If you’ve recently been in a pedestrian accident in Hammond, Ind., you might be wondering what comes next. Pedestrian accidents can be difficult to navigate, and the injuries for the non-motorist can be severe. Indiana’s number of pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents reached 117 in 2021 — the highest it’s been in 10 years.
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a bad pedestrian accident and your medical bills and expenses are piling up, our pedestrian accident attorneys can help. We’ll work to get you compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.
What is the average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in Indiana?
If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, your settlement could be between $15,000-$75,000 if you had minor injuries. The final payout depends on the severity of your injuries, however. It’s difficult to give a more precise amount for a pedestrian accident settlement in Indiana, as all cases are different.
With that in mind, your settlement could end up being two or three times more than your medical bills. Also, a portion of your final settlement will probably go to your attorney, to cover their fees.
What are the consequences for hitting a pedestrian in Indiana?
If you were a driver involved in a pedestrian traffic accident, it’s possible you’ll have to compensate the pedestrian if they were badly injured unless they are found at fault through some type of negligence on their part.
If you were found to be driving recklessly and your collision resulted in the pedestrian’s death, you may also be charged with criminal vehicular manslaughter. However, most pedestrian collisions are accidents that result in the driver receiving a ticket for a traffic violation, such as failing to yield.
What should I do if I was in a pedestrian hit-and-run accident?
If you are a pedestrian who was involved in a hit-and-run, you may find it difficult to receive compensation for your injuries. It’s typically the driver in a pedestrian accident that pays for damages, and so if they fled the scene and can’t be identified, they can’t be held liable.
In this situation, you should report the accident to the police so they can investigate and try to find the driver. To get compensation for your injuries, you may have to look to your insurance carrier. Your insurer will need the police accident report. If they can’t find the driver, then you may be able to use uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to file a claim.
If the police manage to find the driver who hit you, you can sue them for damages. They may be convicted of a criminal hit-and-run, which could help support you in your lawsuit.
The Cost of Medical Bills After a Pedestrian Accident
Injuries from a pedestrian traffic collision can last a lifetime. Your initial costs may end up at around $50,000 when you account for an ambulance ride, emergency room visit, hospital stay, and follow-up doctor’s visits. Additional costs could be physical therapy, counseling, or medication.
The expenses add up quickly, and if they are catastrophic, your expenses could last a lifetime. If you run over your insurance coverage, you may be stuck without a way to pay, especially if the settlement the at-fault party’s insurance company offers you is not enough to cover the full value of your damages.
Rather than burn through your savings or endure even more stress worrying about how to pay your bills, contact a Hammond pedestrian accident attorney. We can help you find a way to seek compensation.
Does insurance cover pedestrian accidents in Indiana?
Your insurance company might cover your injuries or property damage after a pedestrian accident. If you are the pedestrian who was hit, you might be able to file a claim with the driver’s auto insurance since Indiana is an at-fault state. But you have to prove the driver was at fault first.
As a pedestrian who was hit, you might also be able to get your auto insurance to process your claim if your coverage includes personal injury protection (PiP), medical payments coverage, or uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
If you don’t have auto insurance and you were hit by a car while crossing the road, your only chance for compensation might be pursuing a lawsuit against the driver. Our Hammond pedestrian accident lawyers can help deal with the insurance company (yours or the driver’s) and even file a lawsuit if necessary.
What if the pedestrian is at fault?
It’s possible that a pedestrian could be at fault in a collision if they weren’t following Indiana traffic safety laws. If the accident is the pedestrian’s fault, a driver could potentially ask for damages for their vehicle, or if they had an injury such as whiplash.
Indiana law states that pedestrians who knowingly go into a dangerous area with vehicular traffic will not be able to file a valid insurance claim, since they are considered liable.
What’s the process for filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit in Hammond?
When you’ve been in a bad pedestrian accident in Indiana, you’ll probably need help paying for your medical bills. The process for getting this compensation can be long and difficult to navigate if you’re not familiar with it. We’ve outlined the steps below.
Step 1: Filing an insurance claim
After a pedestrian accident, the first step toward getting compensation is usually filing a claim with your insurance company. Both the driver and the pedestrian involved can try to work with their insurers to get compensation — but whether the claim is successful depends on who was at fault.
Insurance policies also have limits, so you may not get enough compensation to cover your property damage or medical bills. You might run into other issues with insurers as well. The pedestrian may not have auto insurance, or the driver might be uninsured as well.
When the settlement negotiations break down, however, you might need a knowledgeable lawyer to help.
