Pedestrian receives $550,000 after he was struck by a motor vehicle as he walked on the side of the road

Published 26 Aug 2014

We acted for Mr M who was intoxicated and was walking home on a warm summer’s night. He had no shirt on and was wearing black jeans and joggers. He was walking on the side of the road when another vehicle failed to see him despite the fact that he was staggering over the road due to being intoxicated, collided into him, causing him to be flung over the motor vehicle and sustained serious head injuries.

Mr M’s family approached our firm unsure as to whether Mr M has a claim. A Claim Form was served against the CTP Insurer of the vehicle that caused the collision. The CTP Insurer denied Liability as would be expected. Liability was denied on the basis that Mr M was intoxicated and that he walked out into the path of the oncoming vehicle. We obtained an Expert Traffic Engineer Report to show that the driver of the vehicle ought to have seen Mr M from a distance and ought to have been able to avoid the collision.

The matter proceeded to Hearing in front of Judge Delaney at the District Court in Parramatta and His Honour found that the driver of the vehicle had time to avoid the collision and therefore His Honour found that the driver of the vehicle was 50% to blame and Mr M was 50% to blame. Accordingly, Mr M’s damages had to be reduced by 50%. This was still a huge victory noting that Liability was always denied by the insurer and was highly contested.

Once His Honour had found that there was 50% Contributory Negligence the parties were able to reach an agreement in relation to the damages in the matter and the matter resolved for $550,000.00.

If you have been struck as a pedestrian even if you were intoxicated or even if you had run out in front of other vehicles you may still have a claim for compensation noting that the law in New South Wales generally states that a driver is entitled to drive straight unless his/her attention is drawn to something else on the road, in which case they need to take appropriate steps to either slow down or swerve to avoid a collision. In those circumstances, there may still be claim for damages.

If you are unsure and would like advice on whether or not you are entitled to claim please contact our offices for a free no obligation consultation with one of our specialised lawyers on the toll free number 1800 004 878.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners we are large enough to be able to fight the insurers on your behalf but small enough to care and provide you with intermit service to ensure that maximum compensation is obtained.