If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, chances are you’re researching possible settlement amounts for your claim.
While it’s not possible to figure out the exact average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in California, there are a few ways to estimate the value of your pedestrian accident claim.
Here is everything you need to know about calculating settlements and how a California pedestrian accident lawyer can help.
For immediate assistance, please call our firm at (310) 288-3000 or send us an online message today for a free consultation.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?
Since every case has unique circumstances, there isn’t an accurate average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car. One of the reasons it’s difficult to determine an average is because many case results are confidential.
Even if you calculated an average based on every published settlement on the internet, the amount wouldn’t represent most scenarios. In addition, some state laws may limit certain damages in a settlement.
If you want to know what the average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in California is, your best bet is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.
Factors Affecting Pedestrian Accident Settlements in California
When it comes to pedestrian accidents, there are several factors that may affect a claim’s settlement value. However, the aspects of your case that affect the final settlement the most are the severity of the injuries and liability.
Generally, cases involving serious injuries have a higher settlement value than those with minor injuries. This is because many severe injuries require either a long recovery or long-term care. For example, if your injury causes a permanent disability such as paraplegia, you may need future medical care for the injury.
You may even need a lifelong care provider to assist you with basic tasks. This makes it possible to pursue compensation for not only future medical expenses but also pain and suffering.
However, there are instances where a comparatively minor injury may result in a high settlement amount. A good example of this is if a professional pianist loses 10% of the use of their fingers.
While this would have some negative effects on anyone, it could have a devastating effect on the pianist’s career and enjoyment of life. This example shows the importance of context in a personal injury case and why an average doesn’t tell the full story.
Liability is another huge factor in determining the value of a pedestrian accident claim. California follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine, which means that plaintiffs may recover damages even if they are 99% at fault. However, the court reduces the plaintiff’s total damages by their share of fault.
This is why it’s nearly impossible to determine the average payout for a pedestrian-car accident claim in California.
Types of Compensation for Pedestrian Car Accident Settlements
In California, there are three types of damages that may apply to a personal injury case: economic, non-economic, and punitive. While economic damages are the basis of each claim, non-economic and punitive damages often make up a higher portion of the total.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, are the tangible losses suffered by the plaintiff due to their injuries.
For the most part, economic damages include things like medical bills, property repair/replacement costs, and lost wages during recovery. However, they may also include future medical treatment expenses and any necessary accessibility conversions.
Non-economic damages are the subjective, intangible losses experienced by the plaintiff. Unlike their economic counterparts, non-economic damages don’t have a standard monetary value.
Typically, this includes things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of life’s enjoyment, disfigurement, disability, and hardship. In pedestrian accident cases, California doesn’t impose limits on the amount of non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are much rarer, but they may be applicable depending on the circumstances. The court usually reserves these damages for cases where the defendant acted with wanton disregard for the safety of others.
They may also apply in cases of intentional harm. Overall, the goal of punitive damages is to punish the defendant and discourage others from emulating their behavior.
Will I Need to File a Pedestrian Hit by a Car Lawsuit?
While it’s not always necessary to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim, there are a few signs that it may be a good option. It may come as no surprise that many pedestrian accident claims end up in court. This is because these cases often involve serious injuries that the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for.
As a result, they find any excuse they can to reduce or deny your settlement. They may do this by denying their policy holder’s liability outright or by using something you said against you. Generally, if your claim involves serious injuries, you should hire an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to help build your case.
Pedestrian Hit by a Car: Lawsuit Settlement Example
Consider the following example of California’s pure comparative fault doctrine in action:
Jonathan gets hit by a car that runs a stop sign while walking in the middle of the road. As a result, he has paraplegia and cannot walk anymore. Jonathan’s attorney determines his economic damages to be $300,000 and his non-economic damages to be $1.2 million. His total damages are around $1.5 million. In court, the jury determines Jonathan is 20% at fault for walking in the middle of the street, while the defendant is 80% at fault. This reduces Jonathan’s total damages by 20% to about $1.2 million.
As you can see from this example, the liability of each party involved in the accident has a great impact on the value of the claim. The share of fault assigned to the plaintiff reduced their damages, but they still received a substantial settlement.
However, if the plaintiff was 80% at fault, the court would have reduced their damages to only $300,000. This is one of the reasons why settlements vary so greatly in California for personal injury claims.
Contact a California Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Pedestrian accidents cause some of the most devastating personal injuries. Between the intense physical pain and the mental trauma, it may be difficult to manage a claim on your own. This is why the attorneys at the Saeedian Law Group dedicate themselves to helping clients recover.
Our goal is to fight for the best possible outcome, so you can focus on recovery. Call us at (310) 288-3000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
We proudly serve individuals and families living in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Newport Beach, and other Southern California communities.