Can I sue a pedestrian who causes an accident?

Can I sue a pedestrian who causes an accident?

I had literally just picked up my new Kawasaki Z1000SX. We were on our maiden voyage.

The plan had been to run in the engine over the next week or so, get the first service and then perhaps chip off to the continent for a motorcycle touring holiday if I could get the time off work.

All was well as I admired my reflection in the shop windows (I do appreciate I am a lardy 52-year-old but I was ‘in the moment’ and I was ‘cool’ for a change. Just let me imagine it was true!).

Anyway, as I was cruising along a 10-year-old boy suddenly ran out into the road causing me to brake and swerve. Thankfully I missed the little toe rag but I binned the motorbike.

My insurer has picked up the repair bill but I have a £500 excess. Can I claim for this and the postponement of my motorcycle trip from the boy’s parents?


I have no doubt you looked cooler than this porky lad who rides a ZZR1400. Admittedly, that is not a high benchmark, but that may make you feel better or at least chuckle.

As for suing, because the ‘toe rag’ lad caused the motorbike accident you would have to claim against him and not his parents. On the face of it you have a claim for your insurance excess.

The postponement of a possible motorcycle trip is less likely to be successful from the information you have provided as nothing was definite. The next question is whether you should sue and the phrase ‘man of straw’ springs to mind.

What this means is that even if you are successful, will you be able to get the money owed off a 10-year-old lad? I suspect you will likely struggle. All in all, I cannot tell you not to bring a claim against the boy. However, I need to warn that you may be throwing good money after bad. If it were me, I would chalk it up to a bad day and put any funds towards the motorcycle trip to the continent.

Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast

More Bikes June 2018

Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.

Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Last modified: July 30, 2018 at 8:53 am

Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.


  1. Mark LauderJuly 6, 2018

    Notwithstanding what you have said about the unlikelyhood of actually getting paid, could the claim be for the excess AND the extra premiums in the future?

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