When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the consequences can be severe. Most such cases result in serious injuries and long-term emotional distress.
In Texas, determining the average settlement for a pedestrian accident depends on various factors. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to such an incident.
The state places a strong duty of care on motor vehicle drivers to yield the right of way to pedestrians. Automobilists must exercise caution around intersections and crosswalks.
Drivers who breach their duty can be at fault for the pedestrian accident. As a result, their insurance company will have to pay the accident settlement amount.
However, the passerby on foot might sometimes be responsible for the crash. This changes the scenario, shifting the blame, partially or entirely, onto the pedestrian.
The Factors That Influence Settlement Amounts in Pedestrian Accidents
The extent of the victim's injuries is a major factor in determining the pedestrian accident settlement.
Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain concussion, and loss of mobility can result in larger amounts. The final payout will have to compensate for medical bills, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.
Texas also follows a modified comparative fault rule. If a victim is found partially responsible for the pedestrian accident, the court will reduce their settlement amount according to the percentage of fault.
The insurance coverage of the involved driver is another crucial factor. In this event, the motorist's insurance company is responsible for the pedestrian accident settlement. If a driver has higher coverage limits, it may lead to a larger payout.
Generally, victims can recover up to $75,000 for minor injuries, such as whiplash and broken bones. However, the payout will increase to $1M+ for severe injuries. This includes traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.
What Can the Victim Sue for in a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accident settlements may include compensation for various damages. This includes the following:
The primary element in a pedestrian accident claim is the medical expenses. Such costs include hospitalization, surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, doctor's visits, and more.
Victims can seek reimbursement for all reasonable and documented medical bills related to the pedestrian hit-and-run case.
Also known as non-economic damages, general damages are losses that are not easily quantifiable. This category includes compensation for mental anguish, loss of quality of life, emotional trauma, etc.
Lawyers use different methods to calculate such damages. One common approach is to use a "multiplier method."
Attorneys calculate losses by multiplying the total economic damages by a specific number (1.5 to 5). The more severe the injury, the larger the multiplier number.
Per Diem Method
In some cases, lawyers may assign a specific daily or weekly value to the victim's pain and suffering. This approach is often ideal for injuries with a clear healing timeline (fractures or soft tissue injuries).
Attorneys may also use a combination of methods to calculate non-economic damages. They may use a per diem value for the initial period and switch to a multiplier method for long-term injuries.
In pedestrian accidents, the victims may be entitled to recover lost income. This is when the crash results in an inability to work and earn. The compensation should also include future earnings if the injuries lead to long-term or permanent disabilities.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the experience can be emotionally scarring. Victims may suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Financial compensation should include costs of therapy, counseling, medical treatment, etc.
Pain and Suffering
Like mental trauma, pain and suffering refer to victims' mental and bodily anguish. This includes discomfort, nightmares, loss of mobility, physical pain, emotional suffering, etc. The pedestrian accident settlement will consider the following:
The severity of the issues.
Also, the duration of recovery.
The long-term impact on the victim's life.
A legal professional can assess the unique circumstances of the pedestrian hit-and-run case. They can gather necessary evidence and advocate for the victim's rights.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Pedestrian Hit by Car?
A legal time limit determines when a pedestrian hit by car can file a lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations for such cases carries solid implications for potential legal actions.
The expiration date is two years from the day of the pedestrian accident. This means the victim has 24 months to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
It's crucial to meet this deadline. Failing to file a lawsuit within the prescribed period will result in victims losing their legal rights to seek pedestrian accident settlements for serious injuries.
While the two-year statute of limitations is a general rule, there are exceptions to the case. If the pedestrian was a minor at the time of the accident, the time frame will extend until the victim turns 18. The plaintiff or their legal guardian should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice.
Given the time-sensitive nature of such cases, pedestrians hit by cars must start gathering evidence immediately after the accident. A qualified pedestrian accident attorney can guide the victim(s) through the legal process. They can take all the necessary steps within the statute of limitations.
Navigating a Pedestrian Accident Case: What to Do Immediately After the Crash
Dealing with a crash can be a harrowing experience for a pedestrian hit by a car. Knowing what steps to take is crucial in the chaotic moments following such an incident.
1. Ensuring Safety
If physically able, the pedestrian hit by a vehicle should move to a safe location away from oncoming traffic. Injured victims must try to signal to passersby.
2. Calling for Help
The most important thing for an injured pedestrian to do is dial 911 and request medical assistance. This phone call will also be an official police report if the case goes to trial.
Even if the injuries appear minor initially, victims must seek medical evaluation immediately. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms at first but can become more serious over time. A quick assessment will also document the issues related to the accident.
3. Collecting Evidence
One of the easiest ways to win a personal injury case is by showing substantial evidence in court.
Victims should document the scene and take visual proof of the accident if possible. They should also talk to witnesses and collect testimonies for future reference.
4. Contacting the Insurance Company
The plaintiff should contact their insurance company immediately and notify it about the pedestrian accident case.
They should also provide it with the necessary information and follow the instructions for filing a settlement for pedestrian crashes. However, victims should not admit fault or assign blame at the scene.
Instead, it's wiser if the plaintiff hires a qualified attorney who can prove the at-fault driver breached their duty of care.
How Long Does It Take to Recover Compensation in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
While some cases may reach a resolution relatively quickly, others can take longer. The timeline depends on a combination of legal, factual, and logistical elements.
Types of Damages
The nature and extent of the injuries significantly impact the timeline. A serious neck injury or spinal cord trauma can demand ongoing medical treatment. This may lead to longer cases.
Treatment and Recovery
On the other hand, the time it takes to complete medical treatment and reach maximum improvement is a significant factor.
Victims can't recover a settlement for pedestrian accidents from the responsible party's insurance company until the court determines the full value of the medical expenses.
Liability and Disputation
If there is a dispute over who is at fault for the accident, it can prolong the legal process. Investigating responsibility and gathering evidence is time-consuming.
Coming to a middle ground with the insurance company is harder than most people think. The time it takes to reach a fair settlement depends on the insurance company's willingness.
On the other hand, the process is expedited if both parties mutually finalize a settlement amount. However, if one client is unwilling to compromise, the case may proceed to trial. This adds time to the resolution.
The legal system itself can impact the timeline. Court dockets and scheduling can lead to delays. The availability of dates and the issue's caseload can influence the proceedings' speed.
Determining the average settlement for a pedestrian accident in Texas is not straightforward. The amount varies widely, and many factors influence it.
Each accident case is unique, and the compensation amount depends on the specific circumstances of the lawsuit. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can share insight to situations such as What happens if you hit a pedestrian jaywalking in Texas?
Victims of pedestrian crashes should know that pursuing fair compensation demands careful evaluation of their injuries. Plaintiffs must also negotiate skillfully with the at-fault party's insurance company.
In this case, the best course of action would be hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer. Such experts know how to secure reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional suffering. The goal in any pedestrian accident case is to ensure victims receive just compensation for their losses.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help victims work toward this objective and regain control of their lives. With a statement that says, "We Go to War for You," the experts of this law firm can help plaintiffs win their legal battles on a budget.