December 1, 2023
Did you know the number of fatal pedestrian accidents is the highest it’s been since 1981? According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, fatal pedestrian accidents are increasing more rapidly than all other traffic fatalities, with approximately 7,508 pedestrians having been struck and killed by a moving vehicle in 2022.
There is no question that auto pedestrian accidents are on the rise, so it is crucial to be prepared in the event you are involved in one, whether as a pedestrian or a driver.
By understanding what to do if you get hit by a car, or your car hits a pedestrian by mistake, pedestrian accident injuries can potentially be minimized, as can other consequences.
A pedestrian accident attorney can be an excellent resource if you were hit by a car while walking, as they can help you get the medical treatment you need and secure a fair insurance settlement for your pedestrian accident injuries.
Continue reading to discover what you should do after getting hit by a car as a pedestrian.
What to Do if You Get Hit by a Car While Walking
Are you a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle?
It’s natural to feel upset by this undesirable turn of events, but fortunately, there may be a silver lining to the whole ordeal. In many pedestrian car accidents, pedestrians are able to recover compensatory damages from the other party’s insurance company for their medical costs, and the pain and suffering they’ve experienced.
Follow the steps below for the best chance at favorable compensatory damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
After getting hit by a car while walking, the first thing you should do is call 911. You should do this even if you feel you don’t have any injuries, as it’s important for there to be a police report of the incident in case it’s needed by the insurance company later.
While it’s not always necessary to call the police in accidents involving only property damage, pedestrian car accidents generally require a call to the police.
Gather evidence and information.
Given you’re not severely hurt, it could be helpful to document your pedestrian accident injuries, as well as the other party’s personal details, including their name, address, phone number and insurance information, as this could help speed up the insurance claims process if you decide to pursue damages.
You also should try to gather as much evidence from the scene as you can. For example, you may want to take pictures of your injuries, the other party’s vehicle and the location of the accident.
Avoid making statements about who is at fault for the accident to anyone other than the police and first responders.
Seek medical care.
If you are not visibly injured, you may be wondering: Should I go to the doctor after a car accident?
You may be tempted to skip a visit to the emergency room, but it is rare for pedestrians to not have any injuries after being hit by a car. The more likely scenario is that your pain is temporarily being masked by the adrenaline that coursed through your body during the accident.
If you don’t seek immediate medical attention, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor in the days following the accident. Doing so will help ensure there is documentation of your injuries that can be shared with the insurance company.
Consult with a pedestrian accident attorney and file your insurance claim.
A pedestrian accident attorney can be consulted at any point after your accident. Not only can they provide guidance about what to do after getting hit by a car, but they also can generally arrange your medical treatment and handle the majority of the auto insurance claims process should you decide to submit a claim.
What’s the best part about working with a pedestrian accident attorney? It usually won’t cost you anything up front! At Hensley Legal, we only charge you if we win you a settlement.
What Is the Insurance Claims Process for Pedestrian Car Accidents?
The insurance claims process for pedestrian car accidents is identical to the claims process for accidents involving vehicles. The deadline for filing a claim is the same as well.
In Indiana, the statute of limitations for filing your auto accident claim is two years from the date of the accident. While this generous window of time might give you the impression you can postpone initiating your claim, doing so could hurt you in the long run. By filing early, you will make clear to the insurer that your injuries are a result of the pedestrian car accident and not something else.
Remember that no matter how much an auto insurer appears to be on your side, they usually don’t have your best interests at heart. If you give them any reason to doubt the validity of your claim, they will, which could result in a lowball settlement or not settlement at all. This is why we recommend filing your auto pedestrian accident claim within two weeks of your accident.
With that being said, you will only be eligible for filing a claim for compensatory damages with the other party’s insurance company under certain circumstances.
Learn about what determines who is at fault for an Indiana traffic accident from the next section.
Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault for a Car Accident?
If a car hits a pedestrian, who is at fault? When is a pedestrian at fault for a car accident? Many people believe that in a pedestrian car accident, the driver of the car is always to blame. This, however, is false. There are circumstances in which a pedestrian could be deemed as being at fault for a car accident in Indiana.
