Motor Vehicle Accidents

What happens if a pedestrian gets hit by a car?

By LHD Lawyers

If you’ve been hit by a car, your life can change forever. Injuries may limit your work and earning capacity, caring for your loved ones and yourself can become much more challenging, and even your ability to be active in day-to-day life can be severely compromised.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident as a pedestrian and the driver was at fault, you could be entitled to compensation that will allow you to rebuild your future.

If a pedestrian got hit by a car, what should they do?

If you are seeking compensation, there are a series of steps you should follow.

  • Inform the police of the accident and provide them with all the relevant information, including any injuries you sustained and an outline of what happened. The police may also need to speak to witnesses to ascertain who was at fault. Ensure you note down the event number they provide you for future reference. If you wish to seek compensation, it will be important you have all these details and a report is made as soon as possible after the accident.
  • Visit a hospital or your GP for treatment of your injuries.
  • Whether in the hospital or at your local doctor, it is important that your medical professional documents all your injuries. Even small injuries need to be recorded in case they deteriorate into more severe conditions or are symptomatic of internal injuries that aren’t immediately apparent.
  • Keep all receipts for medical treatment, pharmaceuticals and scans/X-rays needed during this time. These can be part of your compensation claim and you may be able to recoup these costs if your claim is successful.

What if it was a hit & run?

When a pedestrian accident occurs without the driver stopping, the case becomes a criminal matter. The driver is legally obliged to stop and check on the health of the person they’ve injured.

A driver’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance should cover compensation claims in a pedestrian accident, ensuring medical bills, pain and suffering are appropriately compensated. However, if the driver of the hit & run accident is unknown or doesn’t have CTP insurance, you may still be able to claim compensation with what is known as a “Nominal Defendant claim”. The Nominal Defendant is a statutory office which helps to ensure hit & run victims can still be compensated for any loss of income, injuries and suffering. A Nominal Defendant Claim needs to be made within six months of the date of the accident.

If you experience physical or psychological injuries from a hit & run, a loss of income and medical costs, you may be entitled to hit & run compensation even if the driver of the vehicle is unknown.

What pedestrian accidents are covered?

The types of accidents that may result in compensation include those between a pedestrian and a truck, car, bus, motorbike or taxi. More often than not, when a pedestrian accident occurs, the driver of the vehicle is at fault.

The driver is at fault when they:

  • Are intoxicated behind the wheel
  • Do not exercise reasonable care behind the wheel
  • Were speeding or breaking road rules at the time of the accident

The pedestrian may be considered partly at fault if they were:

  • Not easily visible to the vehicle
  • Crossing the road illegally or recklessly
  • Intoxicated

If you are found to have been partially at fault, you may still be entitled to some compensation. Your injuries may be covered by Compulsory Third Party (CTP) in NSW or the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) cover held by Victorian drivers, both of which compensate pedestrians injured in an accident caused either partially or fully by a vehicle.

Are there time limits on making a pedestrian injury compensation claim?

There are time restrictions, but they vary from state to state. Durations are calculated from the date the injury occurred and have a three-year time limit in most states and territories. It is important to submit a claim as soon as possible to ensure out-of-pocket expenses can be recovered as soon as possible.

How long does a pedestrian compensation claim take to process?

Within days of submitting a pedestrian injury compensation claim, the insurer will pay for medical expenses. For accidents that occurred prior to 1 April 2023, insurance companies have up to 3 months to decide whether the driver of the vehicle is at fault and whether or not the pedestrian’s injuries are considered “minor”. If the pedestrian is found at fault or the injuries are minor, all payments will cease after 26 weeks.

For accidents after the 1st of April 2023, insurance companies have up to 9 months to issue a post 52-week decision to decide whether the driver of the vehicle is at fault and whether or not the pedestrian’s injuries are considered as “Threshold Injuries”. If the pedestrian is found at fault, or the injuries are “threshold injuries”, all payments will cease after 52 weeks.

How much compensation would a pedestrian get if they were seriously injured in a car accident?

This all depends on the specifics of each claim, which makes it extremely difficult to estimate here. When you speak to a compensation expert at LHD, they will be able to assess your situation and give you an estimate of how much compensation you may be entitled to.

As a general principle, a compensation payout is meant to represent a monetary value of a claimant’s injuries and their impact on the claimant’s quality of life. The factors that could affect the size of the payout would include the severity of the injuries, which driver was at fault, the claimant’s age and pre-accident lifestyle, the amount of time the claimant cannot work, lost earnings, lost earning capacity in the future, and the costs of treatment, rehabilitation and ongoing support.

Example of a recent pedestrian injury payout we have won for our client

Client was a pedestrian and sustained injuries when they were struck by a vehicle crossing a road in circumstances where it was getting dark and they were not at a marked pedestrian crossing. TAC initially denied liability for common law purposes. We were able to obtain a resolution at conference with the TAC for $95,000.00 that involved a reduction for contributory negligence.

Explore more recent wins and car accident compensation payout case studies.

Make a claim today

If your way of life, physical or mental health have been impacted by an accident in which you were hit with a vehicle, it is vital that you seek legal assistance. LHD Lawyers help everyday Australians receive the benefits they are entitled to for Pedestrian and motor vehicle accident claims claims. We are so sure of our abilities to win your case that we stand firmly by our No Win No Fee Policy: if we don’t win, you don’t pay. Call 1800 455 725 for a no-obligation consultation about your case.


Author: Paul Singh

Original Publish Date: December 22, 2021

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

LHD Lawyers | Feature Callout

Check if you’re eligible or get free claim advice now

or call us on  1800 455 725