Pedestrian accidents can lead to short-term injuries, long-term disabilities, and even death. But what is the average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car? The answer depends on the injuries sustained and Minnesota’s insurance and pedestrian accident laws. The team at Sieben Polk Law Firm can help you understand the claims process, properly calculate your damages, and determine the best course of action.
As a pedestrian in Minnesota, you never expect to be hit by a car, just as a driver never expects to hit a pedestrian. In 2021, there were 14 pedestrian accidents for every 100,000 Minnesota residents, and 7 percent were fatal.
Getting hit by a car can result in serious injuries, lifelong disabilities, and even death. Plus, victims face mounting medical expenses and lost work time during recovery.
What is the average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car? The amount depends on Minnesota’s no-fault and pedestrian accident laws, the state’s modified comparative fault law, and the extent of the injuries.
An experienced legal team can help. At Sieben Polk Law Firm, our Minnesota pedestrian accident lawyers can guide you through the next steps and know what to expect from a settlement.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?
There’s no easy way to calculate an average settlement for a pedestrian injured after being hit by a car. Doing so requires knowledge of personal injury law and experience handling personal injury lawsuits.
Every single pedestrian accident is unique, with its own circumstances and consequences. There isn’t a predetermined amount or range that pedestrians are entitled to receive when cars hit them.
The only effective way to estimate your settlement is to consult a car accident lawyer who can analyze your damages, the factors involved, and the possible outcomes of your claim.
Factors That Affect the Pedestrian Accident Settlement Amounts
The amount you receive in a settlement as a pedestrian hit by a car depends on several factors. It’s important to get the assistance of a lawyer when you’re involved in an accident. Car accident lawyers know all the factors affecting pedestrian accidents.
Once they analyze your case, a pedestrian accident lawyer can give you an educated estimate of a potential settlement amount.
The following are the factors affecting your settlement amount.
The Nature and Severity of Your Injuries
Your legal team will determine whether your injuries were severe or minimal. The severity of your injuries significantly impacts your settlement amount.
Soft tissue injuries may be fleeting and heal without complications, with a full return to function.
Meanwhile, more severe injuries may affect function, cause long-term disability, require invasive procedures for medical treatment, and cause significant pain and distress.
Examples of severe injuries include broken bones, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Less severe injuries include sprains, strains, cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
More severe injuries will result in higher medical costs. In addition, the more severe the injury, the more it will impact your life, leading to higher amounts of non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional distress.
The Impact of Your Injuries on Your Ability To Work
If a pedestrian accident leads you to miss work during recovery from injuries or impacts your ability to work in the future, your settlement amount is likely to be larger.
Minnesota’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Under Minnesota’s no-fault insurance law, every driver must carry minimum insurance called Basic Economic Loss, or BEL, coverage. When there is an accident, your auto insurance company will be responsible for your injuries regardless of who caused the accident.
This coverage applies to pedestrians and bicyclists struck by motor vehicles, too. Thus, pedestrians can obtain Basic Economic Loss, or BEL, benefits for an accident that results in an injury.
BEL benefits compensate injured pedestrians for certain economic losses resulting from being injured by a vehicle. These benefits include:
- $20,000 for medical expense losses
- $20,000 for income loss, reimbursement costs for replacement services like housekeeping or childcare, funeral expenses, survivor’s economic loss for spouses and dependents, and survivor’s replacement services
However, BEL benefits do not cover non-economic losses such as pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
If you have at least $4,000 in medical expenses or suffered a disability or permanent disfigurement that lasted at least 60 days, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver.
In such cases, you can collect economic damages not covered by your BEL coverage and other non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the inability to enjoy life’s activities.
Minnesota’s Modified Comparative Fault Law
Minnesota has a comparative fault system to determine accident responsibility. With the help of an experienced car and truck accident attorney, you may still be able to show that the vehicle’s driver was at fault for the accident, even if you weren’t in a crosswalk or on the sidewalk.
The Minnesota comparative fault law says that if more than one person is at fault for an accident, you can still ask for compensation for your losses, including medical bills or damaged property.
