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Navigating the Pedestrian Accident Claim Process: Tips and Tricks


pedestrian accident claim


Being hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian can be a life-altering experience, leaving you with physical, emotional, and financial burdens. The road to recovery can be long and challenging, but you have rights and can seek compensation through the pedestrian accident claim process. This in-depth guide provides a roadmap to successfully navigate filing a pedestrian accident claim, with expert tips, tricks, and legal know-how to maximize your compensation and hold negligent parties accountable.

What Constitutes a Pedestrian Accident Claim?

A pedestrian accident occurs when a person on foot is struck by a motor vehicle, such as a car, truck, or motorcycle. These accidents can happen in various scenarios, including:

  • Crossing the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection
  • Walking along the side of the road or on a sidewalk
  • In a parking lot or driveway
  • When a vehicle fails to yield to a pedestrian

Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries, including:

Anyone who has been hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian can file a claim for compensation, regardless of fault. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the statute of limitations in your state, which is the time frame within which you must file a claim. Missing this deadline could bar you from seeking legal recourse.

pedestrian accident claim

Gathering Crucial Evidence After the Accident

Building a strong case starts with gathering evidence immediately after the pedestrian accident occurs. Here are some essential steps to take:

  1. Document the Accident Scene: Take photos and videos of the area, including any skid marks, debris, and the positions of the vehicles and pedestrians involved. This documentation can help reconstruct the accident and establish liability.
  2. Collect Witness Information: Obtain the names, contact information, and statements from any witnesses who saw the accident occur. Their accounts can corroborate your version of events.
  3. Obtain Medical Records and Bills: Keep detailed records of all medical treatment, including hospital visits, doctor appointments, diagnostic tests, and prescription medications. These records will help substantiate the extent of your injuries and the associated costs.
  4. Preserve Physical Evidence: Retain any clothing, shoes, or personal items damaged during the accident. These can serve as physical evidence of the impact and severity of the collision.
  5. Work with Accident Reconstruction Experts: In complex cases, consider hiring an accident reconstruction expert to analyze the evidence and provide an impartial assessment of how the accident occurred and who was at fault.

Your Rights as an Injured Pedestrian

As a pedestrian, you have certain rights under your state’s laws that protect you from negligent or reckless behavior by drivers. These may include:

  • The right to use designated crosswalks and intersections safely
  • The right to walk along the side of the road or on sidewalks without unreasonable interference from vehicles
  • The right to seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company for injuries and damages sustained

However, pedestrians also have responsibilities to follow traffic laws and exercise reasonable care for their own safety. Factors such as jaywalking, darting into traffic, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impact your ability to recover compensation.

In pedestrian-vehicle accidents, the concept of “reverse onus” often applies, meaning the driver bears a higher burden of proof to demonstrate they were not negligent in causing the collision.

Dealing With Insurance Companies’ Tactics

Insurance companies are notorious for employing tactics to minimize the amount they have to pay out in claims. When dealing with an insurance adjuster, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid Recorded Statements: Insurance companies may try to get you to provide a recorded statement about the accident. However, these statements can be used against you later, so it’s best to decline or consult with an attorney first.
  • Don’t Accept the First Settlement Offer: Insurance companies often make low-ball initial offers, hoping you’ll accept out of desperation or lack of knowledge. An experienced attorney can help negotiate a fair settlement that accounts for all your damages.
  • Be Wary of Delay Tactics: Insurance companies may intentionally delay the claims process, hoping you’ll become frustrated and accept a lowball offer. Stay persistent and keep detailed records of all communications.
  • Understand Liability: In pedestrian accident cases, liability often falls on the driver who failed to yield the right-of-way or exercise due care. However, comparative negligence laws can reduce your compensation if you’re found partially at fault.

What Damages Can You Recover Compensation For?

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to various types of damages, including:

  1. Economic Damages
  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost wages and earning potential
  • Property damage (e.g., damaged clothing, glasses, etc.)
  1. Non-Economic Damages
  1. Punitive Damages 

In cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct by the driver (e.g., driving under the influence), punitive damages may be awarded to punish the offender and deter similar behavior.

Calculating future medical needs and lost income can be complex, especially for severe or catastrophic injuries. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help ensure all your damages are accounted for and properly valued.

The Benefits of Hiring a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

While you can handle a pedestrian accident claim yourself, having an experienced attorney on your side can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement or favorable court judgment. Here are some key benefits of hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer:

  1. Legal Expertise: Pedestrian accident claims involve complex laws and legal procedures. An attorney with specific experience in this area can navigate the process efficiently and avoid costly mistakes.
  1. Negotiation Skills: Attorneys are skilled negotiators and understand how to effectively communicate with insurance companies and opposing legal counsel to secure the best possible outcome for their clients.
  1. Contingency Fee Arrangements: Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they successfully recover compensation for you. This arrangement minimizes your financial risk.
  1. Access to Resources: Established law firms have the resources and network of experts (e.g., accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, etc.) necessary to build a strong case.
  1. Litigation Experience: If your case goes to trial, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney will know how to effectively present evidence, examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf in court.

