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Is Compensation Available for Pedestrians Injured in a Car Crash?

overhead shot of crosswalk on roadEven though there was a decrease in pedestrian fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2019, there were still 154 deaths. Just one year prior, there was a 41 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in the first six months of the year, as compared to the first six months of 2017.

Regardless of the numbers, drivers and pedestrians need to use caution to avoid a potentially deadly crash. If it happens, the driver is often the one at fault, and the pedestrian and his or her loved ones may be able to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance policy.

Learn more about filing a claim after a pedestrian accident and find out how an experienced attorney can assist you. Schmidt Kramer’s licensed Harrisburg car accident attorneys have obtained millions in compensation for victims of motor vehicle accidents, including $575,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by an ambulance while in a crosswalk.

PIP Coverage for a Pedestrian Crash

Pennsylvania requires all drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses and funeral expenses. PIP provides compensation no matter who is at fault for a crash – this is also called no-fault coverage. This is different from liability insurance, which provides compensation for the victim of an accident you cause.

Pennsylvania requires drivers to purchase a minimum of $5,000 in PIP coverage, also known as first-party medical benefits.

Even though this coverage is most often used for drivers or passengers injured in a car crash, you can use this coverage if you were injured as a pedestrian. The named insured or others listed on the policy have access to these benefits as well. Remember, it does not matter if you were to blame for the crash.

If you do not have car insurance, but you are a member of household with someone who has this coverage, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. For example, if your spouse or parent has PIP coverage, you may be able to use it.

If you do not have coverage, and you do not live with others who do, you may be able to file a claim against the PIP coverage that applies to the car involved in the crash.

What if PIP Coverage Runs Out?

Pedestrians often suffer severe injuries in car crashes, so PIP coverage could quickly become exhausted. Victims often suffer broken bones, even in low-speed crashes and as the speed of the crash increases, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and other catastrophic injuries are more likely to occur.

If PIP coverage runs out, you may be able to seek compensation from the driver’s liability insurance, if the driver is at fault for the crash. Pennsylvania requires drivers to have a minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage per person and $30,000 per accident.

You can also use your own health insurance to cover additional medical expenses. Health insurers are unlikely to pay out compensation before you have exhausted PIP benefits. If you file an insurance claim for additional compensation, your health insurer may file a lien to obtain reimbursement for the money spent on your medical bills.

Proving Fault for a Pedestrian Crash

One of the challenges of any car accident claim is proving the other driver is to blame for the accident. Often, your lawyer will look for evidence the driver violated traffic laws. For example, if you were in a marked crosswalk and the signal said it was OK to walk, you had a right to be there. If a driver hits you, he or she is likely to be found at fault. The same could be said about a driver running a red light.

However, you could be found partially at fault if you walked into a crosswalk without looking or you were distracted or intoxicated. Regardless of your fault in the crash, you could still pursue PIP benefits. However, if you want to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, you must prove he or she is at fault. If you bear any responsibility, your compensation award would be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.

Call Schmidt Kramer for Help After a Car Crash

The experienced attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have helped many car crash victims pursue compensation to help them get back on their feet. We know how to build a strong case and have the resources to thoroughly investigate what happened.

If you have any questions about whether you may have a valid claim or how to pursue compensation, we offer a free legal consultation. We take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees and no fees while we work on your case.

Schmidt Kramer. We are not paid unless you get paid. (717) 888-8888