Are Pedestrian Accidents Covered by Insurance?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 pedestrians die every year because of motor vehicle–related accidents. Whether injured by a vehicle or property defect, a pedestrian may be able to recover damages for their injuries if someone’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident.

To establish negligence in a pedestrian accident, the injured party must prove that the person at fault:

  • Owed a legal duty of care to the pedestrian
  • Failed to fulfill that legal duty
  • Caused an accident to the injured party
  • The injured party suffered damages as a result of the accident.

This may be difficult for a person without legal knowledge to do by themselves, which is why we recommend contacting a personal injury attorney.

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Who’s Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrian–vehicle accidents usually hinge on the duty of care drivers and pedestrians have to each other. Both must follow the basic rules of the road and exercise reasonable care when driving, walking, or running. Drivers, cyclists, or people on motorized scooters can all injure a pedestrian. Determining who’s at fault all depends on who was negligent. In most cases, it’s clear who the negligent party was.

It’s important to remember that California is a comparative negligence state. So, a court or insurance company may split liability between all the involved parties.

Girl wearing a backpack running through a pedestrian crossing in front of a car

Duty of Care to Pedestrians

Failure to follow a reasonable duty of care may result in the driver being negligent behind the wheel. This may mean they were speeding, failing to yield correctly, or disobeying traffic signs. Drivers also have a more significant duty of care when there are children in the area. Kids between five and nine years old have the greatest risk of being hit by a vehicle. The presence of children automatically increases a driver’s duty of care.

Additionally, California Vehicle Code 29150 says drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the road at any designated crosswalk.

Duty of Care to Drivers

Pedestrians also have a duty of care to drivers, which is mainly for their own safety. The care required is usually proportionate to the potential danger. Common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence include entering traffic, failing to use designated crosswalks, or ignoring traffic signals.

pedestrian walk symbol lit up in green
pedestrian walk symbol lit up in green

Duty of Care to Drivers

Pedestrians also have a duty of care to drivers, which is mainly for their own safety. The care required is usually proportionate to the potential danger. Common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence include entering traffic, failing to use designated crosswalks, or ignoring traffic signals.

What to Do after a Pedestrian Accident

After an accident, you should receive medical care. If you can’t move or walk, feel dizzy, or bumped your head, call 911. Similar to car accidents, not all injuries show symptoms right away. Even if you don’t think you need medical attention, you should still schedule a doctor’s appointment to have your condition documented.

If you’re not seriously injured and can walk around, try gathering some information at the scene, such as:

  • The name and contact information of the other party
  • A police report
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses

Obtaining a copy of the police report at the scene of an accident can go a long way toward preserving your legal rights if you need to file a claim against the other party.

car insurance claim forms with a pen and money on a table

Are Pedestrian Accidents Covered by Insurance?

For victims of pedestrian accidents where the at-fault driver has poor or no auto insurance, the financial impact could be devastating. Many Californians don’t know that their own auto insurance policy may save them in this situation. The uninsured/underinsured motorist portion of auto policies might pay for injuries caused by a driver with minimal insurance coverage. This policy would cover car accident victims, even if they were not in a car at the time of the accident.

Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles

Those involved in California personal injury accidents typically have two years from the incident to file a personal injury claim. A top-rated personal injury attorney at The Barnes Firm can help you navigate your case and get you the compensation you need.

We’ll stick by you during the entire process and answer any legal questions you may have. Complete our contact form or call our office today to schedule a free consultation.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000