Am I Covered By Insurance in a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accidents can be very severe even at low speeds. With little to no protection, it is very easy for someone walking along the road to be seriously injured.
After an accident, the most important thing is seeking proper medical attention. Getting you back on the road to health is the number one priority. But even after that, there are life-changing effects. What about the missed time from work? Pain and suffering? Who or what will cover these and others?
The first place we’d turn to is the at-fault driver’s insurance. California has minimum requirements of $15,000/$30,000 for car insurance. But this may be far too little if you’re the victim of a pedestrian accident.
It’s easy to not think of your own car insurance coverage to be a place to turn if you’re on foot. But that’s exactly the next place we’d turn to. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) then it’s possible your own insurance will cover you. This is why we always recommend getting UM/UIM coverage even though it isn’t required by the state. We recommend your own policy limits be a minimum of $100,000/$300,000 and your UM/UIM to match it.
UM/UIM coverage must be higher than the at-fault driver’s limits. This means that if the at-fault driver’s limits are $30,000/$60,000 and your UM/UIM policy is $15,000/$30,000, then your policy wouldn’t apply.
It’s also possible that you’re covered by another member of your household. Some policies automatically cover spouses or family members. If that’s the case, then your injuries and losses can be paid from that policy.
This is one of many reasons we recommend speaking with a San Diego pedestrian accident attorney. We offer a no-cost case evaluation where we can discuss insurance coverage and more. We are here to offer free and friendly advice to help you determine your options. Call us today at (858) 206-4326 at no cost!
What Types of Compensation Am I Entitled To?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, damages that may be available to you are:
- Cost of medical treatment (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental harm
- Expenses such as household or in-home care
- Loss of enjoyment of life activities
- Specific family members may be able to make a claim as well
What Are Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is a pedestrian death every 88 minutes in the United States. And pedestrians are involved in nearly 13% of vehicle-related fatalities.
Some common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
- Left-hand turns. Intersections are dangerous for both pedestrians and cars. But where a car is turning left, pedestrians are 3 times more likely to get hit than right-hand turning cars.
- Improper lane use. 67% of pedestrian accidents happen on city streets. This can be due to a bicycle riding on the sidewalk forcing pedestrians into the street in front of cars.
- Unmarked crosswalks. Using a signaled crosswalk dramatically reduces the chances of a pedestrian accident. Drivers aren’t usually expecting pedestrians outside of a crosswalk crossing the street.
- Use of electronic devices. Using an electronic device while crossing the street can cause pedestrians to miss traffic. A study shows that 8% of pedestrian accidents occurred when the person was using an electronic device.
- Wearing dark clothing. Almost 50% of pedestrian accidents happen on weekends and 70% at night. When wearing dark clothing this reduces visibility and can be hard for drivers to see.
- Intoxication or impairment. This also ties into the statistic above with dark clothing. Over ⅓ of pedestrian accident fatalities have a blood alcohol level above 0.08 percent. Intoxicated drivers are involved in about 13% of pedestrian accidents.