Who Covers Your Medical Expenses After a Pedestrian Accident?

Who covers medical expenses from a pedestrian accident will depend on who caused the accident. While motorists most often cause pedestrian accidents, other parties can sometimes do.

If you suffered injuries as a pedestrian, a pedestrian accident lawyer can identify who bears responsibility for your medical bills and other damages. You may receive compensation through either an insurance claim or a lawsuit, but you need a lawyer to do that.

Determining Liability in Different Pedestrian Accident Scenarios

A pedestrian accident can happen for several reasons, and determining the reason for the accident is key to establishing liability. Some of the common reasons for pedestrian accidents are:

Driver Negligence

Motorists pose perhaps the greatest risk to pedestrians.

A motorist increases the risk of a pedestrian accident when they:

Who Covers Your Medical Expenses After a Pedestrian Accident

Motorist negligence regularly leads to pedestrian accidents; there is no doubt about it. If a motorist injured you as a pedestrian, your attorney can seek compensation for your medical expenses and other losses through their auto insurance or by filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court when necessary.

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Vehicle Defects

When tires blow, brakes fail, and other vehicle defects cause accidents, you can hold the vehicle or component manufacturer liable for your medical expenses. In this scenario, neither the motorist nor the pedestrian may bear liability, and both may seek compensation from the manufacturer or seller responsible for the defect.

Defective or Nonexistent Traffic Signals or Signage

Road markings, traffic signs, stop lights, and pedestrian-specific signals are essential to preventing collisions between motorists and pedestrians. If these preventative resources are defective, nonexistent, outdated, or otherwise insufficient, the risk of pedestrian accidents may increase.

You can hold a municipality liable for any pedestrian accident resulting from dangerous road conditions. Filing a claim against a government entity presents unique challenges, so you need a lawyer to handle the process immediately following your accident.

Work Crews Positioned Unsafely

In some cases, the pedestrian harmed in a pedestrian accident is a worker.

Such an accident may happen because:

  • A work site is positioned too close to the road (or even in the roadway)
  • The work site lacks proper barriers
  • The work site does not have adequate signage to alert motorists to its presence
  • An employer commands the employee to operate in a dangerous manner that leads to a pedestrian accident

You can hold a municipality, construction company, or other party liable for placing you in danger.

Hazards in the Road

If a motorist must swerve to avoid hazards, they may strike a pedestrian.

Hazards can include:

  • Cargo that has fallen off of a semi-truck
  • Items that fall off the back of a pickup truck
  • Pieces of a vehicle (such as a bumper) that should not have been on the roadway
  • Traffic cones or barrels
  • General debris

When investigating your case, an attorney will determine who you can hold responsible for any hazards contributing to your pedestrian accident.

What Factors Increase the Likelihood of a Pedestrian Accident?

Many factors increase the risk of an accident:

  • Poor lighting along the road, which may make it difficult for motorists to see pedestrians
  • Intoxication, which may lead a pedestrian or motorist to engage in dangerous behaviors
  • Urban settings, which often place motorists and pedestrians in close proximity
  • Construction, which often requires work crews to operate near traffic
  • Events, such as marathons and protests that bring large crowds of pedestrians near motor vehicles

Whether one of these high-risk factors is present or not, motorists and pedestrians must do everything possible to avoid causing a collision. Municipalities and private organizations must also take all necessary steps to prevent conditions that increase the risk of a pedestrian accident.

Motorists Must Do Everything Possible to Minimize These Risk Factors

Those with the potential to cause a pedestrian accident must do everything possible to avoid such an accident.

Responsibilities for each of these parties include:

  • Motorists: Driving while sober and alert, ensuring a vehicle is safe before driving, and always paying attention to the road.
  • Municipalities: Ensuring that stop lights and traffic signs are working and in the proper position, providing adequate lighting where pedestrians may be on or near the roadway, positioning work crews safely, and ensuring streets are in good condition.

Your lawyer will review the details of your pedestrian accident and determine who is responsible for the collision. They will identify any failures by responsible parties, and determine if those failures qualify as negligence. If so, the negligent party should cover all your medical expenses and other losses.

Vicarious Liability for a Pedestrian’s Medical Expenses

Sometimes, a driver might hit a pedestrian while on the job. Whether the worker was driving from one job site to another, making deliveries, or transporting cargo across the country in a semi-truck, their on-the-job status plays a large role in your injury claim.

You can hold employers liable for the negligence of their employees. You do not have to prove the company’s negligence – only that the negligent party was working for the company at the time of the accident.

