Whether you decide to walk to the local coffee shop to meet up with friends or go out for your daily jog, you expect to reach your destination safely. There are traffic laws that specifically exist to reduce the likelihood of a collision occurring between you and a motor vehicle.
For example, you will typically use designated paths for travel so that you don’t face oncoming traffic if there are such paths available. Drivers also have to yield to you in many circumstances and should check for you any place where paths or sidewalks intersect with streets.
Unfortunately, it is quite common for drivers to fail to check for pedestrians, often with tragic results for people walking in public. What protections do you have if you get hit by a motor vehicle?
The driver’s insurance may protect you
Typically, those hurt in a pedestrian crash are in a good position to bring a claim against the driver who caused the wreck. They can request bodily injury coverage to pay for hospital bills and any wages they lose because of their injuries.
Unfortunately, what California requires from drivers may not be sufficient given how severe pedestrian injuries can be after a crash. If you also drive and have underinsured motorist protection on your policy, that extra coverage that you carry could help pay for some of your costs if insurance if the other driver’s insurance isn’t sufficient.
You could file a personal injury lawsuit
California state law permits those affected by the negligence or misconduct of others to file personal injury claims against the people responsible for their losses. You can also file a claim against a business in some situations, such as when a defective vehicle component played a role in the crash or when the person who hit you was working at the time of the collision.
A civil lawsuit will allow you to seek the same kinds of damages that insurance would cover, including hospital expenses and lost income. Many people struggling with the serious injuries that result from pedestrian crashes may need to make use of all the insurance coverage available to them and possibly also pursue litigation in the civil courts.
Knowing you are rights after a pedestrian collision in California will help you cover the financial costs of your recent injury.