How Much Compensation Can You Expect for a Pedestrian Accident?

May 17, 2024 | By DJC Law Attorneys
How Much Compensation Can You Expect for a Pedestrian Accident?

You might be walking to the store, accompanying your child to school, or simply getting some exercise outside. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a car comes speeding around the corner and strikes you, sending you flying onto the pavement.

You're in pain, confused, and scared. What do you do now? How will you pay your medical bills and compensate for lost income? Most importantly, how much compensation can you expect for your injuries?

While this is naturally an uncertain time, there is trusted help available. You should first seek medical treatment and then consult a pedestrian accident lawyer regarding your legal options.

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Pedestrian Accidents in the United States

Pedestrian Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 7,000 pedestrians were killed, and 60,000 suffered an injury in the United States in a recent year. These accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and can result in serious injuries that can affect your life for years to come.

While each pedestrian collision and injury is different, every victim has one thing in common: they should always speak with a pedestrian accident attorney to determine their rights to compensation from the negligent driver.

Factors That Affect Compensation

So, how much compensation can you expect to receive if you're involved in a pedestrian accident? The answer is it depends. Many factors can influence the amount of compensation you receive, including:

Severity of Your Injuries

One of the most important factors in determining compensation is the severity of your injuries. Generally speaking, the more severe your injuries, the more compensation you can expect to receive. For example, if you suffer a broken bone or a concussion, you may receive less compensation than if you suffer a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury.

Circumstances of the Accident

Another important factor is the circumstances of the accident. If the driver who hit you was clearly at fault - for example, if they were drunk, distracted, or speeding - you may be entitled to more compensation than if the accident was partially your fault. Similarly, if the driver was uninsured or underinsured, you may have a harder time recovering the full amount of your damages.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage is another key factor in determining the compensation you receive. If the driver who hit you has adequate insurance coverage, you can recover the full amount of your damages. However, if the driver has minimal insurance coverage, you may need to rely on your insurance policy or file a lawsuit to recover your losses.

Types of Compensation

If a car hits you while walking, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:

Medical Bills

Medical bills can include everything from emergency room visits and hospital stays to ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Lost Income

Lost income can include time missed from work while recovering from injuries and any future earnings you may lose if you cannot return to your previous job.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is a bit more difficult to quantify, but it can include the physical and emotional distress you experience as a result of your injuries. This can include things like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Average Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents

So, what can you expect in terms of actual dollar amounts? Again, it depends on the specific circumstances of your case. You might be looking at tens of thousands of dollars for your case. Of course, this is just an estimate, and your actual compensation may be higher or lower depending on the factors we've discussed.

Sources of Compensation

Compensation for pedestrian accidents can come from a variety of sources, including:

The Driver's Insurance Company

Sometimes, the driver's insurance company may offer you a settlement immediately. However, it's important to be cautious about accepting the first offer, as it may not fully cover your damages.

Your Insurance Policy

If the driver who hit you was uninsured or underinsured, you may need to rely on your insurance policy to cover your damages. This can include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

A Lawsuit

In other cases, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover your losses. This can be lengthy, but it may be necessary if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.

Things to Keep in Mind When Filing a Lawsuit

If you do decide to file a lawsuit, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Proving Fault

When filing a lawsuit after a pedestrian accident, one of the most important things you'll need to do is prove that the driver was at fault. This means showing that the driver's actions or negligence directly caused the accident and your injuries.

Several types of evidence can prove fault in a pedestrian accident case. One of the most important is witness statements. If bystanders saw the accident, their testimony could help establish what happened and who was at fault. Make sure to get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the accident scene, and let your pedestrian accident lawyer know so they can follow up and get formal statements.

Police reports can also be valuable evidence in proving fault. If called to the accident scene, the police typically report what happened, who was involved, and any citations or charges. This report can provide important documentation of the driver's negligence or wrongdoing.

Medical records are another key type of evidence in pedestrian accident cases. These records can help establish the extent and severity of your injuries and provide documentation of any medical treatment you received due to the accident. This can be important in proving the driver's liability for your damages.

Other types of evidence that may prove fault in a pedestrian accident case include:

  • Photos or video footage of the accident scene.
  • Damage to the vehicle or your personal property.
  • Professional testimony from accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals.

