Pedestrian Accident Compensation Claims

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If you've been unfortunate enough to suffer an injury after being hit by a car, bus, truck or other motor vehicle while you were a pedestrian in Queensland, you may be entitled to compensation.

Pedestrians are naturally vulnerable road users. Understandably, you will want to know your rights about pedestrian injury compensation. This page walks you through the typical causes of pedestrian injuries, the claims process, and the time limits specific to Queensland.

Smith's Lawyers team of pedestrian accident lawyers offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in hospital, in-office or via phone. All claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. We operate Queensland-wide.

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Understanding Your Rights After a Pedestrian Injury in Queensland

Understanding the rights to compensation if you've suffered a pedestrian injury in Queensland due to someone else's negligence is essential. 

Here are the various compensation schemes available to you: 

  • Car and Road Accidents: The Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme is available if you've been injured in a road accident. This provides compensation for a range of losses, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, and sometimes, for pain and suffering.
  • Work Accidents: In cases of a work-related incident, you have a right to claim compensation through WorkCover Queensland or your employer's insurance. This covers you regardless of who was at fault. Furthermore, you also have the option of common law claims if your employer was negligent, thus leading or contributing to your accident and severity of injuries. These are claims run by a lawyer to secure tax-free lump sum compensation.
  • Public Place Accidents: If you've been injured in a public place, you may have a right to compensation under public liability claims. This can cover your medical expenses, loss of income, and other potential losses.

Remember, seeking the right advice is crucial to ensure you're appropriately compensated.

What is a Pedestrian Injury?

A pedestrian injury refers to any form of harm or injury suffered by an individual as a result of an accident involving road users while they are walking, running, jogging, hiking, or generally, moving about on foot. This can occur anywhere pedestrians share roadways with vehicles and bicycles such as suburbs, highways, city streets or rural areas. 

These injuries range widely in severity but often result in significant physical, emotional and financial burdens on the injured party. They can include minor incidents like sprains and fractures to more serious injuries such as head trauma or spinal cord damage that may substantially impact the victim's quality of life. 

Understanding this concept could be the first step towards seeking fair compensation should you ever find yourself in such a situation.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Injuries in Queensland

Pedestrians accounted for nearly 10% of all Queensland road fatalities in 2022. Understanding the common causes of pedestrian injuries can be of immense help while making your pedestrian accident compensation claim. 

Some of the prevalent reasons include: 

  • Distraction: Both drivers and pedestrians can be guilty of not paying attention to their surroundings. Whether it's a mobile phone, music, or just daydreaming, distraction can result in severe accidents.
  • Failure to stop or yield: The most common cause of pedestrian injuries in Queensland is being hit by a motor vehicle. Drivers who don't stop or yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk can cause significant injuries.
  • Speeding: Higher speed limits can increase the likelihood and severity of pedestrian accidents. A vehicle travelling at a high speed may not be able to stop or slow down on time.
  • Impaired driving: Alcohol impairment is a contributing factor in approximately 20% of pedestrian accidents in Queensland. Alcohol or drugs can impair a driver's ability to operate their vehicle safely, leading to pedestrian accidents.
  • Poor visibility: Conditions such as nighttime or bad weather can reduce visibility, making it harder for drivers to spot pedestrians.
  • Ignoring traffic signals: Neglecting traffic signs and signals is another common cause of pedestrian accidents. This might involve drivers running a red light or pedestrians crossing the road at an inappropriate time.
Common Types of Pedestrian Injuries

As unfortunate as it is, pedestrian accidents in Queensland can lead to numerous types of injuries, including: 

  • Head and Brain Injuries: These are often the result of a pedestrian's head hitting a vehicle or the road during an accident. They can lead to long-term cognitive issues and require extensive medical treatment.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These can occur from the impact force of a vehicle, causing long-term, and sometimes permanent, damage affecting movement and sensation.
  • Broken Bones and Fractures: These can occur in any part of the body, typically resulting from the sudden impact of an accident. They're especially common in legs, arms, ribs, and hips.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: This refers to damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries are common in falls and can result in long-term pain and mobility issues.
  • Psychological Injuries: After an accident, victims may not only suffer from physical injuries, but also psychological ones, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or anxiety, impacting their quality of life.

If you're suffering from any of these injuries due to a pedestrian accident, it's essential to take steps to preserve your rights. At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free initial advice and risk-free claims with no upfront costs to victims of pedestrian injuries in Queensland. Request a free claims check to understand your compensation rights.

Workers Most At-Risk of Pedestrian Injuries

Certain professions and industries pose a greater risk due to the nature of their work environments:

  • Construction Industry: Workers in this industry often navigate environments with heavy equipment, vehicles, and potential hazards on the ground, increasing their risk of pedestrian injuries.
  • Warehouse Workers: The constant movement of heavy goods vehicles and pallet trucks makes warehouses a hotspot for pedestrian injuries.
  • Delivery Drivers: Regularly exposed to busy roadways and unpredictable traffic conditions, delivery drivers face a high risk of pedestrian accidents.
  • Retail Workers: Employees in commercial districts or large department stores often deal with congested areas, increasing their potential for pedestrian-related injuries.
  • Emergency Services Personnel: Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics operate in high-stress, unpredictable environments, which can lead to pedestrian accidents.
  • Outdoor Workers: Landscapers, road crew workers, and similarly outdoor-based careers bear a higher risk of being injured as pedestrians due to their constant exposure to vehicular traffic.

