Tragically, pedestrian accidents are fairly common in California, especially in high-traffic areas.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, it means that severe injuries are very likely.
If you were a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
However, many factors determine what is the average pedestrian accident settlement in California.
Pedestrian Accident Liability
A pedestrian might be a person walking, traveling on a bicycle, roller skates, or skateboard, or a person with a disability using a wheelchair or electric scooter for transportation.
Although pedestrians have the right-of-way, they also must follow the rules of the road. At the same time, motor vehicle drivers must drive extra carefully when pedestrians are present.
Under California law, motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians in most situations.
When drivers fail to adhere to the right-of-way rules or commit other negligent actions, they may be liable for damages if an accident occurs. Liability is key to receiving compensation after an accident.
To prove liability, you must show:
- That the driver owed a duty of care to the pedestrian;
- That the driver breached the duty of care;
- That driver’s breach caused injury to the pedestrian.
Driver negligence might be failing to yield at a crosswalk, driving under the influence, or distracted driving. Drivers are almost always at fault when a pedestrian is struck within a crosswalk.
Pedestrian Accident Settlements
When it comes to the duty of care, every person owes a duty to the people around them.
When you can prove a driver breached their duty, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your damages:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages, and
- Pain and suffering.
These damages make up the bulk of a pedestrian accident settlement amount.
You will need evidence to prove these damages, for example, copies of medical treatment records, bills, pay stubs, and perhaps even an expert opinion.
An experienced personal injury attorney is invaluable when gathering evidence because they will assist you with the process and know what evidence is most relevant.
Time is precious when it comes to filing a claim. Don’t waste time gathering evidence that might not matter.
Average Pedestrian Accident Settlement Amount
After a pedestrian proves liability and damages, an attorney will attempt to negotiate an appropriate amount with the insurance company or individual driver.
The average pedestrian accident settlement amount ranges from $10,000 to millions of dollars.
The settlement amount is partially determined by the severity of your injuries, but it also depends on the extent of the at-fault driver’s liability, available insurance coverage, and the skill of the personal injury lawyer handling the case.
Generally, when an insurance company is involved, they will likely claim that the pedestrian, not the driver, was at least partially at fault.
However, don’t get discouraged. Even if there is shared liability, California is a “comparative fault state,” which means that the shared liability will be split between the liable parties.
It is still possible to receive compensation even when you share part of the blame for the accident.
Medical bills or pain and suffering can exceed the value of the insurance coverage, which is easy to do when a driver has minimum policy coverage and serious injuries occur.
In that case, you will need a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit to receive an appropriate settlement on par with the injuries.
As you can see, there is a weighing of various factors that takes place before an attorney can reach a settlement.
Because of this, no settlement is the same, making coming up with an average for a pedestrian accident nearly impossible. Contacting a personal injury attorney makes sense if you want to know what your case might settle for.
If you’re wondering, How long does it take to settle a pedestrian accident lawsuit? The answer is several months to years.
It depends on whether you’re filing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. In either case, it’s best to be patient and know that if the process takes a long time, it’s probably worth fighting for.
Want to Know What Your Pedestrian Accident Case Is Worth?
Chuck Geerhart is an experienced personal injury attorney and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation-only organization of premier trial lawyers.