It is difficult to put a set number on the average pedestrian accident settlement, but based on the hard data from 2015-2023, the average amount is about $54,000. This number is going to vary greatly based on a multitude of factors. The average range for a pedestrian hit by a car with “minor injuries is about $10,000-$75,000. A minor injury is something like a whiplash injury, soft tissue injury, or a broken bone. If you have suffered a major injury such as a spinal cord injury, brain injury, or multiple broken bones, your settlement value could exceed $100,000 or even be upwards of $1,000,000.
Average Payout For Pedestrian Accidents
What Happens When a Car Hits a Pedestrian?
Typically, a pedestrian is hit by a driver on the road, while crossing a crosswalk, in a busy parking lot. In most instances, the driver of the vehicle violated some type of traffic law or was distracted while driving. It’s very rare for a pedestrian to be at fault for the accident. Pedestrians usually suffer severe injuries simple due to the fact they they are unprotected. The driver of the vehicle is protected by the frame and body of a large vehicle. Pedestrians are usually left suffering from debilitating injuries and an intense amount of pain.
If you have been hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, there is a high probability that you can hold the driver responsible for their actions…both legally and financially. Your settlement will include compensation for all of your medical bills, future medical costs, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you decide to pursue a settlement, not only are you holding the driver responsible for the actions but you are ensuring that your health and financial position is not going to be detrimental to your future life. Your quality of life might be impacted and you deserve to receive compensation for that.
What Factors Determine The Amount of Pedestrian Accident Settlements?
Every pedestrian accident is different. The circumstances leading up to the accident, the amount of the insurance, the severity of the injuries, where it took place, and many other factors all determine how much the average payout for pedestrian hit by car will ultimately be worth. In order to figure out how much your pedestrian accident is worth, you need to look closer at the major factors that influence the payout amount. In general, a pedestrian accident is worth more than a car accident because severe injuries are more common.
The amount of insurance coverage that the driver holds is usually the limiting factor when a pedestrian is seriously hurt in an auto accident. Michigan has minimum liability car insurance requirements. These requirements are $50,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person or $100,000 per accident. There is also a minimum requirement of $10,000 for property damage liability. Another way of stating these requirements is 50/100/10. This liability insurance pays for medical expenses and property damage after a car accident where you were responsible. In addition to this bodily insurance liability (BI) and property damage liability (PD), Michigan also requires a minimum personal injury protection (PIP).
Another thing to take into account is that not all drivers even carry auto insurance. Auto insurance in Michigan is expensive and unaffordable to some drivers. Even though it is risky, its a decision they decide to make. If you’re a pedestrian and you are struck by a driver who has no insurance, you might have to rely solely on you uninsured motorist coverage or under-insured motorist coverage.
If you have suffered severe injuries following a pedestrian accident, its very possible that your medical expenses along with your pain and suffering exceeds the value of the insurance coverage. It is possible to sue the person at fault for the accident and go after their personal assets on top of their insurance, but this is extremely hard to do. Most people don’t have enough assets worth going after and there are way for them to hide and move this money so you will never see a dime. This is why the amount of insurance of the driver is so important as for all intents and purposes it acts as a cap.
Fault and Liability
Another major factor which determines the amount of the payout or settlement is who was at fault for the accident. Pedestrians are typically not at fault as they have the right of way. Most pedestrian accident crashes are the fault of the individual driving the car, but there are however exceptions. If you crossed the street where there was no crosswalk or where you don’t have the right of way, you can share responsibility or fault with the driver. This will impact the amount of your settlement or your ability to collect compensation altogether.
A large percentage of pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence which includes speeding, running a red light or stop light, driving under the influence, distracted driving, or some other violation of traffic laws. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you will most likely be eligible to receive damages by filing a personal injury claim.
How Serious Are The Injuries?
The seriousness of your injuries is arguably the most important factor when determining the amount of your pedestrian accident settlement. If you only sustained minor injuries that require little or no medical treatment, it makes sense that you won’t get a large settlement. If you sustained major injuries that require surgery or causes some sort of permanent condition (loss of limb, traumatic brain injury, scarring, etc.), you stand to receive a much larger settlement.
Pedestrian injuries tend to be more severe given the fact you are unprotected against a large metal object traveling at high speed. These types of injuries usually require extensive medical treatment, physical therapy, and longer term recoveries. The pain and suffering aspect is also typically higher than a car vs. car accident. Our personal injury attorneys can help you or your loved one if you happen to be injured as a pedestrian in a vehicle accident.
How Much Risk Are You Willing To Take?
Just like any other personal injury settlement, there is a game of risk involved. Insurance companies don’t make big profits by giving the injured personal all that they deserve. They know that you are in a vulnerable position. You’re hurt, unable to work, have large bills coming in every month, and that you are desperate. Many times they will try to get you to settle before hiring an attorney in hopes that you will take less for a fast cash payout. Unfortunately, many people go this route simply because they don’t know any better and they are very much in need of cash.
There is some risk in rejecting an offer in personal injury cases, but it is in best interest to hire a lawyer who will know how much your case is actually worth before making a decision that could affect you for the rest of your life and your family’s well being. By hiring an attorney, you are showing the insurance company that you won’t be pushed around and they are forced to take you seriously. Every study has shown that you will collect more by hiring a car accident lawyer even after paying them a fee, and it’s not even close.
Never Take The First Offer From The Insurance Company
Pedestrian accident injuries are often very serious due to the fact that the victim has been hit by a large heavy vehicle with no protection whatsoever. Because of this fact, you might be able to receive a very substantial settlement for your injuries. In many pedestrian accidents, the car is found to be at fault and the pedestrian is able to recover the full maximum recovery for all damages.