Step 2: Speaking with a lawyer
Your personal injury lawyer can try to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to reach an agreement. If this doesn’t work, you may have to file a lawsuit. But lawsuits are a multi-step process that can often take a long time. They may end up in court or settled outside of court.
When negotiations aren’t working with the insurance company, your attorney can help you file a civil complaint. A complaint is the first formal step of filing a lawsuit.
Step 3: Discovery
Once you’ve filed your complaint, your lawyer will start gathering information for your case. They’ll ask the other party questions and request relevant documents. They may also ask for depositions, which are out-of-court sworn witness statements that can be used in your case.
Step 4: Negotiations
After the discovery portion ends, your attorney will move on to negotiations with the other party. This will be a series of meetings to try and decide on a financial settlement for you. You always have a final say on whether you want to accept a settlement offer.
Step 5: Trial
If you don’t reach a settlement for your pedestrian accident case, it will go to trial. This is usually in front of a judge who will oversee hearings and motions, and decide which evidence should be included.
After the trial, both sides can still appeal the judge’s decision. Trials and appeals can be lengthy, so it’s ideal to try and reach a settlement first.
Trying to go through the process of filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit by yourself can be overwhelming. If you don’t have legal experience — and knowledge about pedestrian accidents specifically — you have a small chance of winning your case.
Is the driver always at fault in pedestrian accidents in Indiana?
Pedestrians can be at fault for traffic accidents. Just like drivers and cyclists, pedestrians have to follow traffic laws when using crosswalks or walking on roadways. If you don’t and a driver hits you, you could be held at least partially liable for the accident.
For example, a pedestrian might be considered at fault if:
- They start crossing a crosswalk after the “don’t walk” sign appears and then gets struck by a vehicle.
- They leave a sidewalk or curb and run into traffic, creating a hazard on the roadway.
- They are struck on a roadway when there was a sidewalk available.
In Indiana, traffic safety law is clear about the rules pedestrians must follow. It can still be difficult to know how to handle a pedestrian accident case, however. Having a trusted Hammond personal injury lawyer by your side makes it easier.
Pedestrians can be partially liable for auto collisions in Indiana
In Indiana, two or more parties involved in the same accident can be held partially responsible. This is called modified comparative negligence. If you crossed a road where there isn’t a crosswalk and a driver hit you because they were texting and driving, you would probably both be partially to blame. You might get 40 percent of the liability and the driver 60 percent.
As long as your share of the liability for an accident is less than 50 percent, you are still entitled to a settlement. However, your final payout will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. So, if the settlement is $100,000 and you were 40 percent liable, you’ll only be able to receive $60,000.
Do pedestrians always have the right of way in Indiana?
Pedestrians don’t always have the right of way in Indiana. As a pedestrian, you only have the right of way when:
- You are crossing at a designated crosswalk.
- You are already in the street when a “walk” sign changes to a “don’t walk” sign.
- You are in a marked intersection.
If you’re on a roadway with vehicles, the vehicles have the right of way. You must always use the sidewalk if there is one. If there’s no sidewalk, you have to walk on the shoulder as far away from moving traffic as possible. Pedestrians also can’t cross intersections diagonally or hitchhike.
How will a lawyer help with a pedestrian accident?
If you’ve been hit by a vehicle, it’s highly likely you’ve sustained serious, life-changing injuries. Medical bills, time off from work, or even home modifications to ensure accessibility for your new disability, are all possible expenses you can have.
A personal injury attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. The benefits of working with a Hammond pedestrian accident attorney are:
- Time-saving. It takes hours of research, investigation, and paperwork to prepare a pedestrian accident lawsuit. You probably don’t have the time to spend on it — but an attorney does.
- Experience. By hiring an attorney, you work with a professional who’s handled similar cases before. They know what they’re doing and how best to deal with your case.
- No upfront fees. Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. That means we only accept payment from you if you win your case. If you don’t get paid, neither do we. You don’t have to worry about scraping enough money together for lawyers’ fees while your case is ongoing.
- Representation at trial. Most pedestrian accident cases end up settling, but sometimes they have to go to court. If this happens, your lawyer can represent you in front of a judge or jury.
- Negotiation with the insurance company. When you have an attorney in your corner, you don’t have to go it alone with the insurance company. They’ll try to take advantage of you, but an attorney can work to get you a better solution.
Having an attorney can put your mind at ease, no matter how badly you were hurt in your pedestrian accident.
Our pedestrian accident attorneys can help
You shouldn’t have to go it alone after a bad pedestrian accident. At Yosha Law, our Hammond personal injury attorneys understand that you’re going through a difficult time and need support. You need an attorney who will stand up for your rights and defend your best interests.
Call Yosha Law today at (317) 751-2856 for a free consultation.