What Compensation Can a Pedestrian Hit by Car Get for Their Losses? | Pedestrian Accident Settlements

In America, pedestrians are exposed to serious danger on a regular basis.  Thanks to nearly a century of political lobbying by entrenched interests in the automotive industry, most of the country is built for cars — not people. 

This dangerous pedestrian landscape means that “pedestrian hit by car” cases are extremely common.  Worse still, when a pedestrian is hit, they tend to suffer severe — sometimes even fatal — injuries. 

But not all is lost.  It’s possible for a pedestrian (who was hit by a driver) to collect significant compensation for their injuries, especially if it was a hit-and-run accident. 

Curious to learn more?  Let’s take a closer look at these types of cases, and what sorts of compensation might be available. 

Do Drivers Owe Pedestrians Duty of Care? 

ALL drivers — whether they’re working for a company or not — owe pedestrians a “duty of care.” 

In other words, drivers have to exercise “reasonable” care (under the circumstances) to avoid causing injury to pedestrians.  By default, this means following the rules of the road and taking steps to identify and avoid pedestrians, such as those crossing the roadway at a crosswalk. 

Breaching this duty of care (i.e., by speeding through a crosswalk and not paying attention to pedestrians) can give rise to liability.  Those who are injured may then sue the driver for damages as compensation. 

Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault? 

While it is important for drivers to be mindful of pedestrians, there are instances where pedestrians are at least “partially” at-fault for the accident. Like drivers, pedestrians have a duty of care, too.  They must adhere to the rules of the road to prevent accidents (and they must pay attention to their surroundings so that they can react appropriately). 

For example, suppose that a pedestrian is intoxicated at night and starts wandering into traffic.  If a driver hits this individual (despite their best efforts to avoid a collision), the pedestrian is likely to be found partially at-fault for their own injuries.  

But here’s the thing.  Even if you’re “partially” at-fault, in most states, you’re still entitled to sue for damages.  The only thing that changes is that your total compensation is reduced by your percentage fault. 

For more details, it’s worth consulting a qualified pedestrian accident attorney.  They’ll be able to identify your potential fault and provide an initial estimate as to the compensation that you can expect to recover in a lawsuit. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to get started.

Can a Pedestrian Sue if They Get Hit By a Car? 

Pedestrians have a legal right to seek compensation for injuries caused by at-fault drivers. The most common reasons drivers are found to be at-fault in pedestrian accidents include (but are not limited to):  

  • Speeding 
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians when appropriate 
  • Failing to notice crossing pedestrians 
  • Driving while intoxicated 
  • Driving while fatigued 
  • Driving without exercising normal caution 
  • Failing to comply with street signage 
  • Intentionally trying to harm pedestrians while behind the wheel 
  • And more 

What Should a Pedestrian Do After Getting Hit By a Car? 

Though there are a number of steps that you can take at the scene of the accident (i.e., obtaining contact info of the defendant and eyewitnesses, taking photographs of the accident scene, waiting for law enforcement, etc.), those are all secondary.  The single most important thing you should do — if you’re severely injured — is secure immediate medical attention.  Get to a hospital and have a physician evaluate and treat you as necessary. 

Even if you’re not sure whether you’ve been injured, it’s worth going to the hospital within the day.  Many injuries aren’t “obvious” but are revealed after extensive diagnostic tests. 

Failure to secure medical treatment in a timely manner can be used against you by the defendant, so don’t make assumptions about whether you do or do not need it.  Just get this step done. 

Throughout this entire process, you’ll also want to get in touch with a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer.  Why?  Your attorney will notify insurers of the accident and make sure that all communications run through them (this prevents any disclosures that could weaken your case and payout). 

Your attorney will also begin to gather evidence.  They’ll obtain copies of your medical records, the police report, and your work records (if you have to take time off of work after the injury).  They will also interview witnesses, work with experts to investigate the accident scene, and more. 

As with most personal injury cases, pedestrian accidents are typically settled out of court. In some cases, however, the driver refuses to settle (or doesn’t make a reasonable settlement offer).  At this point, you’ll likely want to push forward to trial. 

Skilled attorneys prepare for this possibility and are ready to do so on your behalf. 

What Damages Can Pedestrians Claim After Car Accidents?  

Injured pedestrians have a right to claim a variety of damages, depending on their particular losses. 

Economic damages cover the “monetary” losses related to the accident.  These damages include the following: 

  • Lost wages 
  • Medical expenses 
  • Loss of future income 
  • Property loss 
  • And more 

Non-economic damages cover the physical, psychological, and lifestyle-associated impacts of the accident.  These damages include the following: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Mental anguish 
  • Humiliation 
  • Loss of quality of life 
  • And more 

Making an argument for economic damages generally depends on detailed documentation, while non-economic damages are more “freeform.”  Skilled car accident attorneys know how to advocate for significant non-economic damages, and develop persuasive strategies for pushing those damages up. 

