What Kind of Compensation Can I Recover After a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrians frequently have the right-of-way in North Carolina, and a preventable pedestrian accident can result when drivers fail to respect pedestrians immediately. Every year, pedestrians become seriously injured or killed in accidents that are not their fault and are caused by negligent drivers. If you or your loved one have been struck and injured by a driver who was at fault, you are likely in title to a settlement for your damages. You may have a right to compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and more. Understanding the different types of compensation that may be available to you can help you as you move forward with your claim.

Proving That the Other Driver Is at Fault

There are two main ways to recover compensation if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident. First, you can pursue an insurance claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your attorney can negotiate a settlement based on the damages you received. In this scenario, Your settlement will be limited to the policy limits. For example, if the at-fault driver has a $1 million policy, you will only be able to obtain up to $1 million through a settlement.

The other option is to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties in a North Carolina civil court. In both scenarios, the injured pedestrian must prove that the other driver was at fault. Drivers have a legal duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Suppose one or more driver violates traffic regulations intended to keep everyone safe, such as talking or texting while driving and causes an accident. In that case, the victim can prove the driver's negligence. Other examples of negligence that can lead to liability include the following:

  • Driving recklessly or speeding
  • Running stop signs
  • Swerving into the crosswalk
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian
  • Talking, eating, texting, watching videos, or engaging in other distracting behaviors
  • Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while fatigued
Economic Damages

When pursuing compensation after being injured in a pedestrian accident, victims can pursue economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the exact expenses you have incurred because of your injury. These types of damages are easily quantifiable and include all of the following:

  • Medical expenses, both current and future
  • Ongoing therapies, adaptive devices, medications, and other objects needed relating to your medical care
  • Lost wages due to time you have had to take off of work because of your injuries
  • Loss of future earning capacity due to your disability
  • Funeral expenses if your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident
  • Other expenses like housekeeping, childcare, and other daily needs
Non-Economic Damages

For many pedestrians who have been seriously injured, economic damages in the form of medical expenses make up the bulk of their claims. However, victims can also pursue non-economic damages. Non-economic damages cover damages that do not have a specific financial amount. Your attorney can work with you to calculate the value of your non-economic damages. Non-economic damages cover the pain and suffering you have endured because of your injuries. Many types of medical treatment, including surgery, rehabilitation, and physical therapy, can be painful. Emotional distress can also be included along with loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages

You may also be able to recover punitive damages in some cases. When the defendant's conduct is especially reckless or egregious, punitive damages can be awarded to punish the defendant. Courts also use punitive damages to deter others from engaging in similarly reckless behavior, such as speeding and drunk driving.

Insurance Settlement

North Carolina is an at-fault insurance date. If a driver negligently collided with you, their auto insurance policy should cover your expenses. In North Carolina, drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. The limits are $30,000 for bodily injury per person and $25,000 for property damage.

Unfortunately, these limits will not cover many types of pedestrian injuries. For example, a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or even over $1 million during a person's lifetime. Suppose your medical expenses exceed the at-fault driver has insurance policy limits. In that case, it is important that you discuss your case with an attorney and learn about other options for recovering the compensation you deserve.

Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, it is important that you discuss your case with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight for you.

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