How to Receive a Settlement if You Have Been Hit in a Crosswalk and You Are a Pedestrian?
Per WA law, a crosswalk is that portion of the road, which gives pedestrians a safe passage across the street. Therefore, if a pedestrian is crossing the road, a vehicle has to wait and give them an easy route. Unfortunately, drivers are in a hurry and ignore such a simple law. This is the reason behind the increasing accidents of pedestrians.
In 2019, approximately 76,000 pedestrians were injured due to the ignorance of drivers, and 6,205 were killed. Thankfully, the law provides pedestrians with ample rights. If you are passing through a crosswalk and a vehicle hits you, you have the right to compensation.
What to do When You Have Been Hit While Crossing the Road?
There are tons of stuff to deal with, after an accident. It’s common to panic, during such a situation, but you need to calm down and follow certain steps to protect yourself. Whether minor or serious, the consequence of an accident includes medical appointments, bills, and loss of wages. So, if you want to recover your loss, you must follow the steps mentioned below. These steps apply to all pedestrians whether they are walking, skateboarding, or bicycling.
1. Stay calm and follow the basic protocols
If you have been hit by a motor vehicle and lying on the ground, the first thing you need to do is, move out of the road. The first instinct will always be to confront the driver who hit you. However, this is not the time for it. You need to maintain calm and if you are conscious, get yourself out of danger’s way. Next, call the police yourself or ask someone to do so.
Meanwhile, assess your injuries and try to capture as much information as you can. Notice little things like who all has witnessed the accident, what is the vehicle number, has there been any property loss, etc. Take tons of photos from every angle and make a video of the surrounding.
As help arrives, you should provide them with all the necessary information. Even though it’s an overwhelming situation, you need to maintain being in sense, while communicating with the first responders. Any kind of ranting and misbehaving can end up hurting the case.
When the officer files your report, request its copy. Finally, before you leave, make sure you have the driver’s name, contact info, and insurance details.
2. Seek medical attention
If you have been badly injured, the first responders will call for an ambulance and make sure you get proper treatment. Comply with the medical adviser and get yourself treated properly. In case, the injury is minimal, there won’t be any ambulance assistance.
Still, you should visit your doctor and get a full evaluation to assess the injuries. Sometimes, even a small injury can be life-threatening, and not having it recorded will prevent you from getting any settlement. To protect yourself legally and physically, follow up with the doctor and get treated properly.
3. File for an accident claim
There are multiple ways to recover your losses, but it all depends on your and the driver’s insurance policy and the circumstance leading to the hit. For instance, if your auto insurance policy has personal injury protection, it will easily cover your medical bills. In case, you don’t have this coverage, ask if the driver that hit you has personal injury protection.
The relief here is no matter who is at fault, a PIP will cover both parties under its liability coverage clause. For policies, where it is very little or no coverage, check for the uninsured motorist coverage.
Now, that you have the insurance details and a rough estimate of how your expenses can be covered, contact a pedestrian accident attorney.
4. Do not negotiate on your own
Insurance companies never plan to provide the beneficiary with a complete settlement. If you are negotiating on your own, you are likely to receive way lesser in a settlement. Most often, the insurance company will find a loophole in your case and make you believe that there is no chance; you can receive more in a settlement.
Similarly, if you plan for a settlement and have to negotiate with the faulty party, make sure you are equipped for a healthy negotiation. First, you need to understand that even if the injury is minor, the trauma and cost related to an accident can be serious. For example, if you have been hit, you will have to take a leave from work, be admitted to a hospital, and until you get better, maybe you will need help to take care of a family.
In other circumstances, suppose there was an important meeting at your workplace and you lost the project for being absent, who will compensate for it? The situation becomes more complicated if you have kids or pets at home and you have to be admitted for a day or two for medical assistance.
Most victims ignore these calculations and will hope for recovering only the medical bills. However, you are entitled to much more than that. After proving negligence, you will be eligible for recovery of:
- Medical bills
- Medicine cost
- Lost wages
- Property loss
- Loss of enjoyment
- Hired Help
Only a professional pedestrian accident settlement attorney will emphasize these factors. So, once you have analyzed your situation at the accident location, get in contact with an attorney to understand what your chances of receiving a settlement are.
Lawyers can answer all your queries and will take care of the settlement/trial process. As they have to deal with such cases every day, they would know how to negotiate with the insurance company as well.
For a free legal consultation, call 206-558-5555
How to Prove the Liability of the Other Party?
To recover the damages, you will need to prove that the person driving the vehicle has acted recklessly, causing you substantial harm. Try to recall instances like, perhaps the driver was talking on the phone, speeding, or was drunk. Alternatively, maybe they were just not paying attention that it’s a crosswalk.
Whatever be the circumstances of the accident, if you can back your claim with sufficient evidence, you are likely to get a substantial amount of settlement. Provide your personal injury attorney with all the relevant proofs, including photos, videos, etc.
Your claim depends on factors like:
- The severity of injuries
- How this injury will affect your quality of life
- Will you be able to make a full recovery
- Is there enough evidence to prove your case in the court
- Will you be able to earn in the future?
How the Court Judges Shared Fault in Pedestrian-Car Accidents?
In a vehicle-pedestrian accident, there is a high chance that the pedestrian is severely injured, but that doesn’t mean that only the driver is at fault. In some cases, even the pedestrian is partially at fault. Most states would judge such cases in three ways:
Contributory negligence: If the person crossing the road has played some role in the accident, he is not eligible for compensation.
Pure comparative negligence: If the injured person is at fault, they can recover compensation minus their equal of fault. Therefore, if the compensation is $20,000 and the pedestrian is at 20% fault, they will receive $16,000.
Modified comparative negligence: An injured person can recover 50% of the overall damage when they are found at fault.
What’s the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a car?
Every case is different, and so are the circumstances surrounding an accident. The settlement amount you will receive will widely depend on the severity of your injuries and the graveness of the pedestrian’s fault. Still, if you have met an accident, you can expect to receive $15,000 to $75,000 as a settlement amount. For more severe injuries, this settlement amount can reach up to $1 million.
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How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
If you’ve been injured, the lawyers at Jackman Law can help you recover money for your injuries by getting you money for lost wages, pain and suffering, and your medical bills. If you have any questions, feel free to call us for a free consultation.