Key Settlement Factors for a Pedestrian Injured in a Car Accident
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Pedestrian car accidents can be devastating and oftentimes fatal for both parties. Even though they are a common occurrence in urban areas, most people remain unaware of the types of compensation available to them and the rights designated to them under pedestrian protection laws.
Those that have been injured in a pedestrian car accident must know the key settlement factors involved in pedestrian-related accidents. From the type of damages to insurance technicalities, many factors affect settlement offers.
The following sections specify each essential factor, which all victims can use to determine whether they have a case or not.
What Typically Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Firstly, it is essential to establish the cause of the accident. Otherwise, it will be challenging to gauge who is at fault. Overall, pedestrian car accidents can happen for any reason. As such, motorists and pedestrians can both be in the wrong to varying degrees.
Most pedestrian accidents either occur in areas with limited visibility or traffic controls. For instance, street lights may be broken, reducing a motorist’s ability to see the road. As such, they may accidentally strike a pedestrian.
As per different studies, both pedestrians and motorists look straight rather than to the sides. If a pedestrian appears from the side, a motorist may not see them, especially in environments where visibility is already limited.
Visibility is usually reduced due to external circumstances such as weather or road conditions. However, it may also be reduced due to mismanaging car maintenance. For instance, a car owner may fail to fix their tail lights, which will reduce visibility at night.
A motorist may also be exceeding the local speed limit or driving distractedly. In either case, they have failed to obey traffic laws and are more prone to accidents.
When pedestrians are at fault, it is more commonly due to intoxication, ignorance of traffic laws, or failure to comply with traffic laws. It is a pedestrian’s job to prevent risk to themselves or others. As such, if a pedestrian jaywalks or ignores traffic signals, the accident cause may lie with them.
What Kind of Injuries Can Occur?
If a pedestrian is hit by a car, the injuries can be quite extreme. After all, the motorist is usually protected by the vehicle whereas the pedestrian is exposed to the vehicle’s weight and impact.
The severity of their injuries differ depending on the motorist’s speed, vehicle size, and the pedestrian’s physical health and age.
Overall, most pedestrian injuries are localized to their head, spinal cord, abdomen, and pelvis. They also suffer many secondary injuries, which can cause long-term pain and suffering.
For instance, with head injuries, pedestrians may experience brain swelling, which can have a detrimental impact on a person’s long-term functioning. Brain swelling may impact a person’s thinking, communication, concentration, and movement.
Similarly, pelvic and abdominal injuries may involve fractures and internal injuries. Fractured ribs may puncture vital organs, leading to permanent organ damage or even death. Paralysis may also occur if the spinal cord suffers significant damage.
What Does One Do After An Accident?
Experiencing a pedestrian car accident is quite traumatizing. As such, when it is occurring, people never think about essential details, which they may require later on. Calling an ambulance and seeking medical aid is always top priority.
This step is essential even if the victim thinks they are not seriously injured. At times,
pedestrians are experiencing high levels of adrenaline, which can either delay or mask
symptoms of injury. Moreover, seeking medical aid provides both witnesses and documentation for an injury claim.
Secondly, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. Although it may be difficult in the moment to think ahead, one must remember to collect key details from the accident site. For example, the victim could have someone (either a loved one or bystander) take pictures of the cars.
The victim must have the motorist’s identification, including their name, home address, contact numbers, insurance information and work information. Moreover, it is also essential to collect vehicle information, including license plate number, VIN, model (year and make), and legal owner’s name.
What Are the Different Types of Damages?
Through all this necessary information, one can determine the types of damages they have at hand. As mentioned, pedestrians can get seriously injured in these accidents. As such, they may yield high medical expenses as well as income or job loss.
Medical expenses may be ongoing. For example, someone may require persistent physical therapy to restore movement in their bodies. Over time, the costs can accumulate and thankfully, our justice system gives people the right to seek compensation.
Victims may ask for financial compensation from either the motorist, traffic authorities, or both, depending on the nature of the case. This depends on how many negligent parties are involved in the case.
Apart from income loss and medical expenses, a pedestrian may ask for compensation for emotional suffering, physical pain, permanent disability (including scarring and disfigurement), and lost quality of life. If the pedestrian dies, their family members may ask for compensation based on wrongful death and survival.
How is Your Settlement Decided?
Some pedestrian accident settlements are small. The settlement amount could be as small as $15,000. Other settlements are large and could reach up to $1 million or even more. For example, if one has minor injuries, their settlement may range between $15,000 and $75,000. Many injuries such as brain trauma can have settlements of $500,000 or more.
The settlement is calculated based on the victim’s recovery prognosis, disability (if applicable), means of income, level of negligence compared to the other party, and the cost of litigation. For example, if the victim is partially at fault, they may be awarded a lesser settlement.
Overall, the judge will account for all extraneous factors, including health and age. Younger or older victims may achieve higher financial compensation as they are typically dependent on others for their well-being.
Moreover, if there is more than one defendant in the case, the victim may receive differing settlements from both, depending on their level of gross negligence.
In sum, pedestrian accidents are common. Most people should know how to act during such situations as it can mean the difference between receiving their rightful compensation and losing their case. People suffering from a pedestrian accident might want to contact an injury lawyer immediately to evaluate their case.
Our Law Firm
Here at the Law Office of Gaynell Williams LLC, we have experienced lawyers who have dealt with all kinds of personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents and car accidents. If you are doubtful or have any queries, call us to make a free appointment, and we will make sure to answer all your questions. We are experienced lawyers who handle all types of personal injury cases. We know how to develop effective communication and deep understanding of your case, and will try to help you in any possible way we can.
CONTACT US TODAY!
Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The first consultation can be in person or it can be virtual, on the Internet. Call Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will work around your schedule.
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