Every year thousands of pedestrians are hit by a car.
According to U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2013 a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes in an auto accident .
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident you should know the most important details that will help you maximize your settlement amount.
In the following, we’ll cover….
What are the Rights and Duties of Pedestrians?
When is the Driver at Fault?
When is the Pedestrian at Fault?
Can Both Driver and Pedestrian Be At Fault?
How Do You Receive a Settlement if You Were Hit By a Car ?
What are Key Factors for Pedestrian Injury Settlements
Who Pays for Pedestrian Car Injuries?
Let’s get started...
Just like drivers, every pedestrian has certain rights and duties on the road:
Pedestrians are generally entitled to right of way:
If a driver violates their “reasonable duty of care” (the obligation to drive in a manner that reasonably accounts for others safety) they are going to be at fault almost 100% of the time.
Examples of unsafe driver behavior includes:
Lawmakers have been tightening laws in which drivers must yield or stop for pedestrians as a result of the uptick of recent deaths .
A driver may have even been driving in a relatively safe manner, but there is a bias to assign fault to a driver in these scenarios. Why? Because of the unequal nature of these accidents.
A pedestrian stands a good chance of being seriously injured or killed when colliding with a car. So this is why drivers owe pedestrians a greater duty of care.
Many people assume that drivers are always at fault in pedestrian car accidents. While this is often true, it’s not a hard rule.
If a pedestrian acts in an unpredictable or unsafe manner (where a driver exercising normal caution could not avoid hitting them) the fault will likely be found with the pedestrian.
Examples of unsafe pedestrian behavior includes:
In many of these cases the fault is going to lie with the pedestrian.
In certain situations the actions of both the pedestrian and driver contribute to the accident. In these cases, a court will be required to assign a percentage of blame to each party.
For example, the driver could be found to be 70% at fault for the accident while the pedestrian hit by the car 30% at fault.
Depending on which state you are in this could mean a percentage split in paying for the damages or it could mean whichever party was above 50% responsible being required to cover full damages. This difference is known as “contributory negligence” or “comparative negligence”.
If you are hit by a car, the process for getting a settlement is the same as if the collision was between two vehicles. At the car accident scene you should:
You should also immediately see a doctor to document your injuries.
To get a high injury settlement, you need to show that the driver had some elements of negligence. To show negligence you need to gather evidence.
You should gather the following evidence::
Providing this information will allow the insurance company or court to determine how much your claim is worth.
One of the first things people consider when approaching a pedestrian accident injury claim is “how much is my claim worth?”
The exact figure varies for each accident but there are some critical factors that go into determining settlement amounts. This includes:
How you are compensated for you are hit by a car depends on the circumstances of your accident, the degrees of fault, and what insurance coverage or assets the other party has.
Almost all states require drivers to have some form of auto insurance, and many states require that drivers carry uninsured motorists coverage (UIM). The result of UIM being in play is that even if the motorist who caused the accident has little or no coverage your insurance company will step in and cover any differences.
If you live in a “no-fault” state your insurance company will be required to pay your damages regardless of who caused the accident (up to a certain limit).
If a pedestrian has personal health insurance, this will probably be the first party to step up and pay medical bills. It’s then up to the insurance company to seek reimbursement from the responsible person or insurance carrier.
If a pedestrian accident occurs while you are working you may be able to receive settlement through a workers compensation claim.
Pedestrian car accidents can be extremely serious and life-changing for both driver and the person hit by the car. Resulting claims can have very high stakes and be extremely stressful. Just remember to keep the basics in mind:
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