Average Settlement for Pedestrian Hit by a Car

Friday, May 5, 2023

Average Settlement for Pedestrian Hit by a Car

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Were you walking when you got hit by a motorist? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.

The personal injury attorneys at Malman Law would like to discuss pedestrian rights, how much your pedestrian car accident case may be worth, and tips to keep you safe.

What are Pedestrians’ Rights in Illinois?

It is estimated that in the United States in a recent year, 7,485 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, an increase of 11.5% from the year before. 175 pedestrians were killed in Illinois alone.

Drivers should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians under certain conditions:

  • At crosswalks when the pedestrian is halfway across the road or is approaching so closely from the other side of the road as to be in danger;
  • At a stop sign, flashing red signal at an intersection, or plainly marked crosswalk;
  • At work zones or construction sites in which a pedestrian is engaged in work; and
  • At work zones or construction sites where there is a flagger directing traffic.

Although Illinois law enumerates many rights for pedestrians, it does have limits. Pedestrians must use a sidewalk when it is available.

If no sidewalk is available, pedestrians must walk on the shoulder of the road, as far away from traffic as possible. If the road has two-way traffic, pedestrians must walk facing oncoming traffic.

What are the Leading Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

The leading causes of pedestrian accidents are:

  • Driver’s negligence: drivers may fail to yield right-of-way, be speeding, or otherwise behave carelessly
  • Distracted driving: drivers may be performing any range of activities that take their attention off the road, including using a cellular device, grooming themselves, eating or drinking, and even talking to their passengers
  • Poor road conditions: drivers may fail to exercise caution in hazardous conditions (i.e., failing to brake in a timely manner on slippery roads)
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: intoxicated drivers may be unaware of their surroundings, unable to stay focused, and have compromised reflexes
  • Pedestrian error: pedestrians that fail to comply with traffic signals and follow the rules of the road put themselves in danger

How Much Is My Case Worth?

In a recent year, estimated crash-related costs in Illinois were $5.5 billion for all crashes. The value of a pedestrian accident case can vary widely – anywhere from a few thousand to over one million dollars. Always have a lawyer determine what your case is worth, which will depend on several factors.

Who was liable for the accident?

Your ability to receive compensation will depend on who was at fault in the accident. The fault is not always clear. Illinois has adopted modified comparative negligence, which allows a victim to recover financially for an accident if he or she is not more than 50% responsible.

A pedestrian could be at least partially at fault for an accident if his or her actions were illegal, such as jaywalking. In Illinois and most states, it is illegal for a pedestrian to suddenly leave a curb or sidewalk and run into the path of a moving vehicle.

However, a driver still has a duty to exercise care while operating his or her vehicle and will likely bear some of the cost for your injuries.

The extent of your injuries

If you were in an accident and rushed to the emergency room, you would probably receive a hefty bill.

Medical bills can add up quickly. Depending on your injuries, you may require follow-up visits with your doctor to see specialists, attend physical or other rehabilitative therapies, and even purchase special medical equipment for your home.

If a vehicle operator hits you, you could suffer any of the following injuries:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Sprains and strains

A traumatic brain injury ranges from minor to severe. In moderate to severe cases, a person may lose cognitive reasoning and experience problems with coordination and balance. A person who has suffered a moderate to severe TBI will be plagued with long-term chronic health problems.

Insurance Coverage

Illinois requires that you have the following minimum insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident
  • $20,000 for property damage to another person

Illinois is a tort state, meaning that the motorist’s insurance company, which ultimately caused the accident, will be responsible for paying for damages. However, if you suffer more serious injuries, insurance may be inadequate to cover your medical costs.

The insurance company will attempt to negotiate a settlement offer in this situation. A settlement offer is generally two to three times the amount of medical bills and lost wages. However, an insurance carrier rarely takes into account future medical expenses.

How Can I Stay Safe While Walking?

Since you cannot rely on a driver to spot you while walking, you must take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

  • Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far from traffic as possible.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
  • If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment.
  • Embrace walking as a healthy form of transportation – get up, get out, and get moving.

Even taking all these safety measures, a pedestrian can still be hit by a motorist. Even if you sustained minor injuries, it is crucial that you speak with a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claim process.

A Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Advocating for You

An insurance carrier will do everything they can before admitting the driver on their policy is at fault. Don’t let yourself be robbed of what is rightfully yours. Contact Malman Law today to schedule your free consultation.


Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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