Most people understand how important it is to exercise caution when they are out and about. People need to be particularly careful when crossing the road and should always try and find a zebra crossing if possible so they will always have the right of way. However, it's not a good idea to assume that every motorist will automatically stop as soon as you set foot onto those black and white stripes, and you may have found this out to your cost recently, with injuries being the unfortunate result. What can you do in this situation, and can you claim for damages as a pedestrian?
Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
In Australia, motorists are required to slow down and stop whenever a pedestrian sets foot onto a zebra crossing. The vast majority of drivers will do so, but sometimes, a motorist may get distracted or be driving too fast. In this case, a collision may be inevitable, and the unfortunate pedestrian will typically come off worse.
Of course, this can be a very traumatic experience, and you may be rightly concerned about your injuries. In an ideal world, however, you should gather (or get another person to gather) some proof of what happened, including taking photographs of the scene and getting details from any witness.
Typically, you will be able to make a claim against the driver of the vehicle, who will pass this over to their insurance carrier. You will be able to get compensation through those insurance channels, and this will help you with various costs and losses.
For example, you can claim for pain and suffering, which could include psychological injury and a considerable impact on your life. You need to claim for the direct expenses as well, such as the cost of medical treatment and any ongoing care. Also, you may have to bring somebody in to help you recover at home and will need to claim for the cost of their time, and you will inevitably miss work while you recover, so you should itemise your loss of earnings.
Expect a Defence
It's not unusual for an insurance company to push back to a certain extent and to question the validity of your claim. They may say that you were negligent in some way or stepped onto the zebra crossing at the last moment. Either way, you need to be prepared to push back as well. To defend yourself, make sure that you get an attorney on your side. With this kind of help, you'll be able to get what is rightfully yours.