In Minnesota, you can recover compensation if your share of the fault is not greater than the fault of the person from whom you seek recovery. If you are 50 percent or less responsible for the accident, you can recover damages in proportion to your share of the fault. For instance, if you were 20 percent responsible for the accident, you would only receive 80 percent of your damages.
Minnesota’s Pedestrian Laws
Following pedestrian traffic laws helps show that you made a good-faith effort to avoid getting into an accident. In Minnesota, pedestrians must:
- Follow traffic signals at intersections
- Walk on the left side of the roadway or road shoulder
- Use sidewalks whenever they are present
- Yield to all vehicles on the roadway at all points unless you’re within a marked crosswalk or intersection
- Not cross the road at any point other than within a marked crosswalk
A pedestrian may share some of the fault for an accident if they fail to follow any of these rules, contributing to the accident. Thus, their recovery will be reduced in proportion to their share of the blame.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
The common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Reckless driving can easily lead to pedestrian accidents. Reckless driving includes speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, failing to use turn signals, and other dangerous behaviors.
Driver negligence is a common cause of pedestrian accidents. All drivers have a duty of care to behave in a way that minimizes their risk to others, and negligent driving fails that. Typical negligence may include not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or failing to see a pedestrian walking on the road shoulder.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a common cause of pedestrian accidents. Alcohol impairs reaction time and judgment, which in turn impacts driving ability.
Poor Road Conditions
Road conditions can significantly impact driving safety and may lead to a pedestrian accident. Such hazards include:
- Icy surfaces
- Wet surfaces
- Low visibility
- Wind-related debris, such as fallen tree branches
A pedestrian may be at fault for an accident if they didn’t follow Minnesota pedestrian laws. For instance, a pedestrian error can include stepping onto the road without using a crosswalk, failing to look out for cars, and walking on the road instead of the sidewalk.
Pedestrian Accident FAQs
Our clients often have questions about pedestrian accidents. Frequently asked questions include the following.
How Do I File a Claim for a Pedestrian Accident?
You have several options for filing a claim for a pedestrian accident, such as the following:
- Filing a claim with your insurance company
- Filing a third-party claim with the driver’s insurance company
- Filing a civil lawsuit against the responsible driver
- Negotiating a settlement out-of-court
It’s recommended to consult with a wrongful death lawyer before taking action when the accident results in a fatality.
What Settlement Should I Expect if I Was a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?
A settlement amount is impossible to predict without talking to an experienced lawyer. The facts of your case determine the settlement amount, and those circumstances are unique to every case.
What Happens if a Pedestrian Causes an Accident?
If a pedestrian causes an accident, they can file a claim with their own insurance company if they carry an auto insurance policy. Pedestrians can recover their medical expenses and certain other economic damages under their policy.
What To Do if You’re Hit by a Vehicle as a Pedestrian
If you’re hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, you should immediately take action to help safeguard evidence for the at-fault driver’s insurance company. These actions include:
- Getting immediate medical care
- Taking photos of injuries
- Documenting the driver’s license plate and insurance information
- Requesting a copy of the police report
- Obtaining copies of medical records and medical bills after seeking medical attention
After that, your next step should be to immediately contact a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Does the Pedestrian Pay for Damages?
Sometimes. If the pedestrian carries car insurance, the pedestrian’s insurance company may pay for damages caused by the pedestrian’s conduct.
What Happens if a Pedestrian is Hit While Jaywalking?
Jaywalking pedestrians can still file a claim.
Under Minnesota’s no-fault insurance law, a jaywalking pedestrian is still entitled to Basic Economic Loss benefits, including compensation for current and future medical expenses, work loss, replacement services, and funeral expenses.
Under Minnesota’s comparative negligence system, jaywalking pedestrians who are less than 51 percent responsible for their accidents may be able to pursue recovery from at-fault third parties. However, their damages will be reduced in proportion to their share of the fault.
Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Are Ready To Help
Pedestrian accidents are traumatic whether you’re the pedestrian or the driver. Don’t go through the legal process alone. Experienced lawyers can negotiate a settlement that reflects the damages you incurred.