When choosing a pedestrian accident lawyer, consider factors such as their track record of success, client testimonials, and communication style. Many reputable firms offer free initial consultations, allowing you to assess their qualifications before making a decision.

Pursuing Alternative Dispute Resolution

Not all pedestrian accident claims have to go through the traditional litigation process. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation and arbitration, can provide faster and more cost-effective resolutions in some cases.

Mediation involves a neutral third-party mediator who facilitates negotiations between the parties and helps them reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Mediation is non-binding, meaning if an agreement cannot be reached, you can still proceed to trial.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is a more formal process where an arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) hears evidence from both sides and renders a binding decision. Arbitration can be either binding (the decision is final and enforceable) or non-binding (the decision is advisory, and either party can still proceed to trial).

ADR methods can offer several advantages, including:

  • Cost Savings: ADR is generally less expensive than traditional litigation, as it avoids lengthy court proceedings and associated legal fees.
  • Time Efficiency: ADR processes are typically faster than going to trial, allowing for a more expedient resolution.
  • Privacy: Unlike public court proceedings, ADR sessions are private and confidential.
  • Control: Parties have more control over the outcome and can craft creative solutions tailored to their specific needs.

However, ADR may not be suitable for every case, especially those involving complex legal issues or high-stakes damages. Your pedestrian accident attorney can advise you on this.

Here is the completed in-depth, comprehensive blog post on navigating the pedestrian accident claim process:

pedestrian accident claim

If Your Case Goes To Court – The Litigation Process

If settlement negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods are unsuccessful, your pedestrian accident case may proceed to litigation and a potential trial. Here’s what to expect:

  1. The Complaint: Your attorney will file a formal complaint with the court, initiating the lawsuit against the at-fault party and their insurance company.
  1. The Discovery Process: Both sides will exchange relevant information and evidence through depositions, interrogatories, and document requests. This discovery phase allows your lawyer to build a strong case.
  1. Pre-Trial Motions: Attorneys may file various pre-trial motions to exclude or include certain evidence, testimony, or legal arguments.  
  1. Settlement Conferences: Even after a lawsuit is filed, settlement negotiations may continue. Many cases are resolved before reaching trial.
  1. The Trial: If no settlement is reached, your case will go to trial. Both sides will present evidence, examine witnesses, and make legal arguments before a judge and jury.
  1. The Verdict: After hearing all the evidence, the jury (or judge in a bench trial) will determine if the defendant was negligent and, if so, how much compensation should be awarded.
  1. Appeals: Even after a verdict, either party may have grounds to appeal the decision to a higher court based on legal errors or other issues.

Throughout the litigation process, having an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer is crucial. They will handle all the complex legal procedures, advocate tirelessly on your behalf, and fight to maximize the compensation you deserve.

Special Claim Considerations

Certain types of pedestrian accidents involve unique legal considerations:

Hit-and-Run Accidents: If the driver flees the scene, you may be able to file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance policy. Your attorney can also investigate to identify the at-fault driver.

Impaired Driving Accidents: If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be able to pursue punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.

Child Pedestrian Injuries: Cases involving children have different standards and procedures, as the child’s future potential losses must be considered.

Don’t Go It Alone – Experienced Legal Representation Is Key

Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be an overwhelming experience, leaving you to navigate a complex legal system while recovering from your injuries. You don’t have to face this challenge alone. Benefit From Our Extensive Personal Injury Experience 

Turn to our experienced network of personal injury lawyers for assistance. At Claim Settlement, our team of legal experts boasts over 30 years of collective experience in successfully handling personal injury and accident cases, securing millions of dollars in settlements for our clients.

Free Consultations & No Upfront Fees

Benefit from our complimentary initial consultations and rest assured, you won’t incur any fees until our network of lawyers has secured the compensation you rightfully deserve. 

Take Action Today

If you’ve suffered an injury or been involved in an accident, reach out to us at  1-833-892-5246 for a no-obligation consultation, or email us at


Hit-and-run accidents can still lead to compensation through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. An attorney can also investigate to identify the at-fault driver.

The value depends on factors like the severity of injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and non-economic damages. An experienced lawyer can properly valuate your claim.

You may still be able to recover compensation under comparative negligence laws, but your award may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.

The timeline can vary from several months for a negotiated settlement to over a year if the case goes to trial. Having proper legal representation can help resolve your case efficiently.



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