Demonstrating Damages

In addition to proving fault, you'll need to demonstrate the extent of your damages to recover compensation for your losses. Damages in a pedestrian accident case can include a wide range of costs and losses, but insurance companies regularly undervalue claims despite severe injuries to pedestrians. Companies seek to save money to the detriment of injured accident victims, but a pedestrian accident attorney can calculate and provide evidence of your complete losses.

Your lawyer will gather documentation of all your losses related to the accident to demonstrate your damages. This can include medical bills, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, pay stubs or tax returns to show lost income, and even journal entries or testimony from friends and family members about how the accident has impacted your life.

Your attorney can gather and organize this documentation and work with expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or vocational specialists, to provide testimony about the extent and impact of your damages. They can present a case to insurers that can be difficult to argue with in negotiations.

Deadlines and Statutes of Limitations

When filing a lawsuit after a pedestrian accident, it's important to be aware of any deadlines or statutes of limitations that may apply to your case. A statute of limitations is a legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. Missing this deadline may bar you from recovering any compensation for your losses.

Across the various states, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is between one and six years from the accident date. However, this can vary depending on your case's circumstances and state laws. For example, some states may have shorter deadlines for cases involving government entities or certain injuries.

Consult an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure you don't miss any important deadlines. Your attorney can explain the specific deadlines for your case and ensure prompt lawsuit filing.

Other deadlines may apply to your case and the statute of limitations. For example, if you need to file a claim with an insurance company, there may be specific deadlines for notification and filing. Your attorney can guide you through these deadlines and ensure you take all necessary steps to protect your legal rights, thus avoiding any pitfalls that jeopardize your claim.

Working with an Attorney

If a car hits you while you are walking, one of the most important things you can do to protect your rights and maximize your chances of recovering compensation is to work with an experienced attorney. A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process, from investigating your case and gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court if necessary.

When choosing an attorney to work with, look for someone with specific experience handling pedestrian accident cases. These cases can be challenging, and you'll want an attorney who understands the unique issues and challenges involved.

Your attorney can support you in many ways throughout the legal process. An attorney can investigate your case and gather evidence to support your claim, including witness statements, police reports, medical records, and professional testimony. An attorney can also handle communication with insurance companies and negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair settlement.

If a settlement is impossible, your attorney can represent you in court and advocate for you. An attorney can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue with the judge and jury on your behalf.

A good pedestrian accident attorney can also provide emotional support and guidance. An attorney can answer your questions, address your concerns, and explain your legal rights and options.

When working with an attorney, it's important to be open and honest about your case and to provide them with all relevant information and documentation. This transparency allows your attorney to build the strongest case possible, maximize your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve, and effectively navigate any challenges that may arise during the legal process.

Protecting Yourself After a Pedestrian Accident

Compensation Claim for Pedestrian Accident

In addition to working with an attorney, there are a few other steps you can take to protect yourself after a pedestrian accident:

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention immediately, even if you don't think you're seriously injured. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent. Prompt medical treatment can help prevent complications down the road.

Document Everything

Document everything related to the accident, including the names and contact information of any witnesses, the make and model of the car that hit you, and any visible injuries or damage to your property. If possible, take photos of the accident scene and your injuries. Keep copies of all medical bills and other expenses related to the accident.

Be Cautious When Talking to Insurance Companies

Be cautious about speaking with insurance adjusters or driver's insurance company representatives. These individuals might attempt to persuade you to accept a low settlement offer or make statements that later compromise your claim. Instead, direct all communication through your attorney, who can advocate and protect your legal rights.

Be Patient and Persistent

Recovering compensation for a pedestrian accident can be a long and frustrating process, but it's important to stay focused on your goals and not give up. With the right legal representation and a strong case, you can obtain the compensation you need to cover your expenses and move forward with your life.

Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

Understanding your legal rights and options for recovering compensation is crucial if a car hits you while you're walking. The compensation you receive will depend on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and the insurance coverage of the driver who hit you.

By working with an experienced personal injury attorney and protecting yourself and your legal rights, you can maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has experienced a pedestrian accident, consider seeking legal advice and representation from a qualified attorney immediately.

Consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling yours and allowing a trusted lawyer to evaluate your options.