Car accidents can cause devastating injuries, especially to pedestrians. Unlike motorists, pedestrians have no protective barrier between them and the car that strikes them.
As a result, pedestrians often need tens of thousands of dollars in medical care, and they are at higher risk of suffering permanent injuries. Injured pedestrians also can miss months of work, which makes obtaining compensation that much more critical.
After your accident, you might wonder about the average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car. In reality, there is no “average” settlement amount.
Because settlements are usually confidential, no one has collected this information to come up with a believable number. The better course is to focus on the factors that go into calculating your settlement amount.
Calculate How Much Your Medical Care Costs
The purpose of a settlement is to make you “whole.” Basically, this means the settlement should put you in the position you would be in had you never been involved in an accident.
One factor we look at it is how much money your medical care has cost. With minor injuries, like sprains or strains, you might only need a couple thousand dollars in medical care, possibly less. For serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries or bad burns, you could need much more.
It is very easy to calculate the cost of medical care. Find all bills and receipts and add up the amounts. Remember you can receive compensation for things like rehabilitation, prescription drugs, and supportive devices such as crutches or wheelchairs. You might also receive compensation for transportation to the hospital or doctors visits.
Add Up Your Lost Wages
Another economic loss associated with car accidents are lost wages. If your broken leg or concussion causes you to miss work, then you can receive the wages you would have earned had you not been injured. Look at your pay stubs and calculate the amount.
You can even receive lost wages if you are self-employed—provided you can establish what you would have earned with reasonable certainty. For example, if you had to cancel some contracts while you recovered, then you can probably receive their value in compensation.
Estimate Your Pain and Suffering
If you are a pedestrian hit by a car, settlement negotiations should include discussion of your intangible losses, like pain or emotional distress. The simple fact is that accidents cause some losses that are hard to calculate in dollars and cents. Nevertheless, these losses are very real. Many of our clients report a serious reduction in the quality of life after getting struck by a car.
The amount you can receive usually depends on the seriousness of your physical injuries. A sprain that causes a couple of weeks of discomfort probably will not earn you much in pain and suffering. But an injury that prevents you from enjoying your favorite hobbies or playing with your children may be worth much more. When clients suffer permanent, life-changing injuries like paralysis, they can receive a considerable amount for pain and suffering.
Analyze the Driver’s Insurance Policy
The driver’s insurance policy will usually act as a ceiling to the amount you can receive. Regardless of how much money the accident has cost you—and regardless of the severity of your injuries—the fact is it is very rare for you to get more in a settlement than the driver has in insurance.
California only requires that drivers carry $15,000 in injury liability insurance per person, and many drivers only carry the minimum. If your injuries are worth $50,000, you still might need to settle for $15,000.
Of course, you can file a lawsuit as a pedestrian hit by a car but, again, you will probably not get more than the policy limit in compensation.
Call an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Long Beach
Negotiating a settlement is complicated, and you need someone experienced to represent you. At the Beliz Law Firm, we have gone up against many of the state’s largest insurers, and we know how to get a favorable settlement for our clients. By hiring us, you will get an advocate who knows how to build these cases the right way and who is not intimidated by insurer dirty tricks.
To find out more about whether we can help you, please contact us right away. We offer clients a free consultation, which they can schedule by calling 562-452-3772.