Have you been the victim of a personal injury accident?
Have you accidentally injured a pedestrian?
Do you have questions about what to expect in legal terms following a pedestrian injury accident?
In this article, our Reno pedestrian injury attorney answers common questions about pedestrian injury accidents.
What are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents?
Pedestrian injury accidents, accidents where the victim is a person walking on a road or sidewalk and is struck by a car, motorcycle or bicycle, are in fact, very common. The major causes are drug or alcohol impairment on the part of the driver or pedestrian, speeding by the vehicle or bicycle, distracted drivers or distracted pedestrians, and high-traffic/busy areas or intersections.
What are the legal consequences of hitting a pedestrian?
Legal consequences for drivers who hit a pedestrian vary depending on the details of the accident. If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was driving recklessly at the time of the accident, jail time and/or heavy fines are likely. On the other hand, if the pedestrian was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was not following traffic laws, the driver or cyclist may not be at fault and consequences may be minimal.
Every pedestrian accident is unique, so we suggest speaking to a Reno pedestrian injury lawyer if you have hit a pedestrian by accident or have been struck by a car as a pedestrian.
How much money can you get from getting hit by a car as a pedestrian?
Legal settlements from pedestrian injury accidents can range, depending on who is at fault for the accident, the extent of the injuries and damage, and legal teams involved. For pedestrians who have been injured but don’t hire an attorney to represent them, the payout will be limited to what the driver’s insurance offers, and likely only covers documented medical bills.
For pedestrians who partner with a pedestrian injury attorney, payouts are often in the $10,000+ range. These types of settlements often cover medical bills, time off from work, damage to personal property, and other related costs like mental anguish, childcare needs, and ongoing medical issues.
The injuries incurred by the pedestrian and the driver impact the financial settlement as well. If a pedestrian is obeying all traffic laws and is knocked to the ground, suffering only a broken arm, the settlement will be less than if a pedestrian is hit at 30 miles an hour, suffering head trauma, broken limbs, and internal organ damage. In our experience with pedestrian injury accidents, we recommend that pedestrians see a doctor immediately following the accident for a full exam. Often accident-related injuries aren’t obvious due to the pedestrian suffering from shock.
Who is at fault if you hit a pedestrian?
As mentioned above, other factors also influence the amount of legal settlements. Who is at fault for the accident determines how much the pedestrian receives in a settlement and how much the driver or cyclist must pay to the pedestrian.
In legal terms, two terms help with determining fault in pedestrian injury cases. The first is the law of negligence – which helps with determining the percentage the driver and the pedestrian are at fault for the accident. The second factor is the duty of care, whether the driver and the pedestrian showed a reasonable level of care in the situation.
For example, if a driver runs a red light or fails to stop at a stoplight, the driver is 100% at fault as they did not act with reasonable care and must bear the entire burden of the settlement. However, if a pedestrian is crossing a street against the pedestrian walking signal while staring into their phone, the pedestrian demonstrated reasonable lack of care and is at fault. In some cases, the pedestrian may be responsible for providing a settlement to the driver.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian injury accident as the driver or the pedestrian, it’s important to speak with a vetted pedestrian injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected.