Pedestrians save money by walking where they want to go instead of paying to fuel a vehicle. They can also get exercise that is overall good for their health. However, if they walk somewhere where they are close to vehicles, such as on the shoulder of a rural road or on an urban sidewalk where they must cross streets before reaching their destination, they are at risk of a pedestrian crash.
While Pennsylvania drivers should always watch for pedestrians, they often fail to do so properly. A distracted driver or someone running a red light could very easily cause a pedestrian crash that puts someone in the hospital and forever alters the course of their life.
Who potentially pays for a pedestrian crash that injures someone in Pennsylvania?
Insurance can often help
It is somewhat rare that a pedestrian is the party at fault for a crash that leaves them injured. In most cases, pedestrians pay close attention to their surroundings and try to follow appropriate traffic laws so that they don’t put themselves at risk of severe injury or death.
Motor vehicle drivers may feel confident about their safety because of the systems integrated into their vehicles. They are more prone to mistakes that could cause major collisions. So long as there are records supporting the claim that the driver was the one who caused the crash, someone involved in a pedestrian collision could potentially file an insurance claim. Unfortunately, many Pennsylvania drivers don’t have very much insurance coverage.
The state only requires $15,000 in coverage if a crash leaves one person hurt. A pedestrian could have a traumatic brain injury, a compound fracture or a spinal cord injury that will require far more than that in medical care. They may also experience a long-term reduction in their earning potential because of their injuries. Pedestrians may find that insurance is not adequate when a crash leaves them with significant injuries.
The driver of the vehicle
In a scenario in which someone suffers significant injuries and cannot secure enough compensation from an insurance policy, they may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. A successful lawsuit could compensate a pedestrian for the complete financial impact of their injuries, including their future medical expenses and lost earning potential.
Unlike an insurance claim, where policy limits determine the maximum amount of compensation possible, lawsuits offer a greater likelihood of fully covering someone’s expenses. Occasionally, if a pedestrian is also a driver, they may have coverage on their own policy that could also help pay their expenses. Still, making use of that coverage could increase what someone must pay for insurance in the future.
Holding the right party accountable is crucial when seeking to minimize the costs generated by a pedestrian crash. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.