While many people are familiar with the laws that surround car accidents when one vehicle hits another, it is quite different when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. Here are a few key things you need to know about this type of car accident care.
When Do Pedestrian Accidents Typically Happen?
It is more common for pedestrian accidents to happen these days because drivers are more distracted than ever. When a pedestrian is sharing space with pedestrians, there is always a possibility that a pedestrian accident can happen. All it takes is being distracted for a split second as someone steps off the curb for a pedestrian accident to occur.
Who Is Typically At Fault?
When it comes to using crosswalks or crossing the street in general, it is common for the pedestrian to have the right of way to cross the street and for the driver to yield. One example where this wouldn't apply is if a pedestrian is crossing a highway where they are not permitted to be. This means that vehicle drivers are more often at fault for not giving the pedestrian the right of way.
However, some states have comparative fault laws that can make pedestrians at fault for instances of jaywalking. This is when a percentage of fault is assigned to both people involved in the accident and can reduce the compensation that someone receives by the percentage of fault that they have. So if the pedestrian is 25% at fault and has a $100,000 injury claim payout, the pedestrian would only receive $75,000.
Who Pays For Pedestrian Medical Bills?
What often confuses people is what happens when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle when it comes to paying for medical bills. If the driver of the vehicle was responsible, the pedestrian can go after the driver to recover the financial damages that they suffered for medical bills. However, the pedestrian's auto insurance policy can also be used to cover expenses. This could be useful if the vehicle's driver does not have enough insurance to recover all of the damages since an underinsured driver policy from the pedestrian can make up the difference. A pedestrian can also use their personal health insurance to help pay for the immediate medical bills as well, and then sue the responsible driver to reimburse their health insurance provider.
Reach out to a car accident lawyer if you have questions after being involved in an auto accident.