Did you know that pedestrian accidents are the most common type of auto accident in Pennsylvania? The shocking statistics on pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania, which continue to rise each year, clearly demonstrate this. Since 2019, Pennsylvania has seen a 21% increase in pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise nationally for more than a decade. The Governors Highway Safety Association's preliminary numbers for 2021 are significant. Between 2010 and 2020, non-pedestrian traffic fatalities increased by 13%, while pedestrian fatalities increased by 54%.
Accidents involving pedestrians can occur anywhere, including parking lots, sidewalks, and crosswalks. Since pedestrian accidents are so common in Pennsylvania, it is crucial that all pedestrians are well-versed in the laws and their legal rights in the event that they are seriously injured in an auto accident. When vehicles collide with pedestrians, the resulting injuries and repercussions can be devastating. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of your legal rights. Continue reading to obtain the answers to all frequently asked questions regarding pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania.
If you have questions or need the help of a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident attorney from Brandon J. Broderick, simply contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
When a pedestrian is struck by an automobile, they have no protection. Consequently, pedestrian accidents can be severe and frequently fatal.
Typical injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Types of Damages That are Available in a PA Pedestrian Accident
In Pennsylvania, injured parties have the right to seek compensation for all damages caused by negligence. These losses can be divided into two categories:
- Economic damages: which include medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
- Non-economic damages: which are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, humiliation, loss of ability to enjoy life, disfigurement.
Fault and Liability in PA Pedestrian Accidents
All drivers are required by law to drive with reasonable care and abide by all traffic regulations. If a driver violates this obligation and the violation results in an accident, the driver can be held liable for negligence.
Similarly, pedestrians have a duty to navigate the roads with reasonable care. If a pedestrian breaches their duty and causes an accident, they can be held liable for negligence.
In some instances, both the driver and the pedestrian may share responsibility for an accident.
What then occurs?
Pennsylvania utilizes a modified comparative fault standard. According to this rule, the plaintiff's damages are reduced by their proportion of fault. In addition, if the plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault, they cannot recover any damages.
John was speeding at the time of the accident and sued Kevin for $100,000. The court could determine that John was 40% at fault for speeding while Kevin was 60% at fault for walking on the road when a sidewalk was available. Therefore, John would only be able to recover $60,000 (i.e., 40% of the total damages).
Who Pays for Medical Bills Following a Pedestrian Accident?
Accidents involving pedestrians and automobiles can result in severe injuries, such as broken bones, brain injuries, and spinal damage, which may necessitate expensive medical treatments or even surgery. Therefore, pedestrians in Pennsylvania are protected by a special law. The law ensures that the injured pedestrian's medical expenses are covered up to the limits of an applicable auto insurance policy. In addition, under Pennsylvania law, a pedestrian who is injured after being struck by a motor vehicle can seek medical coverage by filing a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim. Here is how Pennsylvania's law regarding personal injury protection coverage is structured:
- One's own insurance carrier
- Your parent's or spouse insurance company
- The insurance company of the negligent vehicle driver
This means that if the pedestrian has their own auto insurance, they can file a claim under their own policy. However, if they don't have it and aren't covered by someone else's policy as a household member, the driver of the vehicle involved in the pedestrian accident shall cover the claim. In Pennsylvania, this is the order for medical coverage.
What Is Included in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Protection Claim?
PIP claims cover medical expenses, lost wages due to missed days of work, out-of-pocket expenses, and funeral costs in the event of wrongful death.
Although the minimum policy required by Pennsylvania law is $5,000 per person, many people opt for higher coverage amounts, such as $10,000. Consequently, the maximum coverage depends on the amount of the policy.
Nonetheless, if PIP benefits expire, the pedestrian may file a lawsuit against the negligent driver and seek compensation.
What Function Does Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Serve?
If you file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, the insurance company of the negligent driver will provide financial compensation through bodily injury liability claims. Here's how it operates:
Every registered vehicle owner in Pennsylvania must purchase auto insurance. The bodily injury liability coverage is one of the required coverages. This coverage applies if the pedestrian's injuries were caused by the insured driver.
The minimum bodily injury liability coverage limits in Pennsylvania are $15,000/person and $30,000/accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Legal Claim?
The statute of limitations is the window of time during which you may file a lawsuit. This time period varies by state. In Pennsylvania, however, it is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the driver whose negligence resulted in your injuries. Remember that if you fail to act in a timely manner, you will lose your right to file a claim.
Brandon J. Broderick is Ready to Help You With Your PA Pedestrian Accident Claim
Remember that the initial consultation with a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident attorney from Brandon J. Broderick is free. To be compensated, we must win your case. If you don't win, we don't get paid, so it is in our best interest to obtain the largest settlement or award possible for you. There is also a good chance that the insurance company will attempt to pay you a very small settlement that does not cover all of your expenses. If you do not have legal representation, this is typically the case. Do not place yourself in this predicament; instead, contact us immediately, and we will assist you in recovering from this setback.