Pedestrian Versus Vehicle Accident
A pedestrian has no protection when struck by a motor vehicle and often receives severe injuries. When a pedestrian is involved in a motor vehicle accident, the pedestrian has three types of cases. First, there is a claim for the loss of any property damage such as clothing or other property being carried like cell phones or other personal belongings. It is important to keep any damaged personal property or photograph the property and get estimates of the replacement value.
Second, the pedestrian has a claim for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. The PIP benefits typically come from the pedestrian’s own automobile insurer, or if the pedestrian is not a vehicle owner, these PIP benefits are required to be paid by the insurer of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian.
Third, and most important, the pedestrian has a claim for their bodily injuries which includes getting compensated for past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and noneconomic losses, past and future, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, loss of time, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium or loss of spousal support.
As with any motor vehicle accident related claim, the initial claim review starts with an analysis of fault. This is because the insurance company for the motorist who caused the accident will be searching for a way to blame the pedestrian for being in the accident. It is important to note that a pedestrian in a crosswalk has the legal right of way when compared to vehicles using the roadway. A pedestrian outside of a crosswalk has fewer rights. Nevertheless, a vehicle operator must always keep a proper lookout for pedestrians, maintain control of his or her vehicle and must take appropriate evasive maneuvers to avoid a pedestrian in the roadway.
If a pedestrian is found to be 50% or more at fault for causing the accident, that pedestrian will make no financial recovery. As such, it is most important for the pedestrian to identify why he or she was in the roadway and did not see or could not avoid the oncoming vehicle. It may be as simple as having the “walk signal” lit when crossing or, as is commonplace, the motorist swung around another vehicle that had stopped to let the pedestrian cross. Regardless, if you have been struck by a vehicle, you will want to call us immediately to help identify any issues and to protect yourself from being tricked into saying something that hurts your case.
Even if the pedestrian is 50% or more at fault, there is a claim for PIP benefits. For example, if a pedestrian runs into the street in front of an approaching vehicle, the pedestrian may have more than 50% fault and won’t be able to recover for their injuries in a liability claim, but should still have a PIP claim, which is required under the NO FAULT laws in Kansas.
On occasion, a pedestrian will be struck when not on the roadway, and the gross negligence of a motorist can lead to the motorist leaving the roadway and striking the pedestrian. Under those circumstances, fault should not be an issue as there typically is no way that the pedestrian could have avoided the accident.
Lastly, a pedestrian may believe or question whether he or she was struck intentionally particularly when there is some form of an altercation beforehand. Auto insurance does not cover intentional acts and it is of the utmost importance that you talk to us before claiming that the impact was intentional. Often times, the accident was not really the intent of the driver.
As always with any personal injury claim, it is extremely important NOT to talk to the insurance companies without first discussing the case with a knowledgeable attorney. We have years of experience handling these types of cases. Call us and we can help you with your case! Call us first and your chances of a settlement are much higher than if you speak with the insurance company first.