Find a Car Accident Attorney in Your Area Today 

If you’ve been injured by a vehicle in a pedestrian collision, NOW is the time to take proper legal action.  It’s important to understand that you only have a limited time within which to bring your lawsuit, so don’t delay. 

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 today to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. Consultation is free, and there’s no obligation to continue if you decide against doing so. 

We look forward to assisting you.

I Got Hit by a Bicycle While Walking | Cyclist Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

In America, getting around town safely by walking can be tough — pedestrians expose themselves to serious dangers. This danger is enhanced by the lack of proper bike lanes in many areas. As a result, cyclists and pedestrians are often put in dangerous contact with one another — without a bike lane, cyclists may be forced to swerve onto sidewalks to avoid traffic, or may simply find it easier and safer to ride on sidewalks. 

That being said, many cyclists don’t realize that by riding on sidewalks, they risk a collision with a pedestrian (that can cause serious injuries!). As such, if you’ve been hit by a cyclist while walking, you may be entitled to significant damages under the law. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer near you.

Can a Pedestrian Sue a Cyclist?  

Both pedestrians and cyclists must obey the rules of the road, which includes obeying traffic lights and other signs, and crossing at the proper crosswalks. Unfortunately, cyclists “zipping around” a city or town do not always adhere to traffic laws and can cause serious accidents. Bicyclists owe a duty of care to those around them, including pedestrians walking around. If they breach this care in any way, such as riding on the sidewalk when it is prohibited, they are liable for any injuries they cause as a result. 

Common reasons for pedestrian-cyclist collisions include: 

  • Riding while intoxicated 
  • Speeding 
  • Ignoring traffic lights and signs 
  • Riding while distracted or drowsy 
  • Riding on the sidewalk 
  • Aggressive riding 
  • Intentional assault  

Do Cyclists Have the Right of Way on Pedestrian Crossings?  

Cyclist vs. Pedestrian Right of Way

Bicyclists must adhere to the same traffic laws and road rules as motor vehicle drivers, and so they must respect the right-of-way of pedestrians when appropriate. 

Pedestrians have the right of way on pedestrian crossings, and cyclists must yield to them. Any bike rider who fails to yield and injures a pedestrian could potentially be sued for damages. Bicyclists must also yield to oncoming traffic when they enter motor vehicle lanes, though car and truck drivers must use caution when cyclists are riding in dedicated bike lanes. In such instances, vehicle drivers need to be extra careful when making right turns.  

Some of the most common injuries pedestrians sustain from accidents with bicyclists include, but are not limited to:  

  • Road rash 
  • Broken bones 
  • Spinal cord trauma 
  • Head trauma 
  • Traumatic brain injuries 
  • Cuts and lacerations 
  • Internal bleeding 
  • Organ damage 
  • Neck, shoulder, and back injuries 

Do Cyclists Have the Right of Way at Pedestrian Crossings?  

Bicycle riders are allowed to use pedestrian crossworks, though they must yield to those on foot. It is generally a good idea for bicyclists to ride slowly or to dismount their “two-wheelers” and walk them across the crosswalk. By taking care in these ways, the rider is reducing the chance of a pedestrian-cyclist accident.  

Cyclist-Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 59%. Drunk driving partially accounts for such fatalities, as bicyclists are considered cycling under the influence if they have alcohol in their systems.


Drunk driving partially accounts for pedestrian fatalities, as bicyclists are considered cycling under the influence if they have alcohol in their systems.

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How much alcohol is considered unlawful varies by state, but as a general rule, any alcohol is going to help a pedestrian’s case — remember, litigation is strategic. If you can undermine the character and trustworthiness of the defendant, you improve your chance of success. A cyclist who rode after having something to drink is a cyclist who’s going to find it very difficult to defend themselves against your claims.

What Damages Can a Pedestrian Claim?  

If a pedestrian sustains serious injuries because of a bicyclist, they may be entitled to request economic and non-economic damages. In order to claim these damages, the pedestrian must show that the bicyclist was being negligent, reckless, or intentional, and that their behavior resulted in harm.

Common economic damages in a pedestrian claim include:

  • Compensation for lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Physical therapy, and
  • Trauma counseling

Non-economic damages in pedestrian accident claims include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish, and
  • Emotional trauma

Working with a pedestrian accident lawyer is critical. Your attorney will investigate the case and obtain all necessary documents, such as the police and medical reports. They will also take witness statements and gather employment logs showing that you missed time from work due to the injuries.  

Cyclists Are a Danger to Pedestrians

There are cases when the pedestrian sustains fatal injuries from the cyclist, such as a bike rider who knocks the pedestrian over, causing them to hit their head. The resulting traumatic brain injury caused the pedestrian’s death and their surviving family members can file a wrongful death suit.