Vicarious liability often allows you to access greater insurance coverage to ensure you can obtain full compensation for your medical expenses.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

If you were in a pedestrian accident and suffered injuries, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

You should:

  • Visit a reputable medical professional
  • Receive a complete examination that reveals all accident-related injuries
  • Receive any necessary X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or other medical imaging services that can show your injuries
  • Obtain copies of all medical images taken after your accident
  • Ask your doctor for a detailed diagnosis of all injuries and symptoms
  • Ask for written records of all your medical care and diagnoses for injuries
  • Keep copies of all accident-related medical bills

Following these steps will protect you from serious health complications and benefit your attorney. Your lawyer will use medical records and bills as part of your case, so you should hang onto these documents.

Hire an Attorney to Manage Your Claim or Lawsuit

Victims of pedestrian accidents should also hire a lawyer to represent them after the accident.

You should take this step to:

  • Learn about your legal rights and options: Even if you know someone else caused your accident, you likely do not realize all your rights to compensation or how to begin the process. A lawyer can evaluate your situation and advise you on how to proceed.
  • Pursue compensation for your damages: If you want fair compensation for a pedestrian accident, hiring a lawyer is the first step. A pedestrian accident attorney’s job, on a basic level, is simple: get the compensation the client deserves.
  • Navigate the legal process: Most pedestrian accident victims have no experience with insurance claims and lawsuits. Even if you might know how to handle your claim or lawsuit, physical and psychological injuries may limit your capacity to do so. If you try to lead your own case, you risk jeopardizing your compensation, worsening your injuries, and compromising your overall health.
  • Provide financial support: Pedestrian accident lawyers provide financial support for clients’ cases. A law firm may hire experts and take other costly steps to strengthen your case, and you won’t face any additional financial costs for these services.

Injury firms typically offer contingency fees. These fees come as a percentage of the client’s financial recovery. The law firm covers all expenses, and you will agree to pay the firm a percentage of any financial recovery it obtains for you. You pay no direct or out-of-pocket cost to hire a lawyer.

In Addition to Medical Expenses, What Damages Should I Seek Compensation for After a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrians face a great-than-average risk of suffering serious injuries, as they lack the protection that a motor vehicle affords a crash victim. If you suffered serious injuries, this increases the likely value of your accident-related damages.

In addition to the cost of your accident-related medical care, your financial recoveries may also include:

Pain and Suffering

Pedestrian accident lawyers don’t just consider their clients’ financial losses but also forms of non-economic harm that can result from a pedestrian accident.

Such pain and suffering may include:

A mental health professional can inform your lawyer about the nature of your pain and suffering and the treatment you’ll need to overcome your symptoms.

Treatment for Pain and Suffering

If you seek treatment for pain and suffering related to your accident, you should receive equivalent compensation. Such treatment may include medications, exposure therapy, counseling, and any other regimen a mental health professional advises.

Professional Damages

Injuries from a pedestrian accident may cause you to:

  • Lose your regular paycheck
  • Miss chances to earn bonuses
  • Lose progress toward promotions and future career opportunities
  • Lack the fulfillment your job and career provide

These damages can cause severe financial hardship as well as psychological problems.

Property Expenses

If the collision between a motor vehicle and yourself damages your cell phone, clothing, glasses, or other personal property, your lawyer will seek fair compensation for these property expenses. If you were on a scooter or bike during the collision, your attorney will seek compensation to repair or replace your personal mode of transport.

An attorney will also consider any dental work you need because of the collision.

A Wrongful Death

Pedestrians do not always survive collisions with motor vehicles.

If you lost a loved one because of a pedestrian accident, your settlement or judgment should cover:

  • Your grief and other forms of pain and suffering
  • The loss of a spouse’s companionship, parent’s guidance, and other non-financial benefits the decedent provided their loved ones
  • The loss of the decedent’s income and household services (such as help with chores, handiwork, and security for the home)
  • Funeral costs
  • Any other damages resulting from your loved one’s passing

There is no loss greater than a loved one’s passing. An attorney will work fearlessly to get justice for the passing of your loved one.

How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Will Serve You After a Serious Injury

When someone hires a pedestrian accident lawyer, they entrust every detail of their case to the attorney.

The law firm will oversee every aspect of the case, helping you by:

  • Documenting all of your accident-related damages, including both economic and non-economic harm
  • Calculating the precise financial value of your accident-related damages
  • Dealing with insurers involved in the post-accident claims process
  • Negotiating a settlement on your behalf
  • Completing all case-related paperwork and communications
  • Taking your case to trial if necessary

When you hire an attorney, you receive more than just a lawyer. Injury firms also employ paralegals and investigators. These firms also have networks of experts who they use to build their clients’ cases.

A law firm may be your greatest asset after a pedestrian accident. If you choose the right firm, that decision can lead directly to a significant financial recovery.

Find a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Your Area as Soon as Possible

Tatiana Boohoff - Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Tampa
Tatiana Boohoff, Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Do not wait to find a personal injury attorney in your area. Consider a firm’s reputation and results before hiring a legal professional. Your lawyer may have a limited time to file your case, so don’t delay. Begin the process of seeking compensation for your medical bills and other losses right away.

September 16, 2023
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