Pedestrian Hit by Car Settlements

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Written By Rocky Horton

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A pedestrian hit by car settlement is a complicated matter. Whether you are the pedestrian or the driver in a pedestrian car accident, you likely want to know how the insurance companies will settle the case. In some cases, the motorist’s personal liability can be very high, depending on the legal statutes of the state in which the accident occurred, the conditions of the accident, and the decision of the jury.

If you want to know what happens in a pedestrian hit by car settlement, including what you should do after the accident, how to file a claim, how to prove fault, and the process for settling the case, continue reading our guide to pedestrian accidents.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

The cause of the pedestrian accident often determines the settlement since it indicates who was at fault. Note that a pedestrian is anyone on a walkway or roadway that is not in a motor vehicle. But importantly, this includes not only walkers and joggers but also those who are riding non-motorized “vehicles” such as bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, scooters, etc.

Next, you should understand the most common places for a pedestrian car accident to occur, which are areas near tourist attractions or beaches where people often park and walk to different destinations. After this, the most common areas are school zones and residential neighborhoods, where people are most likely to be walking or riding without a car.

While accidents are more common in these areas due to the presence of pedestrians, the causes of pedestrian accidents are often dependent on the driver’s actions. Leading causes of pedestrian accidents include reckless driving (including speeding), drunk or distracted driving, or neglecting basic road rules. These include making a rolling stop at an intersection or illegally passing a stopped school bus.

A less common but still possible cause of a pedestrian car accident is an intersection that is either poorly designed or in need of maintenance.

What to Do After Being Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian?

If you are the pedestrian in the accident, your first responsibility is to your well-being. You should not go home after the accident. You should seek emergency care immediately, either at the scene or at a nearby hospital.

This is true no matter how serious the accident seems. Even a low-impact pedestrian car accident can result in significant losses both physically and emotionally. Head or internal injuries may not reveal themselves immediately but can result in partial or permanent disability, a loss of quality of life, or even death if left untreated. Refusal to accept medical attention at the scene or to visit an emergency care facility afterward can result in the insurance adjusters claiming that you sustained your injuries later.

As soon as you are able, you should report the accident to the police. This allows emergency personnel to arrive on the scene and document the accident. If the driver has fled, the sooner you report the accident, the easier it will be for the authorities to track the driver down.

Next, provided you are not in critical condition, you should gather evidence at the scene of the accident, including the conditions of the road, the car that hit you, property damage, skid marks, poorly maintained roads, or anything else that seems relevant. These details can make a difference in the case later.

After reporting the accident and receiving medical attention, your next step after the accident should be to speak with a personal injury lawyer experienced with pedestrian car accidents. The next steps you need to take, including gathering evidence and calculating losses, will be much easier with an experienced lawyer fighting for your case. 

What to Do If I Hit a Pedestrian with My Car?

If you are the driver in a pedestrian car accident, your first responsibility is to the people you hit. This means pulling your car over and following a proper accident protocol that involves calling the police, reporting the accident, and getting medical attention to the pedestrian. There are serious consequences for not stopping after a car accident.

You should get the pedestrian’s personal information and offer your own, including your name, address, license plate number, and insurance policy number. Your next responsibility is to your insurance provider. You should report the accident as soon as possible so they can begin the claims process.

Then, you should gather evidence at the scene, including the conditions of the road, any property damage, and anything else that could be relevant.

Hit Pedestrian with Car No Injuries

Importantly, the steps you should follow after hitting a pedestrian are not different when no one seems to be injured. You should still inform the police, emergency medical personnel, and your insurance company, gather evidence, and ask for the pedestrian’s contact information.

At the scene of the accident, you don’t know how the pedestrian will report their injuries. Even if they don’t seem injured at the time, they may initiate a claim, at which point the court will learn that you hit them without calling the police or hospital.

As a rule, treat every accident as though the pedestrian was injured and will file a claim against your insurance provider.

Common Pedestrian Injuries After Being Hit by a Car

In an accident involving a pedestrian struck by a car, the potential injuries are similar to those of a normal car accident, though they can be much more severe. Broken bones are a common injury, including not only fractures but even bone punctures. They commonly occur in the pedestrian’s arms, hands, wrists, legs, and pelvis.