Here are examples in which the pedestrian could be regarded as the at-fault party in an Indiana auto pedestrian accident:
● The pedestrian crossed the street from somewhere other than the crosswalk.
● The pedestrian was impaired and stepped into fast-moving traffic.
● The pedestrian jumped into the street without warning.
● The pedestrian stopped in an unmarked crossing area or dangerous location.
If you’re a pedestrian who was hit by a car while walking in Indiana, you will only be eligible for a pedestrian car accident settlement if you are deemed as being less than 51% at fault. This is because Indiana is a fault state, which means the party who is at fault for an auto pedestrian accident (or that party’s auto insurer) will be responsible for paying compensatory damages to the other party.
Can a Claim Be Filed for a Fatal Pedestrian Accident?
There are few things more unsettling than a pedestrian killed by a car. If you lost a loved one in this way, we understand why you would be adamant about seeking damages from the responsible party. You can do this by filing a wrongful death claim.
For a wrongful death to have taken place in the eyes of the court, the other party’s actions should have been negligent in nature. If, for instance, the pedestrian in question had been on drugs when they walked into oncoming traffic, it may not be considered a wrongful death.
If the deceased had been an adult at the time of the accident, the personal representative of their estate (i.e., the executor or administrator) will have to file the wrongful death claim. If the deceased had been a child, their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) will have to file the claim.
Keep in mind that if a personal representative is filing a claim, they will be doing so on behalf of the surviving family members of the deceased. In other words, the family members will receive the wrongful death settlement, not the personal representative.
A wrongful death settlement should take into account the deceased party’s medical expenses, and funeral and burial expenses. It also generally should compensate surviving family members for their loss of love and companionship, as well as the cost of any mental health treatment they required as a result of the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit takes place in the civil court. If the responsible party’s actions had been criminal in nature, it’s possible prosecutors could bring criminal charges against them as well.
What Is the Average Payout for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?
It is difficult to provide an accurate average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car because every pedestrian car accident is different. For example, some pedestrian car accidents only result in minor muscle strains, whereas others result in death. Put simply, your settlement amount will depend on what happened when you got hit by a car.
How much compensation you receive for getting hit by a car can be predicted based on factors like the severity of your injuries, the medical bills you accrued as a result of them, and the pain and suffering you experienced.
By working with pedestrian accident attorneys, you can rest assured you will be compensated fairly and reasonably for your injuries from getting hit by a car. As an added bonus, you can focus on your recovery instead of going back and forth with the insurance company, since your attorneys will handle all negotiations on your behalf.
What Can I Do to Receive the Maximum Pedestrian Accident Settlement for My Injuries?
To receive a favorable pedestrian accident settlement for the injuries you incurred, it is crucial you file your claim early, seek medical attention within a reasonable amount of time, stay consistent with your treatment protocol and work with a pedestrian accident attorney.
The more effort you apply toward being properly evaluated for your injuries and recovering from them, the more favorable your settlement is likely to be.
Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney if I Hit a Pedestrian With My Car?
Just because your car hit a pedestrian by accident, it does not mean you are automatically the at-fault party. As we already discussed, there are instances in which a pedestrian may be to blame for an auto pedestrian accident, even if they were injured and you were not.
Regardless of who is at fault, you should never flee the scene after hitting a pedestrian with your car. In fact, you should call the police as soon as possible to report the accident.
Because it is usually drivers who have more of a duty to look out for pedestrians, you likely will need compelling evidence and witness testimony to prove you are not at fault for the auto pedestrian accident, if that is your aim.
If you are deemed as being not at fault for the accident, you generally will be entitled to compensatory damages, but only if you suffered injuries. Who pays damages in such a situation can be complicated, since the pedestrian may or may not have auto insurance, so it is best to consult with a pedestrian accident attorney.
It’s also recommended that you consult with a pedestrian accident attorney if you are at fault for an auto pedestrian accident. While your insurer generally will take care of any damages that need to be paid to the other party, there’s always the possibility you could be sued or criminally charged, in which case it could be helpful to have an attorney in your corner.
