all road deaths nationwide, which accounted for 35 pedestrian deaths in Queensland alone. The pedestrian fatality statistics for Queensland in 2017 was also 35. 

Child pedestrian fatality statistics (aged 0 to 16 years) for 2018 was 14, which was the same in 2017. For ages 17 to 25 years, the pedestrian fatality rate was 27 in 2018 which was a 58.8% jump from 2017 at only 17. 

The most common pedestrian injuries include:

  • Head trauma 
  • Internal injuries 
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Bone fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Death 

It is important to note that the extent of pedestrian injuries at impact speeds do vary along with the aftermath of the accident. 

What should you do next?

Call or message for pedestrian injury compensation legal advice

Experiencing a pedestrian car accident can be traumatic. We understand that you are likely experiencing ongoing pains while struggling with the daily challenges of life after the accident.

Smith’s Lawyers are here to help you with the entire legal process. We do our best to keep it as stress free as possible with your concerns being our priority. 

Our highly qualified pedestrian injury lawyers are experts when it comes to accidents involve motor vehicles. Not only will we guide you through the legal process, but we’ll also bring you one step closer to getting back in control of your life. 

Give us a call now at 1800 914 529 or get in touch to find out how we can help you with your pedestrian injury compensation claim.

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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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