Pedestrians hit by motor vehicles are uniquely vulnerable to injuries. They have nothing between their bodies and an oncoming vehicle. Sometimes they survive with minor injuries, but serious pedestrian accidents in Illinois and Indiana can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal damage or post-traumatic stress disorder. Automobile insurance may cover a victim’s expenses, but coverage limits and fault influence the size of a settlement.
Automobile insurance coverage limits
A driver found to be at fault for hitting you in the road will be responsible for paying your damages. Insurance coverage places an upper cap on what you can receive. In Illinois, many drivers only carry automobile insurance with the minimum coverage required of $25,000 for bodily injury. For pedestrian accidents, policy limits can put downward pressure on accident settlement because no more money is available.
Minimum coverage may or may not cover your damages. Average settlements for a pedestrian with minor injuries fall into a range of $15,000 to $75,000. People who suffer serious injuries, such as paralysis, may have damages in the million dollar range.
Determination of liability
The insurer of a driver accused of hitting a pedestrian may try to defend the claim if the pedestrian appears to bear some or all blame for the accident. People who were not using marked crosswalks or walking in opposition to traffic signals may lose out on compensation if evidence indicates that they disobeyed traffic laws. A thorough investigation of the pedestrian accident is needed before both sides can reach a conclusion about who was at fault.
Although pedestrians sometimes are found to have contributed to their accidents, the law generally expects drivers to avoid hitting them. Any evidence of speeding or driver distraction or intoxication could tip the scales in favor of a settlement for the pedestrian.