How much compensation can you get for a pedestrian accident?
Pedestrians can suffer severe injuries, which come with extremely high price tags. From lost wages to medical bills, these accidents are quite costly. Pedestrians also deserve compensation for their non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you might wonder how much compensation the claim might be worth.
The value of any personal injury claim, including pedestrian accidents, depends on:
- Who is responsible for the accident
- How the accident happened
- The limits of the applicable insurance policies
- The damages the injured party suffered
The best way to determine how much compensation you might receive after suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident is to discuss your claim and damages with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney.
Pedestrians generally have the right of way in all states. Drivers should extend them this courtesy and obey the law. Drivers are often the liable or legally responsible party in a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrians also have the right to legal counsel. Injured pedestrians can work with an experienced attorney who can help sort out liability for the accident and seek financial recovery accordingly.
Risk Factors in Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2.32 pedestrian deaths took place per billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in a recent year. Although this figure represents a slight increase from 2.3 the previous year, it was well above the historical average of 1.9. There is approximately one pedestrian accident death every 88 minutes in the U.S.
Pedestrian accidents happen all too often on our roadways, yet most, if not all, of these accidents are preventable. Understanding the risks and causes can help pedestrians and motorists take preventive actions to save lives and reduce the number and severity of injuries. No matter the cause of your pedestrian accident, contacting a seasoned pedestrian accident lawyer can help you decide if you have a valid compensation claim.
Many risk factors, some of them preventable, contribute to pedestrian accidents.
- Motorist alcohol consumption
- Age—studies show that Americans over the age of 65 and children under the age of 15 are most at risk
- Increased vehicle speed
- Pedestrians in urban areas
- Pedestrians out at night
- Lack of crosswalks in certain areas
When you hire a pedestrian accident attorney, they will study the risk factors that may have been present, resulting in your accident and subsequent injuries. Suppose the risk factors stem from the at-fault driver. In that case, your lawyer can use this to show their liability for your injuries.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Most pedestrian accidents stem from one or more common causes, and most of them involve driver negligence.
- Driver inattentiveness: Whether eating, texting, daydreaming, or paying attention to their passengers instead of the road and what is happening around them, driver inattentiveness can be life-changing or even deadly for pedestrians.
- Aggressive driving: Unfortunately, aggressive drivers are common, especially in larger metropolitan areas. They put others, especially pedestrians, at risk. Aggressive drivers are likely to ignore traffic signals, exceed the speed limit, make sudden movements without warning, and turn unlawfully.
- Left turns: Although extremely helpful in preventing pedestrian accidents, they won’t protect pedestrians all of the time. More pedestrians get hit by vehicles turning left than by those turning right. This is because the driver and pedestrian are looking in different directions. The driver usually looks at the intersection, watching for oncoming traffic and the chance to make a turn. The pedestrian might focus straight ahead into the crosswalk. With neither party paying attention to the other, accidents will happen.
Other common causes include:
- Poorly designed roads and crosswalks
- Failing to stop at an occupied crosswalk, stoplight, or stop sign
- Failing to slow down in increased traffic, crowds, or bad weather
- Failing to maintain vehicle control
- Engaging in drag racing
Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Injuries stemming from pedestrian accidents can be catastrophic, life-changing, or even fatal. For example, pedestrians sustain injuries when the vehicle hits them, and they often fall and land on the ground, causing additional injuries. Sometimes they are even hit by another vehicle after the initial hit.
Those injured in traffic accidents typically have:
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI), including damage that causes paralysis
- Internal organ damage and bleeding, which can be life-threatening
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Deep lacerations
- Road rash
Damages Pedestrian Accident Injury Victims Can Seek
Losses from a pedestrian accident are often numerous, especially if you suffered a severe injury. Losses, also known as damages, can be economic and non-economic. By pursuing a personal injury claim, injured pedestrians can receive compensation for their damages. Common types of damages available to accident injury victims:
Your medical bills will vary based on the nature of your injury and the treatment you will need.
Medical expenses can include:
- Ambulance transport
- Emergency care
- Hospitalization or time in the ICU
- Doctor and specialist visits
- Surgical procedures
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Medical equipment
If you need future medical care, your pedestrian accident attorney can claim those medical expenses.
Victims of severe injury might miss work or never return to work. Even if they are not in the hospital, their doctors might require them to have limited physical activity. Injuries can also keep people from doing their jobs effectively. For example, a back injury can keep you from a job that requires heavy lifting. For every hour of work you miss, you lose income through no fault of your own.
