PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT SETTLEMENTS & EXAMPLES
The pedestrian accident attorneys at Brown & Crouppen have helped hundreds of clients recover compensation for their pedestrian accident claims as a result of settlement and verdicts.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE AMOUNT OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT SETTLEMENTS
Below are several factors to be considered when evaluating the payout of a pedestrian accident case.
1. INSURANCE COVERAGE
Unfortunately, you can’t pick the insurance policy of drivers. The state minimum coverage requirement (i.e., the minimum amount of insurance coverage you must buy to be considered legally insured) in most states is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident. This is the minimum liability coverage requirement in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas.
Moreover, we all know that not all drivers on the road are insured. If you are a pedestrian hit by an uninsured driver, you may only be able to rely on your own uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage (if you have auto coverage). Many states require UIM coverage, including Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas, which all require drivers to carry at least $25,000 per person, and $50,000 per incident in uninsured motorist coverage.
Sometimes your medical bills, as well as pain and suffering, exceed the value of the insurance coverage. This is particularly true in situations where there are minimum policies in place and serious injuries have been sustained. In those circumstances, an injured party may want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to pursue their personal assets. However, that may require several additional years and tens of thousands of dollars to resolve, only to get a judgment against a driver who cannot pay. Before filing against an uninsured or underinsured driver, the injured party should investigate whether the at-fault party has any assets such as a second home. Many times, unfortunately, a personal injury judgment can be discharged in bankruptcy (the bankruptcy will not discharge the party’s insurance carrier from their obligation, though).
2. FAULT & LIABILITY
While every driver is taught the maxim, “pedestrians have the right of way,” that rule is not absolute. Pedestrians have the right of way in marked crosswalks where there are no traffic signals in place or operation, but they generally must yield to traffic in places where there isn’t a crosswalk, or at a crosswalk with traffic signals that prohibit the pedestrian from crossing until the next change in signal. In certain circumstances, the pedestrian may be found at fault for getting hit by a vehicle or may be found to share fault for the crash with the driver. If the pedestrian shares fault with the driver, the pedestrian may not be able to recover compensation for their injuries, depending on the percentage of fault assigned to them.
However, many pedestrian accidents are due to driver negligence, which may include driving under the influence, distracted driving, or failure to adhere to traffic laws. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident due to driver negligence, you may be eligible to receive damages by filing a personal injury claim.
3. SEVERITY OF INJURIES
Not surprisingly, more serious injuries result in greater value settlements, as the injured party needs to cover the costs of both past and future medical bills, recover past or future lost wages or potential earnings, as well as receive compensation for past and future pain and suffering. Courts recognize that an injury that causes permanent disfigurement (such as loss of limb or traumatic scarring) will result in a greater settlement than one that causes injuries that resolve over time.
Pedestrian accidents can lead to severe and catastrophic injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, broken bone, or spinal cord injury, all of which require medical treatment and can lead to higher healthcare expenses and ongoing pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can help file a claim for those who have been injured in a pedestrian accident, in order to help them receive compensation for damages and recover costs such as medical bills.
4. RISK TOLERANCE
One of the greatest factors that can impact the value of a settlement for a pedestrian accident is the injured party’s risk tolerance. This refers to whether they are willing to risk rejecting an offer on the table for a potentially higher verdict, even if doing so means spending many thousands of dollars in case expenses to receive that outcome. An injured party in desperate need of fast cash is going to be more willing to settle prematurely, and for pennies on the dollar, than an injured party who can wait for a just outcome. An insurance company will know this, which is why they try to push for a settlement as quickly as possible, and, ideally for them, before the injured party hires a pedestrian accident lawyer.
It is often difficult to understand what the case value should be for an injury claim, particularly if you’ve never been through an injury claim before. Therefore, it’s important to seek out those who have significant experience in negotiating injury claims to guide you to an appropriate pedestrian accident settlement.
GET HELP WITH YOU PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CASE
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian hit by a car, get help from the lawyers at Brown & Crouppen. Our law firm has helped clients recover over $1 billion in compensation since the firm’s founding in 1979.
Get started with your case by requesting a free case evaluation or call 888-802-8156