The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that more than 40% of all pedestrian accidents occur in roadways without proper crosswalks. Of course, crossing the street at a marked crosswalk doesn’t guarantee your safety!
You’d think that brightly painted lines, signage, and flashing lights would keep drivers from hitting pedestrians but many people are struck by cars while using crosswalks lawfully. The driver is almost always at fault and holds legal liability, meaning victims can often seek compensation.
Injured Pedestrians Have Legal Options
Here in California, drivers are legally obligated to yield the roadway to pedestrians in crosswalks that are either marked or unmarked. They are also required to lower their speed while approaching crosswalks and stay alert to pedestrians who may potentially enter the roadway. California law places a tremendous amount of responsibility – and liability – on the shoulders of a driver.
But, as many accident victims know, drivers don’t always follow the rules. After being injured as a pedestrian, getting fair compensation for your injuries can be a difficult process, even in personal injury claims that seem straightforward.
If you’re hit by a car while in a crosswalk, the quickest and easiest way to seek financial compensation is to negotiate an insurance settlement offered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, you’ll need an experienced attorney to help you get the level of compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies usually make lowball offers the first time around. Getting compensation for all of your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage may dictate serious negotiations and multiple offers from an assertive pedestrian-vehicle accident attorney.
Your health insurance may offer another form of compensation, particularly if the driver is uninsured or underinsured. Generally speaking, pedestrian victims in auto accidents may seek compensation from their health insurance policies. However, with payout limitations on these policies, prepare yourself for bills that go far beyond what your health insurance will cover.
Here’s another option. It’s your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in a California court of law. By presenting your case to the court, you may be able to receive an award that’s much larger than any insurance payout you’d receive. But be advised that court cases can drag on for years and don’t always end with a successful verdict.
When a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk is in a Hit-and-Run
You may think that you couldn’t possibly get compensation after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. Not true! The police and personal injury attorneys frequently track down hit-and-run drivers.
If your personal injury attorney or the police investigators track down the driver who hit you, you can either file a claim with that person’s insurance company or you may be able to take them to court in a personal injury case. Although it can be tricky to find drivers who flee, many police departments report success in up to 90% of cases.
However, it’s common for victims of hit and run drivers to simply seek compensation from their own health insurance company. Health insurance will often pay for your injuries rather quickly without questioning the circumstances, as long as it falls within your policy’s limitations.
Keep this in mind: Even if you accept an insurance settlement from your own insurance company, you may still be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver when they’re caught. They can be ordered to pay for damages that fall outside health insurance, like lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
When the Municipality May Be at Fault
In rare cases, the municipality may be legally liable for injuries that occur when a pedestrian is hit by a car in a crosswalk. The city may be required to pay at least a portion of your compensation.
California is a comparative negligence state. That means each party involved in an accident is assigned a portion of the blame. While most of these accidents involve a driver and a pedestrian, other parties like a city government can be brought into the mix if there are extenuating circumstances.
Talk to your attorney about whether this applies to your situation. Typically, these incidents occur when:
Your pedestrian accident lawyer will likely have to present a significant amount of evidence pointing to a municipality dropping the ball. Proving the liability of a municipality can be extremely difficult and they may try to claim governmental immunity that bars your case completely.
What’s the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit By a Car in a Crosswalk?
Every case is as unique as the accident it involves. While no outcome is guaranteed, at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers we have achieved results like $125,000 for a pedestrian hit by a car. In that case, the insurance company made an insultingly low offer and we helped our client get a MUCH better result.
Your attorney can help you calculate a fair settlement amount which includes compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The total award could be several thousand dollars or it could be in the millions. The number depends on multiple factors including:
Simple Cases Don’t Always Have Simple Solutions
As you can see, even a supposedly simple case involving a pedestrian hit by a car while in a crosswalk isn’t easy to resolve. Every case should be treated individually and the victim’s losses, needs, and wants should always be the priority
Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we take cases that involve pedestrians very seriously. As an injured pedestrian, you’re lucky to survive colliding with a vehicle! So let’s make sure you get the compensation you deserve so you can move forward with your life. Discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys during a free consultation.
We Handle Your Pedestrian Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a pedestrian-vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.