Settlement For Pedestrian Hit By a Car
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users. Bikers have helmets and drivers have cars, but pedestrians have no protection during an accident. Because of this, they tend to sustain serious injuries. In fact, the CDC estimates that 137,000 pedestrians were rushed to emergency rooms for traffic-crash injures in 2017. Almost 6,000 additional pedestrians died. Because of this, a pedestrian hit by car settlement may be higher than most other types of compensation. Even when the person lives, compensation values tend to be high.
What Is a Settlement?
In criminal courts, justice costs defendants time in prison. When it comes to personal injury cases in civil court, justice may cost the defendant money. This monetary compensation is known as settlements. Ideally, your attorney can secure a good settlement outside of a courtroom. However, when insurance companies or other liable parties are stubborn and do not offer fair terms, the case may go to trial. After hearing the case, a judge may decide the final settlement amount.
More often than not, an insurance company needs to pay damages on behalf of a covered driver. Insurance companies do set limits on how much liability coverage they offer, so the driver may still become personally liable for the rest. Drivers may also become personally liable when they have no insurance at all.
What Are Some Types of Pedestrian Crashes?
Unlike crashes involving only motor vehicles, there are no widely established guidelines for categorizing pedestrian crashes. Even so, how pedestrian crashes took place can play a big role in how the case progresses. This is especially important in states that include comparative negligence clauses in their personal injury laws. In these states, the final settlement amount may be reduced by the percentage of negligence the court assigns to the injured party, if any. Courts may consider the following types of accidents involving pedestrians.
Pedestrians face the greatest risks at intersections, especially when cars turn. State laws differ on how to assign fault in these instances, even if the person did not have the light to cross. This is because, in some states, pedestrians always have the right of way on the crosswalk.
These instances occur when pedestrians unexpectedly run into the street. This may happen when children are playing close to the roadway or when adults become drunk and belligerent. Sadly, some people do deliberately attempt suicide by this method as well.
School Bus Passing
Children face great risk when they need to cross the street after the bus drops them off. Because of this, school buses now have built-in stop signs and states require other vehicles to stop when these signs are out. Unfortunately, many drivers may speed through and hit a child.
Children face the greatest risk of becoming involved in reversing crashes. Even when drivers check mirrors before backing up, a small child may be too short to be seen. Some vehicles also do not have any rear visibility, such as large trucks. However, some drivers are also just careless.
Sometimes, a driver may fall asleep at the wheel or lose control of the vehicle and drive onto the sidewalk or even into a building. As well, many instances have emerged in the news of people using vehicles as a weapon to deliberately hit pedestrians.
What Are the Steps for Seeking a Settlement?
Every pedestrian accident case is unique, so no guaranteed formula exists that can ensure a successful settlement. Because of this, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney who can advise you as it relates to your case. These are general steps you may take after seeking medical treatment.
1. Determine Fault
Pedestrians do not automatically become eligible for compensation after a car crash. If courts determine the driver did not act negligently, then he or she may not be liable for the damages. If the pedestrian is partially liable, the attorney may need to determine how much liability the court may assign when evidence emerges.
2. Determine Feasibility
It is only worth pursuing the case if the expected compensation is enough to cover legal fees and medical bills. The more negligent the driver is and the more serious the pedestrian’s injuries are, the more feasible it may be to pursue a settlement. If the person succumbed to injuries, the court may look even more favorably on the case.
3. File a Claim
After a pedestrian accident, injured parties may first need to file a claim with their own insurance companies. If you or someone in the household has car insurance, it may cover some of the costs. You may reclaim some or all of this money by seeking a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. An experienced attorney can advise you on how to proceed.
4. Negotiate a Settlement
The average settlement for pedestrian hit by car is several thousand dollars. However, some claims may only amount to a few hundred, while others may total millions. The final number depends on the state laws governing personal injury cases and whether the court awards punitive damages.
5. Go to Court
If you fail to reach an agreement with the liable parties, you may need to argue your case in court. An experienced trial attorney can improve your chances of winning the case and receiving a high amount. Note that many attorneys handling personal injury cases take payment on a contingency basis. This means they only receive payment when you do.
Do You Need To Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer?
In the past, drivers took most of the blame for crashes involving pedestrians. However, pedestrians have continued to engage in dangerous practices, such as texting while crossing the street. This has caused many courts to re-evaluate how they handle these cases. You need an experienced attorney to prove that you are not the responsible party.
We can help connect you with an attorney committed to winning your case. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!