Being involved in a pedestrian is a traumatic experience that can cause permanent injuries.
Therefore, you must understand the legal processes to take after being involved in a pedestrian accident to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
In this article, we will discuss:
- How to File a Claim for a Pedestrian Accident
- How to File a Lawsuit for a Pedestrian Accident
- Getting Medical Attention & How to Pay for It
How to File a Claim for a Pedestrian Accident
If the driver who hit you has insurance, you can file a claim with their insurance company.
The police will arrive at the scene to gather statements from the driver, pedestrian, and witnesses, to determine who is at fault and to what extent. However, insurance companies may also send an adjuster to review the damages in hopes of finding evidence to denounce the original findings.
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, an insurance claim can help cover medical expenses and provide you with additional compensation.
To understand which claim to file, it is important to be aware of the type of insurance coverage both the driver and pedestrian have.
Auto Liability Insurance covers the driver’s liability for damages or personal injuries incurred by third parties. Therefore, the pedestrian can file a claim against the driver’s auto liability insurance to get compensation for their injuries.
No-fault coverage means that the driver’s insurance pays for any personal injuries caused by an accident, no matter who is determined at fault.
How to File a Lawsuit for a Pedestrian Accident
Insurance claims are often difficult to navigate and even more difficult to negotiate, considering insurance companies have a team of lawyers.
Therefore, choosing to sue the driver at fault may provide you with more significant compensation for your injuries and losses.
The most common type of pedestrian accident lawsuit is a negligence claim, which suggests that the driver was not exerting enough care or paying enough attention while driving.
In the case that the accident resulted from illegal actions, such as breaking a traffic law, it is likely for the court to conclude the driver is at fault because this is a clear “breach of duty” (explained below).
Within a negligence lawsuit , there are five elements. They include:
- Duty: Drivers must pay extra attention and be hyper-aware of pedestrians on the road.
- Breach of Duty: For a negligence lawsuit to be viable, the driver must have breached their duty to be careful around pedestrians, which is most likely the case if the pedestrian has been hit by a car.
- Cause-in-fact: For the pedestrian to file a negligence lawsuit against the driver, the pedestrian must prove that the driver’s negligence caused their injuries. This essentially means there has to be a proven causal relationship between the driver’s negligence and the pedestrian’s injuries.
- Proximate cause: The driver is only liable for the pedestrian’s injuries if they were aware their actions have the potential to be harmful.
- Damages: The damages incurred by the pedestrian must have the ability to be proven in court. For example, the pedestrian can present their physical injuries as a result of the accident.
Although not common, a pedestrian can also file a battery lawsuit against the driver who hit them. However, this would mean proving that the driver intentionally hit the pedestrian and intended to cause harm.
Under the “statute of limitations,” a pedestrian has two years to file a lawsuit in the state of California against the driver who hit them.
Once the lawsuit is filed, there are multiple avenues the case might take.
First, the defendant (the driver) may want to provide a settlement before even going to trial. If the pedestrian incurred serious injuries, it would be in the defendant’s favor to settle the case since going to court could mean serious consequences.
Second, you, as the pedestrian, have a choice to agree to the settlement the defendant is offering or reject it. All of this should be reviewed by a lawyer to ensure you are receiving fair compensation.
Thirdly, the case goes to court. In this case, the process could take months or years to resolve depending on its severity.
Getting Medical Attention & How to Pay for It
After a pedestrian accident takes place, the pedestrian must seek medical attention immediately.
Although insurance claims and settlements help mitigate the cost of medical expenses, not all expenses may be covered. Or, the pedestrian may have to cover these expenses until the settlement of the claim is fully resolved, placing a financial burden on the pedestrian.
Although health insurance is an obvious resolution, if you find yourself having to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses, know that you will likely be reimbursed once the case is resolved.
Another option is a “medial lien,” which means a hospital can treat you for free (or for no additional out-of-pocket expenses) under the condition that you pay the expenses back after the case is resolved.
How LA Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and are hoping to receive significant compensation for your injuries and losses, we can help!
Contact us today to find out if you are eligible to pursue legal action, such as filing a lawsuit or insurance claim.
LA Attorneys can help you get the settlement you deserve so that you can recover from this traumatic experience.