If a pedestrian is hit by a car is he or she automatically entitled to a settlement?

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Question:

If a pedestrian is hit by a car is he or she automatically entitled to a settlement?

Answer:

In many cases, if a pedestrian is hit by a car, he or she will receive a pedestrian accident settlement. However, this is not an automatic guarantee and things may be different depending on the cause of the accident and where the pedestrian lives. 

If a pedestrian lives in a no fault state and is hit by a car, he or she may not be able to collect damages from the driver of the vehicle that hit her, even if the driver was 100 percent completely at fault. These states require all drivers to buy personal injury protection (PIP) so the pedestrian probably either has such protection or lives with someone who does (the coverage extends to all people in the household of a covered insured). So, unless the injuries the pedestrian sustained were "serious" under the definition in the no fault laws of the state, the pedestrian is going to have to make a claim to the no-fault insurer for medical bills and lost wages. She is not going to get any other compensation. 

If the pedestrian lives in a fault state, then she can collect her damages from the responsible driver as long as that driver was at fault (or at least partially at fault). While most often the driver of the car will be considered to be at fault, sometimes a pedestrian may cause the accident in which she got hit, say by stepping out in front of a car that doesn't have time to stop before it hits her. Other than these limited exceptions, however, the pedestrian can collect her damages from the driver who will generally be liable. She may get these damages from an out of court settlement, or if no fair settlement is offered, by filing a lawsuit. 

If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, consult with a lawyer today to find out what your options are. 

This site does not provide legal advice and users of this site should not interpret any of the information presented here as legal advice. The information provided merely conveys general information related to commonly asked legal questions. We are not a law firm and the employees responding to questions are not acting as your legal attorney. You should ultimately consult with a lawyer for your case.

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