Pedestrian accidents often involve catastrophic injuries, with some pedestrians eventually passing away from injuries sustained in the collision. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a pedestrian collision, you may have the legal right to recover compensation. Understandably, many prospective clients want to know the average settlement amount in a pedestrian hit by a car lawsuit.
However, there is no definitive average settlement range we can share. Cases are evaluated on their individual merits and therefore differ in settlement amounts.
Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car
When you understand what factors make up your case value, it’s immediately apparent why there is no average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car. Even cases involving similar injuries can resolve for vastly different amounts. Some of the most important determining factors in a pedestrian accident include the type and severity of the injury, liability, financial losses, and available insurance limits.
Calculating a Pedestrian Hit by Car Settlement
When you retain Wells Call Injury Lawyers to represent you for a personal injury loss, such as a California pedestrian accident, we will explain what we believe your case is worth.
Type and Severity of Your Injuries
What type of injuries you sustained and how severe they are will impact your overall claim value. A Pedestrian accident involving a minor impact with only soft tissue injuries will be worth less than one involving a broken leg. A fractured leg that healed within two months will be worth less than a broken leg that leaves the victim with a permanent disability.
Liability also plays an integral role in determining your potential settlement amount. California is a pure comparative negligence state. Even if you are primarily at fault for the loss, you could still collect a portion of your damages. For example, if you are a pedestrian hit by a car in a crosswalk, you may not have any liability and can collect 100% of your damages. However, if you were jaywalking, you might be 20% liable for the accident. In that situation, you could collect 80% of your overall damages.
Because California is a comparative negligence state, the driver’s insurance company will look to place as much liability on you as possible. By increasing your fault, it reduces their payout and overall exposure. Some people mistakenly assume that a pedestrian versus car accident means the car is at fault and the insurance company will pay your entire claim. But that’s not always what happens. Instead, you need to prove liability against the driver who hit you. Having an experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer on your side who can protect your rights is helpful in these cases.
Your financial losses, which are known as damages, make up the bulk of your claim. You are entitled to receive compensation for your economic losses, such as medical expenses, time off work, etc. You are also entitled to receive compensation for your non-economic damages: your pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and more.
In limited circumstances, you might be eligible to receive punitive damages. These damages are available only in cases involving gross negligence or intentional actions. Examples can include a car purposely running into you as you cross the street or someone driving drunk.
Your damages are a significant part of your case. Without any financial losses, you do not have a valid personal injury claim. Insurance companies will look to dispute your damages by claiming your treatment went on too long or the charges are too high. Remember, their top priority is to reduce their overall payout. If they cannot attribute more liability to you, they will try to undervalue your claim.
In cases involving severe injuries, you will likely have future medical expenses and may have a loss of earning capacity claim because you cannot go back to work in your former job. Insurance companies may try to extend an offer to you early on in the claims process so that you will sign a release. They know you might have extensive damages in the future, so they want to offer you something now to extinguish their responsibility.
You should never accept an offer or sign a release of all claims without speaking with an attorney first. If you sign the release and find out weeks later you need extensive surgery, you cannot pursue additional compensation from the at-fault party.
What to Do Following a Pedestrian Accident
Even in a seemingly minor impact, you should always contact the police following a pedestrian accident. Having a record of the accident is crucial, as there may not be any damage to the vehicle. The driver may claim they never hit you, and their insurance company might subsequently try to deny the claim.
If your injuries are not too severe, take photos of the vehicle and the surrounding scene. Are there skid marks? Any damage to the car at all? Be sure to take pictures of any important factors such as road hazards, construction, a school zone, the weather, and more. Something such as a school bus crossing with a bus may seem insignificant at the time, but it could show the driver was reckless and speeding in a school bus crossing zone.
When you report a claim to the driver’s insurance company, do not agree to give a recorded statement. In fact, it would be better if you retained an attorney right away. When you have an attorney representing you, the insurance company cannot speak to you directly. This rule keeps you from inadvertently saying something that could jeopardize your claim.
Contact a California Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you could have the legal right to bring a compensation claim. It would be best to have a California pedestrian accident lawyer with the skills and experience necessary to protect your rights. At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we have successfully recovered over $500 million on behalf of our clients to date. We know the tactics that insurance companies use to undervalue your claim. Let us help protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation possible.
To learn more about how we can help you with a pedestrian hit by a car settlement, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.