Busy streets are dangerous for both vehicles and pedestrians. One instance of driver error or someone’s failure to act attentively while crossing the street can change multiple lives forever, so it’s important that we all stay alert in these situations.
Still, it’s not a perfect world. If you’ve been struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, you should seek medical care and explore your legal options.
Who’s At Fault for Pedestrian Accidents?
Any motor vehicle accident involving one vehicle, multiple, or a pedestrian boils down to who’s at fault for the situation.
Negligence, carelessness, or intentionally reckless behavior form the core of every case. It’s not always the driver’s fault, nor is it always the pedestrian's fault. To determine liability, you’ll need to evaluate the finer details and determine the behavior of each party leading up to the accident.
Determining fault is a complicated process that even some attorneys have trouble with, even in clear-cut situations. Regardless, it’s essential that you don’t admit fault in any capacity at the scene.
What if the Pedestrian Isn’t in the Crosswalk?
Although pedestrians are instructed to use designated crosswalks, being struck by a vehicle outside of that zone doesn’t automatically attribute fault. All motorists are legally obligated to act with caution around crosswalks, so collisions may still be their fault.
For example, if a driver approaching a stop sign with a crosswalk strikes a pedestrian after rolling through the stop, the driver could be found liable for the damage. However, if the pedestrian crossed on the oncoming side of the stop sign, they could be liable due to their negligence.
There are outliers in every type of accident. It’s always recommended for victims to speak with experienced legal representation after they’ve left the scene to learn more about the legal implications of their situation.
How Does Insurance Factor Into Pedestrian Accidents?
Many pedestrians assume standard insurance won’t cover their damages because they weren’t driving during the collision, but this is false in many jurisdictions.
Many states require personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or both. These policies will offer financial protections regardless of who’s at fault. However, if your damage exceeds the limit or your state doesn’t require this, you’ll have to leverage other private insurance coverages or pay out of pocket for the damages.
If you’re not at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to cover what your insurance could not. This is a complicated process, though, and it’s recommended to retain legal representation well before this step.
What Should I Do if I Was Hit By a Car as a Pedestrian?
If you’re struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, call 911 and organize medical treatment as soon as possible. You might think the damage is insignificant or that you can “tough it out,” but there’s always the possibility that adrenaline is concealing your true pain.
Once you’re discharged from the hospital or you’ve seen a doctor independently, you’ll have a much better understanding of your accident’s total expenses. This will help guide your claim, which you’ll submit to your car insurance provider and the at-fault party’s provider if you weren’t at fault.
The next steps will involve reviewing documents, meeting legal deadlines, and negotiating rightful value. It’s best to team up with an attorney sooner rather than later to prepare yourself for this stage.
What Damages Can Pedestrians Recover From Car Insurance?
Your specific recovery will depend on the injuries you sustained and your ability to return to a normal life afterward. Each damage will fall into two categories: economic and non-economic.
- Economic Damages — Medical expenses, lost wages, physical therapy, etc.
- Non-Economic Damages — Pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, etc.
Each state has different laws governing the types of damages victims can seek after accidents. If you’re wondering about the damages you sustained in your situation, contact Morgan and Morgan for legal assistance.
Morgan and Morgan Can Help You Advocate for Rightful Value
There’s no reason to take on the legal side of a pedestrian accident on your own when Morgan and Morgan help for no upfront fee. Complete our free, no-risk case evaluation to give us the details of your situation, so we can start building your case as strongly as possible.