Car hit pedestrian in NSW: What should you do?

JB Solicitors


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What to do in a 'car hit pedestrian' scene and pedestrian accident claims in NSW.
Australia Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration
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A car hit a pedestrian. What should you do now? Should you rush to the injured people? Contact the police? Start pointing fingers? In the chaotic aftermath of a car hitting a pedestrian, staying calm and taking the right steps is crucial. Whether you're the driver involved or a horrified witness, it's important to know how to respond can make a significant difference.

Read on to know what to do in a 'car hit pedestrian' scene and pedestrian accident claims.

Car Hit Pedestrian: Initial Steps To Take

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident or pedestrian accident, especially one involving a pedestrian, can be overwhelming. This guide focuses on what to do specifically if you're in a crash with a pedestrian on NSW roads. It covers the essential steps:

1. Stop and Assist. This is the law and the right thing to do. Leaving the scene of an accident, especially one with injuries, is a serious offence. Pull over safely, turn off your engine, and activate your hazard lights. Check on the pedestrian and offer any help you can. If you're trained in first aid, you can provide initial assistance while waiting for emergency services.

2. Secure the Scene. Safety first! Turn off your engine to prevent a fire hazard. Activate your hazard lights to warn approaching drivers. Assess the scene for any immediate dangers caused by the crash. If there's debris scattered on the road that could cause another motor vehicle accidents or pedestrian accidents, carefully move it to a safe location (only if it's safe to do so).

3. Call Emergency Services. If the pedestrian is injured, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance immediately. Even if there are minor injuries, it's always best to err on the side of caution and let medical professionals assess the situation.

Other Things to Do

4. Gather Information. Once the 'car hit pedestrian' scene is secure and help is on the way, exchange information with the pedestrian (or someone assisting them) safely and calmly. This includes:

  • Your name and address
  • Your vehicle registration number
  • The date and time of the accident
  • If possible, take photos of the scene, damage to your vehicle and the pedestrian's injuries (with their permission)
  • Note down the names and contact details of any witnesses

This information can help the pedestrian who is seeking compensation for the accident.

5. Contact Police. There are situations where contacting the police is mandatory in a 'car hit pedestrian' scene:

  • Someone is injured in the accident
  • The crash involves dangerous goods like chemicals
  • You suspect the other driver is intoxicated
  • Your vehicle needs towing
  • Property damage has occurred (yours or the pedestrian's)
  • You're unable to exchange details with the pedestrian

What About a Hit and Run Accident?

Sometimes, perpetrators of car accidents may choose to flee a 'car hit pedestrian' scene. Maybe the driver was speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving without a license or insurance. Leaving the scene might seem like a way to avoid getting arrested or facing penalties. They may also be under stress or shock at the accident and make poor decisions during the accident.

It's important to remember that leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime. Failing to stop after an accident with pedestrian injuries can lead to serious penalties. Fines can reach $5,500, and you could face imprisonment for up to 2 years. Your license can also be disqualified for a minimum of 1 year, potentially even indefinitely.

How Can the CTP Scheme Help You?

The NSW Compulsory Third Party Scheme or the NSW CTP scheme helps anyone injured (physical or even psychological) in a car accident on NSW roads, regardless of fault. CTP insurance, also called Green Slip insurance in NSW, is there to help. It's mandatory in all Australian states and territories, and you need it to register your car. CTP insurance covers the following people:

  • Drivers and passengers
  • Motorcycle riders and passengers
  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists

However, there are exceptions. You might not be eligible if you were charged with a serious driving offence related to the 'car hit pedestrian' scene. You might also not be eligible if you were the at-fault driver of an uninsured vehicle and knew it wasn't insured. The CTP scheme can help cover:

  • Medical and treatment expenses: This includes reasonable and necessary costs related to your recovery.
  • Lost wages: If you can't work due to your injuries, you can claim a percentage of your pre-accident earnings (even if you're self-employed).
  • Domestic and personal care: If you need help with daily tasks while recovering, the scheme can help cover those costs.

Ambulances and most public hospital treatment are covered by a separate "Fund levy," so you don't need to file a CTP claim for those specifically. If you're not at fault and have severe injuries ("threshold injuries"), you may be eligible for benefits beyond 52 weeks. The CTP scheme doesn't cover damage to vehicles or property.

The Role of Hospital Costs

Good news! Regardless of fault or whether you file a CTP claim or pedestrian accident compensation claims, the "Fund levy" covers most ambulance and public hospital costs/medical expenses. This includes:

  • Accommodation in the hospital
  • X-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Nursing care
  • What's Not Covered:

The Fund levy or Medicare might not cover some public hospital doctor bills. This means you might receive a separate bill from the doctor. With a CTP claim/pedestrian accident claim: If you file a CTP claim (and your treatment is considered reasonable and necessary), your CTP insurer will likely cover these doctor bills. What if you don't have a CTP claim? Here's what you can do:

  • Check with your private health insurance (if you have it) to see if they cover the doctor's bill.
  • If you don't have private health insurance or your plan doesn't cover it, you'll be responsible for the bill.

Helpful tips:

  1. Making a Claim? If you've already filed a CTP claim, inform the doctor and hospital of your insurer and claim number so they can bill them directly.
  2. Already Received a Bill? Even if you haven't filed a CTP claim yet, you can still do so within 3 months of the accident. If your treatment qualifies, the insurer might cover the doctor's bill.

What if the Pedestrian Was at Fault?

There are instances where the pedestrian may have caused or contributed to the accident. This is referred to as 'contributory negligence'. This may occur when crossing the road illegally, using their phone and stepping onto the road unexpectedly, or when intoxicated and carelessly crossing the road.

Need to File a CTP Claim with Us?

A pedestrian car accident can be very stressful due to potential injuries, medical bills, lost income, and complex legal issues. JB Solicitors can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, deal with insurance companies, negotiate settlements, and represent you in court if needed. Are you a pedestrian hit by a car? Need to claim compensation or help with your pedestrian accident compensation claim?

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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