Common economic damages in wrongful death claims include:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Funeral or memorial service costs
  • Burial or cremation costs
  • And loss of income

Non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • And emotional distress

Are There Times When the Pedestrian is Partially Liable? 

Sometimes, the bicyclist is not completely at fault for the pedestrian’s injuries. Pedestrians that don’t adhere to the rules of the road (or who are intoxicated at the time) can be found partially or completely at fault for a bike accident. That being said, in most states, being partially at-fault doesn’t stop you from suing and recovering damages. It simply reduces your total damages. Even if you were partially at fault, it is important not to shy away from a personal injury suit

Cyclists Can Be a Serious Danger to Pedestrians 

Distracted, aggressive, and intoxicated bicyclists pose a serious danger to pedestrians walking around on sidewalks, crosswalks, and roadways, generally. 

That being said, there are many ways pedestrians can help themselves stay safe, such as:

  • Wearing bright or reflective clothing while walking at night
  • Refraining from wearing earbuds, and
  • Keeping to the sidewalk whenever possible

Other pedestrian safety measures include taking taxis or rideshares (if the roads are unsafe, or if they’ve been drinking). It is also important to cross at designated intersections and crosswalks instead of jaywalking.  

If you were injured by a bicyclist for reasons beyond your control, take legal action today. Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to discuss your case with a compassionate bicycle accident attorney in your area. Consultation is free, so don’t delay! 

Pedestrian Jaywalking Accidents | I Was Hit As a Jaywalker, Can I Sue?

Listen up, jaywalkers: you DO have rights, and you MAY be able to sue the driver who hit you while crossing the street. The devil is in the details, and whether you can sue depends on a variety of factors. 

If you’d like to speak to an attorney about your case, call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an experienced jaywalking accident attorney.  There’s no commitment required, so we do encourage you to get in touch. 

Explore the law surrounding pedestrian jaywalkers and motor vehicle accidents in detail below.

What is Jaywalking?

Jaywalking Meaning

The definition of jaywalking isn’t complicated, it means: crossing a roadway or street outside of a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk. The space between two adjacent corner curbs at an intersection where a pedestrian crossing is not clearly indicated is generally considered an unmarked crosswalk.

Crossing mid-block, or beyond an intersection, outside of a crosswalk is considered jaywalking.

Is Jaywalking Illegal?

Jaywalking is illegal, as it is a violation of basic traffic law. 

Why Is Jaywalking a Crime?

Pedestrian jaywalkers forfeit the right-of-way to cars and other vehicles. Easier for courts to find you at fault for a collision or other traffic accident, the act of jay walking doesn’t necessarily prevent you from filing a lawsuit. It also does not prevent potentially obtaining compensation, however it does make the legal claim and/or filing a lawsuit slightly more complicated. If a car hits a pedestrian jaywalking, they should still contact a lawyer skilled in pedestrian accidents.

History of Jay-Walking Law in the Early 20th Century

Pedestrian laws as they relate to jay-walking were implemented by car companies in the mid-1900s, due to their incessant political lobbying. As a result, drivers could more freely use roadways in cities. While the United States of America became more car friendly during the Progressive Era reforms, it also became more anti-pedestrian.

Why is Jaywalking a Problem? 

Jaywalking accidents, like all other pedestrian accidents, are a problem, because the victim often suffers severe injury. Pedestrian jaywalkers do not have any protection from impact, compared to cars and trucks, which have materials to protect against impact. To minimize the risk of severe bodily injury, it is important that when possible, pedestrians walk at pedestrian cross walk and avoid jay walking. 

How Does Jaywalking Impact Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Jaywalking is likely to impact your personal injury lawsuit. It may include reducing your total compensation, but it won’t necessarily prevent you from obtaining compensation to cover your losses. 

How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Work Regarding Jay Walking Accidents? 

By jaywalking, the pedestrian violated a traffic law.  As such, courts will almost certainly find them “negligent per se.”  The court will have to evaluate how much of the total fault for the accident should be allocated to the person walking, and how much should be allocated to the other parties involved. State laws vary quite a bit from there. 

Comparative Fault in the Case of Jay Walker Accidents

Pure Comparative Fault

Most states implement a principle called pure comparative fault. In other words, you are entitled to sue and obtain compensation even if you are found 99 percent at fault. Your total compensation would simply be reduced by the percentage fault allocated to you. 

Modified Comparative Fault

Many other states implement modified comparative fault. This type allows you to recover, but only if you were 50 percent at fault or less

Contributory Fault

Finally, a few states strictly adhere to the principle of contributory fault. In these states, you are unable to obtain any compensation if you are found to be even one percent at fault. 

Given the variety of state laws and the unique ways in which your circumstances can affect a court’s evaluation of fault, it’s critical that you consult with an attorney for guidance on your case. 