Understanding the risks associated with your profession can be vital in taking necessary precautions to avoid becoming a pedestrian injury victim and to know your rights should an injury occur.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

If you've been unfortunate enough to experience a pedestrian injury in Queensland, it's important to understand the pedestrian accident claims process for compensation. 

It is paramount to first seek treatment from a medical professional. Once you have been diagnosed and treated, you may begin the claims process. 

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

If you've suffered an injury as a pedestrian due to being hit by a car or motor vehicle, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Here are the usual steps in a pedestrian injury claim. 

1. Seek free initial legal advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for pedestrian injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage a pedestrian accident lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates on. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather evidence to build your case

Once your compensation matter is opened you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File your claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives) such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate with the at-fault party's insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged to lead the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is not successful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you cannot not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

When calculating the statutory compensation for pedestrian injuries in Queensland, several important factors are taken into account.

These include:

  • Severity and Nature of the Injury: More serious injuries tend to receive higher compensation, taking into account the extent of suffering, disability, and, in some instances, the cost of medical or rehabilitation treatment required.
  • Pain and Suffering: The impact the injury has had on your quality of life is a significant factor. This includes physical discomfort, emotional distress, and negative effects on social and recreational activities.
  • Past and Future Loss of Earnings: Compensation is also calculated based on the impact of the injury on your ability to work. This covers not only lost wages to date but also potential future earnings if you cannot return to work or have to switch to a lower-paying job.
  • Age: Younger recipients generally get higher compensation because they have more years of lost earning potential.

It's essential to note that the same injury doesn't necessarily equate to the same payout amount. For example, consider two individuals who’ve both fractured an ankle. While their injuries are identical, their pedestrian accident compensation claims might not be the same. 

Let's say one person is a 30-year-old professional footballer and the other a 65-year-old retired teacher. The footballer’s injury has a higher impact on their income, career, and lifestyle and may require extensive physiotherapy treatments. Therefore, their payout could be significantly higher than the retired teacher who might need less intensive care and has no loss of earnings. 

This difference emphasises why it is crucial to get professional advice from personal injury compensation lawyers to ensure you are being compensated fairly.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Pedestrian Injury Claim?

To substantiate your claim, you need to amass a series of documents with the help of your legal team. 

These pieces of evidence include:

  • Medical Reports: These chronicle the extent of your injuries and the immediate and long term treatments you have or will be undergoing. They should be detailed and presented by certified medical practitioners.
  • Details of Expense: Keep receipts for all out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury. This includes medical bills, therapy costs, medications, and transportation to and from your medical appointments.
  • Witness Testimonies: Statements from people who witnessed the accident can substantiate your claim, especially if they can vouch for the fact that the accident wasn’t due to your error.
  • Proof of Lost Earnings: This could be payslips or an employer’s statement showing missed work due to your injuries thus leading to financial repercussions.

Proof of Accident: This can be in many forms, such as CCTV footage, dashcam video, or photographic evidence of the accident scene, including road conditions, traffic signals and vehicles involved.

Time Limits for Pedestrian Injuries

If the accident occurred in Queensland, the general rule is you have three years from the date of your pedestrian accident to bring a claim for compensation. This applies whether your injuries occurred on the road, in the workplace, or in a public location due to someone else's negligence. Let’s delve into the specifics. 

For motor vehicle accident injuries in Queensland:

  • You have 9 months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the 9 months but must be within 3 years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motorist at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run accident, something which is sadly more common in pedestrian accident claims), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the 3-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your pedestrian accident claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment. 
  • You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after an injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can Pedestrians Be at Fault for an Accident with a Car or Vehicle in Queensland?

While drivers hold a significant duty of care towards pedestrians, pedestrians also have responsibilities on the road. Unfortunately, even if you're injured as a pedestrian, your actions might contribute to the accident, impacting your potential compensation.

Circumstances where a pedestrian might be partly fault:

  • Jaywalking: Crossing outside designated zones like crosswalks or traffic lights could be seen as contributory negligence. This has been an issue in locations such as Brisbane CBD with high pedestrian numbers crossing roads used by buses, rideshare drivers and delivery trucks.
  • Disobeying Traffic Signals: Ignoring red lights, walk signals, or pedestrian crossings can contribute to your fault.
  • Intoxication: Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair judgement and lead to risky behaviour, potentially contributing to the accident.
  • Sudden or Erratic Movements: Darting into traffic or making unpredictable moments can surprise drivers and make it difficult to avoid a collision.

Contributory Negligence:

Queensland operates under a "contributory negligence" system. This means if your actions are found to have contributed to the accident, even partially, your compensation under the CTP scheme can be reduced proportionally to your degree of fault. This applies to both common law claims with a lawyer and CTP claims.

Seek advice: Smith’s team of personal injury lawyers can assess your situation. There is a heavy duty of care on motorists to protect vulnerable road users, your claim may not be impacted.

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What evidence do I need to support my pedestrian injury compensation claim in Queensland?

You'll need comprehensive evidence to support a pedestrian injury compensation claim in Queensland. Key evidence includes medical reports, witness statements, proof of loss of income, testimonials, proof of accident, and other evidence outlined by your legal team.

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Do I need a lawyer to make a pedestrian injury compensation claim in Queensland?

While not legally required, having a personal injury lawyer specialised in pedestrian injury compensation claims can greatly benefit your case in Queensland. Lawyers are trained to negotiate settlements and, if necessary, represent you in court. Moreover, they understand the legal procedures, the types of evidence needed, and how to navigate the complex compensation claims process, thus increasing your chances of receiving the maximum possible compensation. 

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs, and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to Spinal Injury Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
February 15, 2024

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 help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.