Head and back injuries are also common, often resulting from the impact of the accident pushing the pedestrian onto the street. These injuries can result in brain trauma that can lead to debilitating neurological issues. Symptoms of dangerous related conditions include a loss of muscular coordination, frequent headaches accompanied by nausea, speech difficulties, mood changes, and more.

Filing a Pedestrian Accident Insurance Claim

If you hope to file a claim to receive a “pedestrian hit by car settlement,” as many law firms put it, the first step is to gather information, including the ID of the driver, their insurance policy, and evidence at the scene.

The next step is to seek medical attention so that your injuries can be documented. You need to report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible so they can begin the preliminary claims process.

However, health insurance may not always cover your bills, so you may need to seek compensation from your car insurance or personal injury protection. This is why contacting a personal injury attorney experienced in pedestrian car accidents is important when filing for a pedestrian hit by car settlement.

How to Prove Driver Fault for a Pedestrian Accident

Proving driver fault when a pedestrian is hit by a car involves layers of evidence, including the police report of the scene, statements from witnesses, and statements from the driver and/or passengers.

Using this information, the court will try to establish liability to discern whether the driver’s actions or the pedestrian’s caused the accident. The driver may have breached their duty of care in this situation if they were driving while drunk, distracted, or in violation of traffic rules.

Proving negligence is an important aspect of a pedestrian hit by car settlement. Since it differs between states, you should check your state’s regulations to learn how fault will be proven in your case.

When is a Pedestrian at Fault for a Car Accident?

Pedestrians can also cause accidents with their behavior. They can dart out into the road at a non-intersection, wear dark clothes at night, or mistakenly take a right of way at a busy intersection.

If a pedestrian breaks a rule of the road while the driver followed the rules, the person could be deemed at fault for the accident.

Pedestrian Ran in Front of My Car

This is a common claim in a case of a pedestrian struck by a car. If the driver was driving at the appropriate speed and still did not have time to react due to the pedestrian’s actions, the pedestrian could be charged with negligence.

Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

There are different types of negligence in different state statutes. One that often applies to accidents where a pedestrian is struck by a car is comparative negligence.

In states that use comparative negligence in settlements, each party (in this case, the driver and pedestrian), receives a share of the blame and compensation based on their share of the fault. Establishing fault in these states is a more in-depth process since it directly impacts the amount of the pedestrian hit by car settlement.

In states without comparative negligence, whoever has 51% or more of the fault receives all the liability and none of the compensation.

Pedestrian Hit by Car Settlements

The settlement for an accident involving a pedestrian struck by a car varies based on many factors beyond the initial personal injury and property damage estimation. Future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering calculations all factor into the final settlement.

The average settlement for pedestrian car accidents is around $36,000. However, no average can be accurate to your case since settlement amounts differ between situations and even between states. Even the severity of your injuries as classified by your emergency room doctor or primary care physician can change your settlement amount.

When to get a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

You may assume that a pedestrian accident lawyer is only needed in cases involving serious injuries. While a lawyer is helpful in those instances due to the greater need for adequate compensation, they can help in any case involving a pedestrian car accident.

As mentioned earlier, even minor injuries can have a lasting impact on a victim’s well-being. Research shows that self-represented victims receive less compensation due to the absence of an attorney’s reputation and experience in negotiating similar claims.

Regardless of the severity of the accident, you should contact an accident lawyer to learn about your options and the proper way to file your case.


A pedestrian hit by car accident involves a complicated timeline for gathering evidence, calculating your settlement, and submitting your claim. Your first responsibility is to yourself and others at the scene of the accident, but it’s important not to admit fault and to gather relevant evidence.

Remember to always report an accident to the police, the hospital, and your insurer, regardless of how serious it seems. A successful claim requires timely notifications, treatment, and documentation by the relevant authorities.

Contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to learn how to file your case so you can win the compensation you deserve following your accident.

Rocky Horton

Rocky Horton


Rocky Horton is a health and safety expert from Chapel Hill, NC. He is the founder of AccidentAdvisor and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, and other publications. Learn more.