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Does Car Insurance Cover Pedestrian Accidents?

Published on Mar 10, 2023 at 1:59 pm in Pedestrian Accident.
Does Car Insurance Cover Pedestrian Accidents?

While many of us travel by vehicle to get from one location to the next here in Lexington, countless others rely on their own two feet to get them to where they need to go. Others have access to automobiles yet take a walk out of convenience or for exercise.

Anytime we share the road with Kentucky motorists it is assuredly dangerous. However, even walking on shoulders and sidewalks can be risky, especially if it involves navigating traffic to cross the street from one shoulder to the next.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights how at least one pedestrian dies after being struck by an automobile every 75 minutes in the U.S. That same data also reveals how an estimated 104,000 pedestrians are seen in U.S. hospital emergency rooms annually after being hit by vehicles.

Knowing Kentucky’s right-of-way laws is critical to staying safe as a pedestrian. However, what happens if you have the misfortune of getting struck while walking somewhere?

What To Know About Liability Laws in Kentucky

Kentucky law requires all motorists in our state, except for motorcyclists, to secure and maintain a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Our state requires motorists to do this because it subscribes to the choice no-fault liability doctrine when crashes are involved.

Under this doctrine, Kentucky motorists must first file a claim with their insurer to recover compensation for accident-related costs like medical expenses before attempting to pursue another party’s insurance company for their losses.

However, the “choice” in the “choice no-fault doctrine” to which Kentucky subscribes gives motorists in our state an option for choosing not to participate in the no-fault system.

If they choose not to, this allows them to pursue a claim against the motorist at-fault for causing their crash. Kentucky law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per individual or $50,000 per accident to cover the party they strike in at-fault scenarios like these.

Having a foundation on our state’s liability laws can be helpful as you seek to identify recovery options you have as a pedestrian struck by a motorist.

Determining Whether Insurance Covers Pedestrian Accidents

When it comes to incidents in which a pedestrian is struck in Kentucky, the victim can generally file a claim to recover the PIP benefits of the driver who hit them, provided that motorist had no-fault coverage.

If the motorist who struck you declined participation in the no-fault system, then you, as the pedestrian hit, would be eligible to file a claim to access their BI coverage.

What Amount Can I Recover After a Lexington Pedestrian Accident?

As highlighted above, there’s a $10,000 minimum that all Kentucky drivers who elect to participate in the no-fault system must carry. There’s a $25,000 per person or $50,000 per incident cap on BI benefits for individuals who choose to participate in the at-fault insurance system instead.

Of course, there are situations in which motorists may carry coverage over the statutory minimums. If your accident-related expenses, such as medical bills or lost wages, exceed the coverage limits of the motorist who struck you, then you may file a personal injury lawsuit to recover any additional damages you sustained beyond their policy limits. Should a judge or jury rule in your favor, the Court would order the negligent motorist to tap into their money to pay any settlement award.

Kentucky Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws and Eligibility for Compensation

As mentioned earlier, drivers and pedestrians owe it to themselves to know the right-of-way laws that apply to motorists. Each party’s knowledge of these makes it easier for motorists to know when to yield to a pedestrian’s right-of-way and vice versa.

Generally, a pedestrian has the right of way at an intersection, especially when attempting to cross the roadway using a crosswalk. Motorists must even yield to the right-of-way of pedestrians crossing an intersection without a traffic light.

However, pedestrians in Kentucky must yield to vehicles when traveling outside a marked crosswalk. Additionally, pedestrians must utilize sidewalks instead of walking in the street next to them whenever possible. It’s against the law for drugged or alcohol-impaired pedestrians to walk on the road.

It’s also illegal for a motorist who pulls up behind another driver yielding to a pedestrian’s right-of-way to attempt to pass them. Kentucky motorists must additionally be on the lookout for and yield to the right-of-way of visually impaired pedestrians accompanied by service dogs or canes.

If a pedestrian didn’t adhere to their obligations to yield to the right-of-way of a motorist, an insurer could deny liability. If they did, this could make a pedestrian victim ineligible to recover compensation in some instances.

However, considering how Kentucky subscribes to the pure comparative fault system, even if a pedestrian is at-fault to a certain degree for what happened, that percentage of responsibility only decreases how much of an award they’re entitled to instead of eliminating their ability to recover anything.

The Role Lawyers Serve in Pedestrian Accident Cases

As you can likely tell, many proverbial “moving parts” are involved in getting to a point where you can recover compensation in a Lexington pedestrian accident case.

It’s important to get insurance coverage information for the person who struck you, which an attorney can handle once you provide them with a copy of the police report in your case.

Knowing this insurance information will help your lawyer determine whether you should attempt to recover PIP or BI coverage from the motorist who struck you. The accident report may also provide other valuable information to help determine liability, so when the driver’s insurance company inevitably strikes back and tries to deny liability, we’ll have a nicely formulated response to push back with.

And, should the insurer agree to accept any liability, you can be sure that an attorney at the Law Office of Todd W. Burris can negotiate the best possible settlement.

Additionally, if any personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed to recover compensation beyond the insurance coverage limits of the person who struck you, you can count on our legal team to take such action on your behalf.

If you were injured in a pedestrian vs. car accident on Kentucky roads, reach out to our personal injury law firm, the Law Office of Todd W. Burris. We provide all prospective clients with a free case evaluation and only assess fees for our representation if we recover a settlement for you.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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