You should expect that the insurance company will offer you a low-ball or very low initial settlement offer because they know they will be held responsible for a large amount. Insurance companies are businesses and they will do whatever they can to limit their exposure. Never take the first offer. You should always call an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to fight for you against the insurance company and negotiation a settlement that is fair.
Even if the other driver has little or no insurance, they still might have to pay for your damages out of their own pocket if you are a pedestrian hit by car. Don’t give up just because they don’t have insurance, you might be surprised how much you can still recover.
Injuries To Pedestrians Hit By Cars Are Often Severe
Pedestrians have absolutely no protection against a vehicle that strikes them, so the injuries can be devastating and catastrophic. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety collects all sorts of data and reports the following facts about pedestrian accidents:
- Pedestrian accident have increased 80% from reaching their low point in 2009
- 17% of all crash fatalities are pedestrians
- 7,388 pedestrian deaths occurred in 2021 (latest data available at this time)
Most individuals receiving an injury as a pedestrian will require multiple doctor visits, large medical expenses, and time off from work. Pedestrian accident victims usually receive a larger settlement than regular car accident victims because the injuries tend to be more severe. Ont top of this, the pain and suffering is usually worse than a normal car to car accident.
Some of the most common severe injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident include:
- Brain/Head trauma
- Internal injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken pelvis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe lacerations and scarring
- Wrongful death
Will I have To Take The Other Driver To Court?
Probably not. In most instances, this type of claim can be settled out of court without the need for taking the other driver to court. Your attorney will file an insurance claim on your behalf and will work to negotiate a fair settlement for you. There are exceptions to this rule, and there are times when you will need take the case to trial. If that’s the case for you, you will definitely want an experienced pedestrian accident attorney that will fight for your rights and get you the amount that you deserve for your pedestrian injury claim.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Auto Accidents
There are all sorts ways that a pedestrian accident can occur. Here are some of the most common causes:
Failure To Yield or “Right of Way”
Drivers or pedestrians can fail to yield to the right of way which causes an accident. An example of this can include that a traffic light shows that it’s time for pedestrians to cross the road and the motorist driving the vehicle fails to obey.
There are in fact instances where drivers have the right of way and the pedestrian fails to obey the law. When a traffic light gives the right of way to driver and cyclists, pedestrians need to wait. If the pedestrian crosses at this time, it can lead to an accident where the driver isn’t at fault.
There are also situations where a pedestrian can cause an accident even though they have the right of way. An example of this, is jaywalking. This means that the pedestrian crossed the road somewhere else than a designated area. The pedestrian and the driver would “share” fault and it can lower the amount of the settlement for a pedestrian who was hit by a car.
Some conditions can reduce the visibility of the driver to the point that the driver fails to see a person or pedestrian crossing the road resulting in serious injuries. Some of these conditions include:
- Poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, heavy fog, or a blizzard
- Malfunctioning headlights
- Blind spots
- Extremely bright LED headlights from oncoming traffic
- Lack of proper lighting
Drivers should know that they need to use extreme caution when operating a vehicle in poor visibility conditions. Unfortunately, even with cautious driving an accident can occur.
Alcohol and/or Narcotics
Needless to say, alcohol and narcotics can influence the driving ability of a motorist. Whether the drugs are legal or illegal, they can impair judgment. Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics will increase the amount of liability to the driver or pedestrian if the matter goes to court.
There are also many types of medications that can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired judgment. Failure to follow the directions on the warning label can lead to a pedestrian accident.
Poor Roads or Road Planning
If you live in Michigan, you know that the roads are in terrible condition in most parts of the state. This can also lead to a pedestrian accident. An example of this is when a driver swerves to miss a pothole and ends up hitting someone in the crosswalk or sidewalk. There are also poorly planned roads where there is no safe path for pedestrians. Sometimes, you can even recover compensation from the road maintenance agency.
How To Get Compensation For Pedestrian Accidents
If a pedestrian is injured in a car accident due to the negligence or carelessness of a driver, you can recover financial compensation to pay for the damages. Even though the driver is usually at fault, it is still the responsibility of the injured party to prove that the driver was negligent.
Hiring an attorney can help build your case and prove that the other driver was at fault. They can help find and collect witness statements, hire accident reconstruction experts, and subpoena phone records to help prove your case. To support your case when seeking financial compensation, you will need to prove negligence in the following ways:
Proof of Duty of Care
All driver on the road had a legal duty of care toward other drivers on the road. This is the easiest way to prove negligence. All drivers should be using the road with reasonable care for the safety of others and typcially in a pedestrian accident, the driver of the vehicle has failed to drive with reasonable care.
Breach of Duty
The next step involves showing clearly how the driver at fault breached this duty of care. Maybe they simply weren’t paying attention, they were texting and driving, eating food while driving, or their carelessness caused the accident. Some other examples can include failing to yield, speeding excessively, or they were intoxicated.
The stage of find the breach of duty is relating it to your injuries. You must be able to show that the crash or accident directly resulted in your injuries. Many insurance companies will look into your medical history and claim that you were already injured and the incident at hand didn’t cause the injury or just exacerbated a previous injury. This is why getting medical treatment immediately following a pedestrian accident is so imperative to you getting a higher than average settlement.
If you and your personal injury attorney can prove the negligence and that it directly led to your injuries, the final step is determining the damages that you have incurred. Having good evidence such as video footage, medical records, photos, testimony from doctors, prescriptions, and medical bills is extremely important. Providing real documentation is critical to getting a fair and just settlement for the medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Get Help With Your Pedestrian Accident Case
For more information about your rights after a Michigan pedestrian accident, call us now at (517) 347-6900 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case. We will give you our honest opinion on what your case is worth and what actions you need to take to maximize your payout or settlement.