Contact an Experienced Attorney as Soon as Possible If You Were Involved in a Pedestrian Jaywalking Accident

Were you injured by a motor vehicle while crossing the street “illegally”?  If so, don’t hang your head just yet. In most states, the law entitles you to sue and obtain compensation, if you can show that were only partially at-fault for the accident. In many cases, jaywalkers deserve compensation for the losses they suffer.  After all, it’s a fairly innocuous and minor violation. Drivers should pay attention to the roadway at all times. 

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to connect to an experienced jaywalking accident attorney in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free, so don’t delay!  There’s no downside to discussing your case with one of our attorneys. 

I Was Hit By a Car While Crossing the Road at an Unmarked Crosswalk. Do I Have a Case?

Drivers are not always at fault for car accidents involving pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks, even if there is a pedestrian crossing sign. In cases where a pedestrian has violated a traffic rule, such as jay walking laws, it can be difficult to bring a valid claim against the driver. 

This article can help you answer common questions about pedestrian accidents:

  1. Do I need a pedestrian accident lawyer?
  2. How can a pedestrian accident lawyer help me?
  3. What is the difference between a marked and an unmarked crosswalk?
  4. Do pedestrians have the right of way at every pedestrian crossing?
  5. Is liability for unmarked crosswalk accidents shared?
  6. Why are comparative negligence laws and modified comparative negligence laws important?
  7. How do I find the best pedestrian accident attorney for me?

Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?

If you were hurt while crossing the road at an “unmarked crosswalk,” you may be entitled to compensation. The unique circumstances of your case determine whether liability attaches to the driver, or some other party. For this reason, at an early stage, an experienced attorney is a valuable resource. 

How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help Me?

A skilled pedestrian accident attorney will:

  • Evaluate the facts of the accident case
  • Provide detailed guidance on whether you have a legal claim, and
  • How you should proceed

What Is the Difference Between a Marked and Unmarked Crosswalk?

What Is a Crosswalk?

Technically, a crosswalk is an area of road where street intersections occur. It is a part of the prolongation, or connection of sidewalk boundaries. This includes marked crosswalks, where signs are in place to warn you, and unmarked crosswalks.

What Is an Unmarked Crosswalk?

Unmarked crosswalks connect sidewalk boundaries at an intersection. They involve any area where two roads intersect at a right angle. If you imagine a four-way stop where two roads have sidewalks on their border and meet at an approximate right angle, an unmarked crosswalk exists between all of the corners that connect the sidewalks.

Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way at Every Pedestrian Crossing?

This may not be obvious, but pedestrians sometimes have the right of way when crossing at an unmarked cross. Pedestrians always have the right of way when crossing a marked crosswalk, but street signs can make pedestrian crossings illegal. With unmarked crosswalks, the right of way is not absolute. Rules of the road vary by state, so injuries from accidents at unmarked crosswalks can be more complicated legally.  

How Can You Avoid an Accident in an Unmarked Crosswalk?

Drivers must operate their vehicles with reasonable care and safety. If they do not cross via a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles. Drivers could be held liable for an accident leading to a collision, if they fail to slow down or stop for a pedestrian. 

Negligent and Reckless Driving

If the driver who caused your injuries broke traffic laws, they may also be found liable for negligent or reckless driving. Examples can include:

  • Speeding
  • Intoxicated or drunk driving
  • Distracted driving

Is Liability For Unmarked Crosswalk Accidents Shared? 

The sharing of liability can happen. It depends on state laws, and on the facts of your case. 

Comparative Negligence Laws

Comparative negligence laws reduce the damages in proportion with the plaintiff’s own contribution of fault. In pure comparative negligence states, like California, there is no fault threshold. For example, if the plaintiff is found 10 percent at fault for their own injuries, they have the right to recover up to 90 percent of the total damages. This is important in crosswalk accident disputes, as pedestrians may be partially at fault. 

Modified Comparative Negligence Laws

Modified comparative negligence states, like Oregon, are different. There, the plaintiff’s fault cannot exceed 50 percent. If the plaintiff is 51 percent at fault for the accident, for example, they cannot recover ANY damages from the defendant. However, if they are 50 percent at fault or less, they can recover damages. 

Injured at an Unmarked Crosswalk? Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Guidance. 

For pedestrians who try to cross at any roadway other than a marked crosswalk, the legal expectation is that they give the right-of-way to passing vehicles. So, if a car hit you at an unmarked crosswalk, and you suffered injuries, you may have a right to recover damages. 

Unmarked crosswalk cases are inherently complex, and the amount of compensation you can potentially recover depends on the circumstances of the case. You’ll need extensive legal knowledge, experience, and expertise to succeed. As such, an attorney is a valuable resource at every stage. 

Take the first steps by working to find the right pedestrian accident lawyer for your case. Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 or contact us to get started with a free legal consultation.