If you were a pedestrian hit by a car, the value of your settlement will depend on the specific facts of your case. The individual “damages” that you can recover through a claim or lawsuit will depend on:
- Your portion of fault for the accident
- The severity of your injuries
- The details of your recovery period
The state’s statute of limitations also plays a pivotal role in your case’s outcome. To determine the value of your losses, we will need to talk to you and investigate your pedestrian accident.
We Have to Explore These Factors When Evaluating Your Case
Many different things can affect the amount you could expect in your settlement if you, as a pedestrian, got hit by a car. Here are some elements that could determine what damages you can expect in your settlement:
Your Portion of Fault
First things first, Georgia operates under contributory negligence rules, per OCGA §51-12-33. If you contributed to the accident in any way, this could affect the amount of money you can seek.
To prove that the other party was primarily responsible for your accident, we must establish these details, per the American Bar Association (ABA):
- Duty of care. The other party must have owed you a legal duty of care. All drivers have a duty to keep a careful lookout for pedestrians.
- Breach of duty. When someone’s conduct does not meet the legal standard, it is negligence. If the driver did not keep a careful lookout for pedestrians because he was distracted by checking the GPS in his car, he breached his duty.
- Causation. The other driver’s actions must have primarily caused the crash. If something else caused the crash, then we will have to explore that party’s conduct and possible liability.
- Damages. The injured party must have measurable losses to go after compensation from the at-fault party. Medical bills, lost income, and wrongful death can satisfy this category.
Sometimes, negligence on the part of two or more parties causes a collision. Other times, an accident can happen without anyone being legally liable. Liability is one of the most important factors we have to investigate.
The Severity of Your Injuries
A person whose spinal cord takes significant damage, resulting in permanent paralysis of both legs, will likely receive much more than someone who suffered bruises. After getting hit by a car as a pedestrian, your settlement should account for your past, present, and future medical care.
How Well You Have Recuperated
The amount you can expect in your settlement after getting hit by a car is not set in stone at the moment of the accident. Things that happen after the collision can impact the monetary value of the injury claim. Here are some examples:
- Lingering problems
- Future necessary medical intervention
- Permanent impairment
These are just a few examples of issues during the recuperation phase that can contribute to your anticipated settlement amount.
The Statute of Limitations
If you wait too long to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the at-fault party, you could lose the right to go after damages at all. OCGA §9-3-33 says that you only have two years in Georgia to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you limit your legal options.
What Types of Damages are Possible When a Car Hits a Pedestrian?
The damages you can seek through a claim or lawsuit depend on your unique situation. Compensable losses include:
- Medical bills for the treatment of your injuries
- Lost income because of the accident and your injuries
- Future lost income if you cannot earn as much money after the accident because of the harm you suffered
- Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort and psychological distress you experienced
- Other non-economic losses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement
You might have additional compensable losses, depending on the facts of your accident and injury claim.
Who Can Be Liable for an Accident in Which a Car Strikes a Pedestrian?
There could be parties other than the driver who could be responsible for your losses. For example:
- The car’s owner could be liable if the car had a known defect, and the owner didn’t fix the problem or warn the driver.
- The city could be responsible if the accident happened because of a defective sidewalk, crosswalk, traffic signal, or another similar problem.
- The car manufacturer could face liability if a defect, like the car’s steering, caused the collision.
- A car repair shop could be at fault if, for example, the car recently had brake repair that was done incorrectly, causing the driver to be unable to stop.
- A third party that created a hazard, like dumping a slick substance on the street that caused the car to lose control, could be liable if that factor caused the accident.
Connect with Kaine Law to Learn More
At Kaine Law, we will go after the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.