Additionally, injured individuals who sustain disabilities due to their injuries may have to accept a lower-paying job or might never return to any type of gainful employment. If this happens, they also ask for compensation for future lost wages.
Insurance companies should provide compensation for your economic damages at their actual value. This value is easy to determine by adding your expenses and losses together. Although, if your injuries affect your ability to work in the future, your attorney may enlist a special type of accountant to calculate how much you deserve to receive for lost earning capacity.
Other damages are unrelated to the financial aspects of your injury. Instead, they are for your intangible losses, which are inherently difficult to measure.
Non-economic damages can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- The trauma of permanent disfigurement, scarring, or disabilities
Non-economic damages, unfortunately, don’t come with a pre-set value. There are no missed wages to calculate or medical bills to add up. Instead, your lawyer will often calculate your non-economic damages using the value of an injured party’s economic damages and a multiplier between one and five. Most cases end up with a multiplier of one or two. However, if you suffer severe injuries that will impact your life permanently, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI), a multiplier of four or five might be appropriate.
Pursuing Financial Recovery After Suffering Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
To receive damages for your injuries, another person or party must be at fault for the accident. Legally, this means that you or your pedestrian accident attorney must prove that the other party was negligent, which led to your injuries.
Negligent vehicle operation makes them liable for any damages they cause by their carelessness. When driving a motor vehicle, drivers have a duty to act with reasonable care, no matter the circumstances.
Reasonable care while driving means obeying all traffic and safety laws, staying alert, and driving in a way that keeps others safe on the road, including pedestrians. Someone who negligently causes an accident while driving is liable for the resulting damages.
The standard of care for driving can change depending on the specific circumstances. For example, a motorist can be driving within the legal speed limit; however, if there is rain, snow, ice, dense fog, or other potentially dangerous conditions present, the reasonable standard of care is to decrease their speed despite the legal speed limit. Whether the at-fault party acted with reasonable care or not is determined on a case-by-case basis if the claim goes to court.
If the lack of reasonable care causes an accident, an injured party can bring legal action to recover their losses. However, it’s a complicated process to sue another driver for your injuries. It’s not one to be undertaken without the assistance of a seasoned pedestrian accident lawyer.
Your pedestrian accident attorney will identify how the other driver’s actions or inactions led to the accident.
This isn’t as easy as it might sound and involves an extensive investigation, including:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Studying police reports
- Examining pictures or videos of the accident scene
- Possibly enlisting help from an accident reconstructionist
You need an attorney that not only provides you with personal service but also has the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate the cause of your pedestrian accident to determine who is at fault and to maximize your compensation.
My Pedestrian Accident Injuries Put Me out of Work. How Can I Pay for an Attorney Now?
Many pedestrian accident victims shy away from speaking to an attorney due to a lack of financial resources, especially at such a financially uncertain time of their lives. This is devastating as everyone should have the legal help they need to recover compensation for their injuries. The last thing injured victims need to worry about after an accident is paying for the services of an attorney.
As such, most pedestrian accident attorneys only work on a contingency fee basis. This means they charge you nothing until they successfully settle your case to your liking or win a court award on your behalf. Once they receive money on your behalf, their fees come out of those funds. Most lawyers cover all upfront expenses to remove the financial burden during your recovery and legal case.
Should You Accept the Settlement Offer You Already Received?
Insurance adjusters are often quick to offer injured parties a lowball settlement. While you might be relieved to receive an offer so soon after your accident, it’s highly likely that the offer you receive is far less than what your claim is really worth. You should never accept any offer, no matter how lucrative it might seem, before discussing your claim with a pedestrian accident attorney.
If you accept this offer, your claim is over. You can’t go back and change your mind or decide to file a lawsuit instead. This is true even if you find out you have more damages than you initially thought you did or if you discover your injuries are worse than you and your doctors first believed.
Get Legal Help After Your Pedestrian Accident
How much compensation you can receive after suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident depends on many factors. Each case is different. However, the one factor that applies to each pedestrian accident case is that hiring a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney will maximize your compensation.
Even after paying for legal services, personal injury victims who have legal representation pocket more compensation than those who don’t.
After suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident, seek medical help from licensed professionals so that you can physically recover as much as possible. Likewise, you should seek legal assistance from experienced legal professionals so that you can overcome your damages and losses.
If you suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident, a well-versed pedestrian accident attorney can work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need for your injuries. Contact one today for your free case evaluation and take the first steps toward financial recovery. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.