Pedestrian Accidents: Understanding Responsibility, Settlements and Outcomes

April 20, 2018

From parking lots and driveways to crosswalks and local roads, accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians can occur in a variety of settings.

Because of this huge weight difference between a vehicle and a pedestrian, combined with the lack of protection that pedestrians have from impact, the injuries from pedestrian accidents can often be devastating.

In lucky situations, pedestrians may walk away from an accident with minor cuts and bruises. In severe accidents, however, impacts between cars or motorcycles and pedestrians can result in serious, lifelong injuries or death.

As a leading Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer’s office, we’ve represented a diverse range of people injured in pedestrian accidents. As such, our team has an expert understanding of the responsibilities of pedestrian accidents and the factors that can determine most settlements.

In this post, we’ll look at both aspects of pedestrian accident cases — the way most settlements are calculated, as well as the party that’s ultimately held responsible for paying compensation to the victim.

How are pedestrian settlements reached?

Most of the time, settlements in pedestrian accident cases (in addition to many other accident types, such as motor vehicle or bicycle accidents) are reached by considering several different factors.

The first factor is the cost of medical care and treatment. Pedestrian accidents often result in significant injuries — injuries that can require extensive, ongoing medical care. The cost of this care is typically factored into a settlement or compensation in a pedestrian accident case.

The second factor that’s considered in reaching a pedestrian accident settlement is the extent of the injuries sustained by the pedestrian. The more seriously someone is injured, the greater the damages are likely to be, compared to an accident that only produces minor injuries.

In determining the severity of injuries, medical experts will generally look at factors such as the permanence of (for example, whether or not the injuries have a lifelong effect) and the specific type of injuries that are sustained in the accident.

The third factor that goes into reaching a pedestrian accident settlement is the long-term effect of the accident on the victim’s life. Injuries sustained in a serious accident can prevent someone from working or enjoying life to the fullest — a variable that can influence the total settlement.

Finally, liability is considered when reaching a settlement. Settlements tend to be higher when the defendant is completely liable for the accident, while settlements are usually lower in cases where persons are considered jointly liable for the accident.

All four of these factors play a role in determining the total amount you can expect to receive in a personal injury settlement. Because every case is unique, it’s impossible to say which factor will have the biggest impact — most of the time, all four factors contribute to the final outcome.

In a pedestrian accident, who pays the settlement?

In the vast majority of pedestrian accidents, the defendant’s automotive insurance provider will provide the settlement.

Collecting a settlement from an insurance company is an involved, complex process that often requires negotiation. As a personal injury law office, we work attentively and aggressive in this stage of the process to ensure you receive the full settlement to which you’re entitled.

If the pedestrian accident involved a commercial vehicle, the settlement is typically paid either by the responsible company or by the company’s insurance provider.

However, in some cases, the motorist responsible for the accident may not have any insurance coverage and thus won’t have an insurance company to accept responsibility for the settlement.

In this case, things can become more challenging. If the motorist that caused the accident does not have sufficient funds to pay the settlement, collecting the amount of money to which you’re entitled under the law can lead to an arduous, often ineffective litigation process.

However, if your auto insurance policy includes an uninsured motorist clause, your insurance provider may pay out either the entire sum owed to you or the difference between the amount payable by the uninsured driver responsible for your injuries.

Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident?

Pedestrian accidents can be devastating experiences, both from a physical and psychological perspective. Often, the injuries from a pedestrian accident are lifelong, restricting your ability to work and enjoy a high quality of life.

Our Costa Mesa pedestrian accident attorney’s office specializes in helping people affected by pedestrian accidents seek justice. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can provide expert advice, assistance and representation to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Because every case is different, the best approach is to contact our team to learn more about your legal options. To begin the process, please fill out our free online case evaluation form or call us directly on 1-800-560-2139 to speak to a member of our team.