Everything You Need to Know about Pedestrian Accident Settlements
The CDC has recognized Pedestrian Accidents as an important issue related to health and well-being, as many pedestrians are injured or killed each year. You can learn about pedestrian safety from the CDC directly.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accidents are a type of personal injury caused by the negligence or carelessness of another person who strikes a pedestrian while driving a motor vehicle. These accidents can lead to serious physical and emotional injuries, as well as substantial financial losses due to medical bills, lost wages, and other costs. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages through a personal injury settlement or bodily injury claim. In this article, we will discuss what constitutes a pedestrian accident and how to pursue compensation for your losses.
The most common type of pedestrian accident we see occurs when someone is crossing the street in a crosswalk, and they are struck by a vehicle. Other times, injuries to pedestrians can occur when a motorist strikes a pedestrian in a car accident or when avoiding an auto accident, when a drunk driver fails to notice a pedestrian on the street when parking a car with a pedestrian walking in the parking lot or garage, or any number of different situations where a pedestrian injury becomes more likely.
Pedestrian accident victims are some of the most vulnerable groups in an accident. Because pedestrians are generally unprotected from an at-fault driver, the accident injuries suffered can be quite severe and can include broken bones, disfigurement, concussions and head trauma, paralysis, other severe injuries, and even death.
Factors That Affect the Length of a Pedestrian Accident Settlement
Settlements for pedestrian accidents can vary greatly in length depending on a variety of factors. These include the severity of the injury, the amount or value of damages sought (e.g., pain and suffering damages, medical treatment costs, and more), and how long it takes for a personal injury claim to be filed. It is important to understand these factors in order to determine how long a pedestrian accident settlement may take.
A pedestrian accident settlement is typically based on the extent of bodily injury sustained by the injured party. This means that if an individual has suffered serious injuries, such as broken bones or head trauma, they are likely to receive more compensation than someone who has suffered minor injuries. Additionally, if there are multiple parties involved in an accident, the amount of damages sought may also affect settlement length.
Other factors that can influence how long it takes for a pedestrian accident settlement to be reached include filing deadlines and whether or not a settlement amount can be agreed on out-of-court between a driver and their insurance company and the injured pedestrian. It is important to keep these things in mind when considering how long a personal injury claim may take.
Common Questions Asked When Settling a Pedestrian Accident Claim
When trying to settle a pedestrian claim, lots of questions can come up. Some of the most important ones are included below.
How long does it take to settle a pedestrian accident claim?
The length of time it takes to settle a pedestrian accident claim can vary significantly. If injuries are minor and there are no future medical expenses expected, claims can be resolved in a matter of weeks. For injuries involving lengthy medical treatment, the wrongful death of a loved one, multiple motor vehicles, or other confounding factors, claims can take months or years for a payout to occur.
How much can be recovered in a pedestrian accident case?
Because every case is different, there is no average settlement amount that will apply to every accident. Generally, a claim can include medical bills and payments for medical care, pain, and suffering damages, lost wages, and damage to any property of the pedestrian. If accidents are severe or the injuries are persistent, there may be claims for diminished quality of life.
Do I need a personal injury lawyer to handle my pedestrian accident claim?
For a pedestrian hit by a car, having a pedestrian accident lawyer or a personal injury law firm representing you will help you maximize your settlement value and avoid making mistakes that can impact an insurance claim or settlement. For example, if you are a pedestrian and struck by a vehicle, the insurance adjuster for the individual driving the victim may request that you make a recorded statement, or they may offer you a small amount which is far less than you would receive in a fair settlement. A lawyer will understand your legal rights and help you navigate the claims process, and give you sound legal advice so you can make informed decisions for your personal injury case.
Further, in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, the law recognizes a concept called “contributory negligence.” This means if you are even 1% responsible for contributing to the injury, you are completely barred from recovery. It is important to note that in the District of Columbia, there are exceptions to “contributory negligence” for pedestrians. Insurance companies ALWAYS try to find a way to place 1% fault on the victim to avoid having to pay the claim, especially if the pedestrian is not in a crosswalk at the time of the crash.
Are my medical expenses covered by my own insurance coverage or by the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage?
Medical expenses may ultimately be covered by the driver’s insurance company and their policy, but you may want to use your own health insurance to cover bills when they are incurred so you can avoid medical bills going unpaid. It is important you speak with an attorney who can discuss the best strategy for paying your medical bills in a manner that maximizes your recovery while your pedestrian accident claim is ongoing.
Do I need a police report?
You should always speak with the police at the scene of the accident (unless you require immediate medical attention). This allows the police to document the scene, create a description of what happened, and collect information of all involved parties as well as any witnesses that are present. You should request a copy of the police report from the officer generating the report. If you did not request a copy, your attorney can do that for you.
If a pedestrian wasn’t in a crosswalk or they were jaywalking, did they have the right of way?
Many individuals are under the impression that if they step outside of a crosswalk or are struck while crossing the street where there isn’t a crosswalk, they may be at fault and unable to recover damages for their injuries. This is not always the case! In fact, in many cases, pedestrians have the right of way, or drivers have a duty to yield to pedestrians. While you should always exercise care in crossing the street, make sure you speak with a pedestrian accident attorney if you are injured as a pedestrian. Further, if you were outside of a marked crosswalk when the crash occurred, it is even more important to speak with an attorney before providing a statement to the insurance company.
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident and you were injured, reach out and speak with one of the personal injury attorneys at Dross Berman for a free consultation. We will discuss the severity of your injuries with you, request insurance policy information from the driver’s insurance company, and help assess your case.