Pedestrian Road Traffic Accidents

As a pedestrian, you are at risk of being involved in a road traffic accident.

The number of killed or seriously injured pedestrians in Scotland does not make good reading.

Scottish Pedestrian Casualties due to Road Traffic Accidents

Scottish cities have some of the highest incidents of pedestrian KSIs from road traffic collisions in the UK.

  • Glasgow ranks 9th with 86.3 KSIs per 100,000 population
  • Aberdeen ranks 12th with 80.6 KSIs per 100,000 population
  • Dundee and Edinburgh are well above the UK average of 45.6 at 69.5 and 64.8 respectively.

Pedestrian signalsUnfortunately, because you're not afforded the same protection as car drivers, you have a higher chance of sustaining serious injury. If you've been struck by a moving vehicle, you're likely to be frustrated because the accident was probably caused by the motorist who didn’t see you or may have been distracted in some way whilst driving. 

There are many reasons why accidents occur and, whilst nobody ever intends to cause an accident, they do happen.

Pedestrian Accident Claims

If an accident is caused by the fault and negligence of another, the injured victim is entitled to claim compensation.

Every accident is different and each individual case is unique which is why we believe so much in personal service. We invest in our staff and staff training to ensure our clients get the best possible result.

The team at Pedestrian Law Scotland has considerable experience and expertise in investigating a wide range of pedestrian accidents. Based on our own experiences, both on the road and representing clients, we have identified some of the more common accidents involving pedestrians.

Road Traffic Accidents involving pedestrians

Learn more about common pedestrian accidents and how the team at Pedestrian Law Scotland can help. 


Road Traffic Collision at a Pedestrian Crossing

Pedestrians knocked down at crossings are usually the fault of the drivers of motor vehicles.

Drivers must always exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Failure to do so is considered negligent.

Despite the provision of more safe crossing points, accidents continue to occur.

Drivers are expected to be aware of pedestrian crossing points and, depending on the type of crossing, ensure they can anticipate the need to slow down or stop or in extreme cases carry out an emergency stop.

Drivers are given adequate warning on the approach to a crossing by zigzag lines.

With the exception of Zebra crossings, Toucan, Puffin, Pelican and Traffic Light crossings are push button operated and simple awareness of nearby pedestrians should be enough to ensure drivers approach those crossings safely.

Some of the reasons why motorists knock pedestrians down are:

  • Driving too fast.

  • Failing to heed signed warnings of an approaching crossing.

  • Lack of awareness of nearby pedestrians.

  • Tuning the radio on approach to the crossing.

  • Talking on a mobile phone.

If you would like to review case law of pedestrians who have been knocked over and injured at crossings, just go here.

Struck by a motor vehicle

You may have been a pedestrian who has been hit by a motor vehicle.

Pedestrians are very vulnerable and between 2010 and 2014 there were 2584 killed or seriously injured pedestrians on Scotland's roads.

Drivers owe a high duty of care to pedestrians and if a driver collides with a pedestrian, then the driver may well have some difficulty escaping some degree of blame for the accident, with the result that the pedestrian is entitled to compensation.

You can claim for your injuries, damaged clothing and any other expenses caused by the accident.

Pedestrian Law Scotland's specialist Lawyers are experienced in obtaining compensation for victims of road traffic collisions and can assist you with your claim.

Road Traffic accident involving children

Scottish streets and roads are particularly dangerous for children especially those under the age of 15.

Child pedestrian KSIs (Killed or Seriously Injured) are some of the highest in the UK

  • Aberdeen ranks 3rd with 162.8 per 100,000 child population
  • Dundee ranks 7th with 130.4 per 100,000 child population
  • Glasgow and Edinburgh are also well above the UK average of 64.49 / 100,000 population at 112.0 and 79.2

(all figures taken over a 5 year period 2010 – 2014)

Children KSIs - Scottish Regions

Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at the greatest risk of being hit by a vehicle. Children are smaller and less visible and they can be unpredictable. The law imposes a higher duty of care on drivers when it comes to children. The presence of children is a warning of danger to the driver to exercise greater care. Thus, a driver must exercise a greater degree of care when they know or should know that small children are at play in the area; for example, while driving by schools, parks, and residential areas.

Case Law related to children who have been injured can be reviewed here.

Road Traffic Accidents - Hit and Run

Tragically, pedestrians can fall victim to hit and run accidents where the driver has left the scene.

Always report accidents when you have been injured to the Police immediately - even if you don’t have details of the offending vehicle.

In cases involving hit and run, the injured pedestrian can still seek compensation even although the offending motorist is never traced. The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) Untraced Drivers Agreement allows innocent victims of accidents to seek an award for compensation. Once the application is received, the MIB will investigate the claim and assess compensation. We can assist you in submitting the application and guide you through the entire process, from start to finish.

With hit and run cases, time limits apply. For personal injury cases, the claim must be submitted within three years and a claim for damage to personal property within 9 months. If the claim relates to personal injury and damage to property, the time limits apply to each part of the claim separately.

For hit and run cases, you must have reported the incident to the police within 14 days. The crime reference number will also be required. In the case of a property damage, you must have reported the accident within 5 days to the Police.

What to do if you've had a hit and run incident or the other driver isn't insured.

  • Report the accident to the Police immediately.

  • Take details of the other vehicle (if possible) including the Registration. Even if the other car has driven off, try and make a note of the model or colour of the car, together with a description of the driver.

