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Accident involving pedestrian

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sallybb | 13:43 Sat 14th Feb 2009 | Law
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My Niece and her Husband are in a bit of a state at the moment. Back in November 2008, he was involved in a collision with a pedestrian. It was within a 30 mph in a town. He approach a bend, and by the kerbside was a large group of people(to his left) outside a local club, he slowed his car and took the necessary precautions to avoid. What he didn't see, due to fact he was occupied in avoiding an incident to his left, was a pedestrian crossing to his right. The car hit and the result was two broken legs. The following facts have been proved, the driver was well under the speed limit, that area is badly lit, there were several parked cars and finally the chap he hit, was using a mobile and carrying an open can of beer. My nieces husband has lost a lot of weight, having flash backs and is expecting to lose his licence and hefty fine. He is not taking this lightly and is thinking of just pleading guilty, even though he believes he could do nothing to avoid this collision. His court case comes up in March. He has been told he will be charged with driving without due attention. Does any one have any idea what the outcome may be? Can the pedestrian he hit be prosecuted for walking out on the road , using a mobile , whilst under the influence of alcohol. I'm not sure what is worse, two broken legs of the pedestrian or the psychological effect this is having on my Nieces family.


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The penalty is 3 to 9 points on his licence, and a fine.

Assuming he has a clean licence and past his test more than two years ago, he will not get a ban.

The facts will be taken in to consideration.

Jaywalking is an offence but pedestrians are very rarely charged with it.
it's be more serious if he was on a pedestrian crossing; presumably he wasn't? Having an open can of beer doesn't necessarily mean you're under the influence. But if it was night and badly lit , you might like to consider whether he was wearing dark clothing too.
Is 'jaywalking' an offence in the UK? I'm aware that it is in the States and some other countries but not in the UK.

I know Ken Livingstone was keen to make it an offence some time ago in London but nothing came of it.

The pedestrian could be charged if he was proved to be drunk but, as has already been said, just because he was drinking doesnt necessarily mean he was drunk.

I know it shakes you up badly to hit a pedestrian in your car but believe me its worse being hit by a vehicle.
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thank you all for your input, spoke to my sister this morning, her daughter informs her that, the guy her husband hit had been drinking and that they were unable to operate on him until his alcohol level had gone down. Not sure if this will have any relevence, on whether or not his points and fine will affected by this.
We shall all have to wait and see.

Thank you .
Does the driver think he is guilty?

Has he got legal represxentation? What does his solicitor say?

I would not plead guilty to something I did not think I was guilt of doing.
A pedestrian stepped out in front of a car that was driving perfectly legally. Get legal advice and take this as far as you have to to get justice.
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Hi Rollo,
He feels very guilty that he has injured another person, but simply didn't see him . The first he knew of hitting him was when he saw the face against the windscreen. He was very aware of crowd of youths to the left of his car and was being very careful not to hit any of them. He is thinking of pleading guilty, purely because he feels the judge will be a little more lenient on him. He is on low income and claiming family credit and just can't afford to pay a large fine. I believe he has approached a solicitor, but as I am only getting this info third hand, not 100per cent sure if he has yet.
Feeling guilty about hitting somebody with your car is understandable, but that is not the same as feeling that you are guilty of having committed a legal offence.

Yes, we all may feel sorry or regret an accident which hurts somebody but that doesn't mean we were guilty of careless driving.The prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that we fell below the standard to be expected of a normal, averagely competent driver in the circumstances , below the standards that it's reasonable to expect.
The fact that there's to be a prosecution doesn't alter that. Whoever approves the proceedings isn't possessed of all the facts that give a complete picture.All they have to go on, really, is that a pedestrian crossing a road was hit.That's enough to go on to make it prima facie triable so they start the process.After that it's for the magistrates, who will hear the whole story, from both sides, and see the witnesses cross-examined , everything.That, very frequently, presents quite a different picture of the driving and they acquit, find the case not proved.
Can you give more detail on what was happening on his left?

Only, it seems to me that if he was being so careful to avoid hitting any of the youths, he might have slowed down sufficiently to not break the legs of anyone he did hit.

Sorry, that's clumsily put but it's the best I can do tonight.
anyone who is taken to court has to complete a "statement of means" form. this is taken into consideration for sentencing, so if he can not afford a hefty fine, he may get a higher community punishment order/other punishment.

are there any witnesses?
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Hi jkkerr and sara3,
I'm only getting my info via my sister and not via my niece and her husband. So don't know every detail. In fact although my sister realizes I'm trying to find out via the answerbank anything that my ease his worries ,even if only a little, my niece doesn't.

Jkkerr, The group of youths at the kerbside were outside a nightclub, the pedestrian who he hit was on his way to join them, .The police investigations have confirmed he was well under the speed limit, what speed ,I have know idea. He was driving a Mazda sports car (LH drive) which may have some relevance to not seeing the pedestrian and maybe the height of the car may have contributed to his injuries.? I can only assume that he may have given the group of youths a wider berth, which is what most of us would do, and that his concentration would have been more in their direction.
Sara 3 , My sister has mentioned there were witnesses, but again an assumption, they would be the group at the kerb, who are friends of the pedestrian. One can only hope that they would be honest enough and give a true account.
Sorry for being very vague, but I will be passing any info onto my sister, who will speak to her daughter.
Certainly community service and a lesser fine will be possible good news.

Many thanks again to all who are contributing.

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