You cannot always tell from looking at a car that it struck a pedestrian the previous day. It is unlikely, though, that the collision will have such a negligible effect on the pedestrian. Pedestrians who get hit by cars and emerge with injuries minor enough not to require hospitalization are the lucky few. Even when you recover from the physical injuries, the medical bills that result from getting hit by a car while you are walking are devastating. You might assume that motor vehicle operators always bear 100 percent of the fault for pedestrian accidents, but this is not always the case. Even if the at-fault driver's insurance does not cover 100 percent of your accident-related medical bills, you still have options for getting the money you need. A Spokane auto accident lawyer can help you successfully file insurance claims that will enable you to recover the financial losses you suffered as a result of getting hit by a car while you were walking.
Can a Pedestrian Accident Really Be a Pedestrian's Fault?
Car accident insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits are based on the concept of negligence. In certain situations, people and corporate entities have a duty of care, which means that they have a legal duty to use caution in order to avoid causing preventable injuries. Failing to uphold the duty of care is called negligence. In the case of most car accidents, the only consequence is that the insurance companies assign most or all of the fault for the accident to you, so your insurance policy is responsible for paying for most of the accident-related vehicle repairs and medical bills.
Just as drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely, pedestrians have a responsibility to walk safely in areas open to vehicular traffic. That means crossing at designated crosswalks when these are available and abiding by the “walk” and “don't walk” signs at intersections. Likewise, a pedestrian can bear fault for the accident if the pedestrian is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and, therefore, unable to pay appropriate attention to their surroundings.
Who Pays the Medical Bills When a Negligent Pedestrian Gets Hit by a Car?
Under Washington's comparative negligence laws, pedestrians can sue the drivers who hit them or file claims with the driver's insurance policy, even if the accident is partially the pedestrian's fault. The driver must only pay the portion of the pedestrian's accident-related medical bills that are attributable to the driver's negligence. If the driver was 65% at fault for the accident, the driver or their insurance company must compensate the pedestrian for 65% of the accident-related medical bills. To cover the remainder of your medical bills, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is your best bet.
Contact West Law Office About Car Accident Cases
A car accident lawyer can help you if you were injured when another driver struck you while you were walking. Contact West Law Office in Spokane, Washington, to find out more about your legal options.