You can claim compensation as a pedestrian. You must prove that another party is at fault, such as a driver or bicycle rider. The time limit for pedestrian accident claims is three years from the date of knowledge, although children under the age of 18 have longer.

Have you been injured as a pedestrian? Or has your child? Our personal injury solicitors can help you. We specialise in personal injury law and can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us now for expert legal advice.

Do drivers have a duty of care to pedestrians UK?

Yes, drivers have a duty of care to pedestrians in the UK. Specifically, a driver must take reasonable care to avoid causing injury to others. There is no set definition of ‘reasonable care’, but it involves things like:

  • Obeying the speed limit
  • Stopping at traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrian crossings
  • Not looking at a mobile phone while driving, or driving while distracted in any other way
  • Driving a vehicle that is mechanically sound
  • Not driving while intoxicated
  • Being aware of potential hazards

Can a pedestrian sue if hit by a car UK?

Yes, a pedestrian can sue if they are hit by a car, although they must prove that:

  • They suffered some kind of injury in the accident; and
  • The driver was at least partly at fault

Typically, drivers who hit pedestrians will be considered at fault (this is discussed in more detail below).

A pedestrian can also sue if they are hit by a motorbike or other motorised vehicle. A pedestrian might even be able to sue if they are hit by a bicycle or scooter.

To sue someone for a personal injury, you need to make a personal injury claim. Our personal injury lawyers can help you.

Is a driver always at fault when hitting a pedestrian UK?

It depends. Typically, when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the driver of that vehicle is considered at fault. However, there are occasions when the pedestrian is said to have contributed towards the accident – a principle known as ‘contributory negligence’.

For example, imagine a group of young teenagers are hanging out by the side of a road. They are joking around and one of them suddenly runs into the road, into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The driver is taken by surprise, and despite braking, collides with him straight on.

In these cases, there is a question mark as to whether or not the driver is responsible. Often, it will be argued that the driver should have been aware of what was going on around them and adapted their driving accordingly. This means that the driver will be partly to blame.

Even so, the teenager should have known better than to run out into the road. Therefore, he ‘contributed’ towards the accident and must take partial responsibility. The teenager is still entitled to compensation, but that compensation will be reduced to reflect his involvement. Contributory negligence is expressed as a percentage. So, if the teenager is considered to be 50% responsible for the accident, his compensation settlement will be reduced by 50%.

Every case is different. But if you have been hit by a driver – or your child has – it is more than likely that the driver will be liable (or at least partially liable, which still means you can make a claim).

How much pedestrian injury compensation could I receive?

In personal injury claims, compensation is awarded for two types of damages:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

General damages relate to your pain, suffering and loss of amenity (meaning your quality of life). Pain and suffering can be both physical and psychological. Legal guidelines are in place that suggest what general damages should be awarded for specific injuries. The more severe the injuries are, the greater the compensation award is.

Special damages relate to your financial losses. This covers a wide range of losses, including money you have already lost (i.e., past losses) and money you are likely to lose in the future (i.e., future losses). This might include your loss of income, the cost of care and medication, and the cost of rehabilitative equipment.

How long does a pedestrian injury claim take?

Every pedestrian accident claim is different, so it is hard to say exactly how long the claims process takes. It is important to wait until the full extent of your injuries is known. Otherwise, you risk settling your claim for less than its true value. Also, there are other factors that can affect the length of time it takes for your claim to conclude, such as:

  • Whether the claim is disputed
  • The amount of time it takes to get medical expert reports
  • The age of the injured person
  • The extent of injuries

To give you a rough idea, straightforward claims could settle within a matter of months, while more complicated claims could take two years or more.

How do I make a pedestrian accident claim?

To make a pedestrian accident claim, you should:

1. Get urgent medical attention – if the emergency services were not called to the scene of the accident, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. You may have underlying injuries. You also need a medical record of the injuries you sustained in the accident.

2. Get a police report – if the emergency services were called to the scene of the accident, a police report will already exist. Otherwise, contact the police on a non-emergency number and say you would like to report an accident.

3. Contact our personal injury solicitors – speak to our personal injury solicitors about making a claim. We can tell you what your options are going forward. If you have grounds for a claim, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Can children make pedestrian accident claims?

Yes, children can claim compensation if they are injured as pedestrians, but someone must make the claim on their behalf. This is usually a parent or legal guardian.

People of all ages can be injured as pedestrians, but children are particularly vulnerable. They are not always as visible to motorists, and may not be as aware of the dangers of the road.

Claims involving children can be especially complex as it is necessary to anticipate how their future will be affected by the accident (if at all).

Children also get longer to make a claim, as it is vital to understand the full extent of their injuries. This might not be obvious until they get a bit older.

How long do I have to make a pedestrian accident claim?

Personal injury claims – including pedestrian accident claims – are subject to a three year time limit. The clock starts ticking on the date you became aware of your injuries (called the date of knowledge). In pedestrian accident claims, this is usually the date of the accident itself.

Children have until the age of 21 to make a personal injury claim.

There is no time limit for children and adults who lack mental capacity.

Can you claim compensation for a hit and run?

A driver who hits a pedestrian is legally obliged to stop and provide their details, whether to the pedestrian or to the emergency services. Sadly, some drivers flee the scene of the accident, which is referred to as a ‘hit and run’.

Pedestrians injured in hit and run accidents can still make a compensation claim. Every effort will be made to trace the driver. If the driver cannot be found, a claim is made through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) instead. This is also the case if the driver is found but was driving without insurance.

Can the family claim for a fatal pedestrian accident?

Tragically, pedestrian accidents can be fatal. In these cases, the bereaved family members can make a claim instead.

Start a pedestrian accident claim today

We understand how traumatic pedestrian accidents can be. We will help you access justice by pursuing a claim against the driver at fault.

If you would like to talk to a solicitor about your personal injury claim, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors for a free initial enquiry.

Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.

Pedestrian accidents – frequently asked questions

Can pedestrians claim compensation?

Pedestrians who are harmed because of another road user’s negligence are allowed to make a claim for compensation.

Is the driver always at fault if a pedestrian is hurt?

Often, the driver is held at least partly responsible, but not always – it depends on the circumstances. If you’re not sure who is to blame, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We will investigate what happened and advise you further.

Can I still claim compensation if I was partly responsible for the accident as a pedestrian?

You can still claim compensation if your actions contributed to the accident in some way, so long as the driver bears some responsibility. Your compensation settlement will be reduced by a certain percentage to reflect your involvement.

Can children claim compensation?

Children are entitled to compensation but they cannot make a claim on their own. A parent or legal guardian must make a claim on their behalf. Children with mental capacity have until their 21st birthday to make a claim.

How much compensation will I get for a pedestrian accident claim?

Your compensation settlement is unique to your case. Our solicitors will seek to recover your general and special damages in full.

Can I get initial legal advice about my pedestrian accident claim?

Yes, contact us at Ashmans Solicitors to speak to one of our personal injury solicitors.

Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.