  • CCTV. Sometimes accidents can be caught on camera. If this is case, look at the accident scene and see whether there are any private or public CCTV cameras of the accident scene.

  • Take photographs of the accident damage or your injuries
  • Witnesses - take telephone and address details of any witnesses and keep them in a safe place - the MIB always ask for this.

  • Accident circumstances. Always make an immediate record of exactly how the accident occurred eg. date, time, location etc. A full description will always be required as part of a claim to the MIB.

If you have been the victim of a hit and run incident, you need expert advice so it is best to contact us directly on 0333 555 7781

Road Traffic Accident - Pedestrians on pavements

If you have been knocked over by a motor vehicle and injured whilst walking on a pavement, then you will most likely be entitled to compensation.

Vehicles can suddenly veer from the main road and mount pavements due to:-

  • Driver error (health or distraction).

  • Vehicle failure (brakes, steering or accelerator).

  • Driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There are a number of interesting cases where pedestrians have been hit by the wing mirror of passing buses or crushed against railings by turning buses. You can find them here and look for the category "pedestrians on pavements."

Pedestrians under the influence of alcohol

Too often pedestrians who are injured on Scotland's roads, especially after 10pm, are found to be under the influence of alcohol or some form of drugs. The run up to Christmas is a peak time for accidents involving drunk walkers. 

Motorists should take extra precaution and care due to the unpredictable nature of a drunken walker. They are far more likely to veer off the pavement onto the road or cross the road without checking fully for passing traffic. 

There have been quite a number of cases involving drunken pedestrians. Often there is an element of contributory negligence but ultimately car drivers are responsible and need to show due care and attention when passing near to a drunken pedestrian.

Pedestrian Law Scotland's specialist Lawyers are experienced in obtaining compensation for victims of road traffic collisions and can assist you with your claim.

For a free claim assessment consultation following a road traffic accident, just call us directly on 0333 555 7781 or use one of our Contact forms and a specialist pedestrian accident lawyer will contact you at a suitable time.

Falls, slips and trips

Suffering a slip, trip or fall may sound like a fairly trivial misfortune, but even the most minor fall can result in pain, injury and/or inconvenience, and a more awkward or difficult landing might lead to broken bones, whiplash or even some degree of paralysis. If someone else made a mistake that led to you falling, then you’ve every right to pursue him or her for compensation.

Contact us for free advice on 0333 555 7781 and we will advise as to whether there has been negligence involved in your fall and exactly who it is you should be seeking to blame.

Falls, slips or trips on pavements

If you trip and fall on a public walkway and feel that it had been left in a dangerous state, thus causing you to fall, then your complaint and claim should be directed at the local council responsible for the upkeep of public spaces. The Local Authority has a duty of care to ensure they check their pavements regularly so that they are safe and free from risk and obstruction. 

There is no strictly legal definition of what constitutes a ‘dangerously uneven’ paving stone, but the study of cases fought and won or lost has led to an industry wide acceptance that a paving stone which protrudes by an inch or more will be deemed ‘dangerous’. In certain circumstances, a smaller defect may provide the basis for a case, but this is a general rule and we would need to discuss this with you to determine whether your accident fits the criteria.

A local authority has a responsibility to keep its roads and pavements safe. In practice, this means that if you’ve slipped on an uneven or dangerous surface, then in order to claim compensation you have to be able to show that the council concerned has had the time and opportunity to repair the defect.

The process of putting together a claim is as follows:

  • Gather Evidence – record the defect which caused you to fall as quickly and accurately as possible.

  • Measure and photograph it and take the details of any witnesses to your accident.

  • Complain – make an official complaint to the relevant authority, thus establishing an official record of your accident.

  • Seek medical advice – not only will this maximise your chances of recovery, but it will also create an official account of the extent of your injuries.

  • Repairs – you can use a freedom of information request to find out how often the road is inspected and maintained and whether the defect has been reported before. This information will form a vital part of your case. If you can show that the authority have not inspected the road or pavement often enough, or have been aware of the defect but failed to correct it, then you have gone a large way towards demonstrating their negligence.

Older people

If you are an older person and fall because somebody else has been negligent, you are entitled to make a claim for fall injury compensation.

Any money awarded will allow you to start putting your life back together and will also make sure that your financial situation is not made worse by a period of enforced recovery. This means that any and all expenses which are a direct result of the fall and injury will be reimbursed, and the compensation will also include a sum intended to represent the extent and severity of your injury.

If you fall in a public place such as a hospital, supermarket or train station then the viability of a compensation claim will depend upon the circumstances. If, for example, a floor has been cleaned but no warning signs put up, and you slip on the wet surface, then the owner of the building is clearly in the wrong – you wouldn’t have slipped had they taken the proper care to warn of the danger and therefore they have been negligent.

The important thing is to gather as much information regarding your fall as soon as possible. This includes accounts from witnesses, any entry in an accident book, photographs (if possible) of whatever it was that caused you to fall, all medical records or any CCTV footage.

At Pedestrian Law Scotland, we will use all of this, along with receipts for any expenses, when putting together the strongest possible case. If you fall and break some bones or otherwise injure yourself, it is bound to impact you in your later years. Claiming the compensation you’re rightly due will lessen the burden somewhat and help you get back to living a full life as soon as possible.


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EH45 9BU


We cover the whole of Scotland and have solicitors based in the Borders, the Central belt and Aberdeen.


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