While it is rare to be sued or criminally charged for a pedestrian car accident, it can happen, particularly if your misconduct caused the accident, and the accident resulted in serious injury or death.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
With pedestrian car accidents being at an all-time high, it’s important to be extra-safe if you plan to share the road with cars.
The next time you find yourself walking, we hope you’ll consider utilizing these pedestrian safety tips:
● Always pay attention to your surroundings.
● Use sidewalks.
● Cross the street only in designated areas when you are given the signal to walk.
● Look both ways before crossing the street.
● Remain visible and wear bright clothing if walking at night.
● Stay alert by keeping your eyes on the road in front of you.
● Don’t walk while impaired.
● Avoid looking at your phone while walking.
● Turn down the volume on your headphones before crossing the street.
● Try using well-lit routes at night.
● Walk facing oncoming traffic when there is no sidewalk.
● Pay attention to cars entering or exiting driveways and parking lots.
FAQs: Pedestrian Car Accidents
If you didn’t find the answers you were looking for above, check out our frequently asked questions. In the event you continue to have questions, we recommend you reach out to our pedestrian accident attorneys. The team at Hensley Legal is available 24/7 to address your concerns.
What is the average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car at a crosswalk?
A pedestrian hit by car in a crosswalk settlement will depend on the severity and nature of the injuries incurred by the pedestrian in question. If the injuries from getting hit by a car at a crosswalk were severe, settlement amounts sometimes can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The most effective way to determine the amount of your potential settlement would be to consult with a pedestrian accident attorney.
Keep in mind that when a pedestrian is hit by a car at a crosswalk, the at-fault party almost always will be the driver, which means the pedestrian generally will be entitled to a settlement from their insurance company.
What happens if I hit a pedestrian with a car, but there were no injuries?
While it is rare for pedestrian car accidents to not result in any physical injuries for the pedestrian, it can happen. That, however, does not mean the pedestrian will not be entitled to any compensatory damages.
Pedestrian car accidents are high-stress events, so even if there are no physical injuries, there could be psychological trauma that needs to be addressed with counseling. If the psychological trauma caused the pedestrian to incur financial losses, they generally should be accounted for in the final settlement amount as well.
For example, what if the pedestrian in a car accident was a crossing guard? If the pedestrian car accident traumatized them to the point they could no longer do their job and lost wages as a result of it, that fact should be considered by the responsible party’s insurer when coming up with a settlement offer.
If I get hit by a car, can I sue?
It is usually not necessary to sue the other party in a pedestrian car accident because the compensatory damages offered to you by their insurance company generally will be adequate in reimbursing you for your medical costs and pain and suffering.
That said, if the compensatory damages offered to you are not to your satisfaction, or the accident resulted in life-altering injuries or death, it may be necessary to sue the other party’s insurance company.
Keep in mind that bringing a lawsuit typically will result in higher attorney fees and costs, which will be taken out of your final payout.
What if I’m a pedestrian who was the victim of a hit-and-run?
If you’re a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene, immediately call 911 and jot down or memorize as many details as you can remember about the other driver and their vehicle.
Authorities generally will carry out an investigation to track down the responsible driver. If they are found, they could receive jail time, significant fines, and in some instances (e.g., if the pedestrian was severely injured or killed), be charged with a felony.
What happens when a pedestrian is hit by a cyclist?
If a pedestrian is hit by a biker, the circumstances of the pedestrian-biker accident will determine which party is at fault.
A claim generally can be brought against the at-fault party for damages. If the at-fault party has an insurance policy, it may cover damages. Otherwise, the at-fault party could be held liable for paying damages to the injured party from their own pocket.
Our Pedestrian Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You Get the Settlement You Deserve
It can be overwhelming to figure out what to do after getting hit by a car. Fortunately, our skilled team of pedestrian accident attorneys regularly deals with auto pedestrian accidents and can help you navigate every step of the claims process.
From getting you the medical treatment you need to negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf, Hensley Legal is here for you. Call us today to learn how we can assist. Our team is standing by 24/7 to answer your questions.