The pedestrian accident lawyers at the Buckfire Law Firm help victims struck by vehicles. A collision between two cars can be devastating. However, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the resulting injuries are quite likely to be severe or even deadly.
If you or a loved one was injured after being struck by a vehicle, you might be unsure of how to proceed.
Our award-winning attorneys specialize in pedestrian injury cases. When you hire us, we start working on your case immediately to win you the best possible settlement. We will also get your insurance benefits paid and get you on the road to recovery.
What are the Main Causes of Michigan Pedestrian Accidents?
Most pedestrian accidents occur because drivers are simply not paying attention or are violating traffic safety laws.
Pedestrian injury lawsuits are filed for claims of reckless and negligent driving when a pedestrian is hit by a car, truck, bus, motorcycle, bicycle, or any other vehicle.
The most common reasons for pedestrians struck by vehicles include drivers:
- Speeding, especially in major cities with high pedestrian traffic;
- Running red lights with people walking at an intersection;
- Disobeying traffic signs and road markings;
- Driving too fast in neighborhoods with children often running into the street;
- Making turns out of driveways without paying attention to people on sidewalks;
- Making turns at intersections without first observing pedestrians in the crosswalk;
- Distracted by talking or texting on their cell phones or playing with their car radio;
- Failing to drive safely in poor weather conditions, like rain and snow;
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle;
- Tired or too fatigued to drive safely and with caution;
Being Hit by a Business Vehicle or Postal Truck
Business vehicles, also called commercial vehicles, are a major cause of pedestrian accidents. These occur in downtown areas but also in suburbs and neighborhoods.
The number of these crashes is actually on the rise due to the increase in internet purchase deliveries and food delivery services.
In addition to U.S. mail trucks and large delivery trucks, pedestrians are getting hit by:
- FedEx & UPS delivery trucks
- Amazon trucks and vehicles
- Grub Hub, Door Dash, Postmates, and Uber Eats cars
- Dominos Pizza, Jimmy Johns, and other fast-food restaurants
These drivers are rated by the speed of their delivery services and this can put innocent pedestrians at risk of injury. The business can be held liable for the negligent driving of its employees.
Tips to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians should always be cautious and should never expect that a motorist will drive in a careful and safe manner. Common mistakes by pedestrian include:
- Crossing the street outside of the crosswalk
- Ignoring “Do Not Walk” signals and entering the roadway
- Looking at a mobile phone while walking across the street
- Walking before dawn and after dusk without wearing reflective clothing
- Wearing dark clothing and crossing the street in a poorly lit area
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while walking
The pie chart above shows a pedestrian’s action prior to a crash in Michigan in 2018. Crossing at an intersection and crossing at a non-intersection combine for approximately 56% of all total pedestrian crashes.
The other top reasons have to do with being in the roadway for other reasons, while only 5% of crashes happen when the pedestrian is not in the roadway.
- Crossing at an intersection, 36%
- Crossing at a non-intersection, 20%
- Other, 12%
- In roadway with traffic, 10%
- In roadway other reason, 9%
- Standing or lying in the roadway, 6%
- Not in the roadway, 5%
- Unknown, 2%
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians really have no chance to avoid serious injuries when being struck by a vehicle. The average car weighs over 4,000 pounds and vans and trucks are even heavier. The injuries suffered by a person hit by a motor vehicle are often catastrophic and life-changing. The most common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBD), closed head injuries, and concussions
- Spinal cord injuries causing quadriplegia and paraplegia
- Skull fractures and facial injuries
- Broken bones throughout the body
- Nerve damage
Michigan Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise in Michigan and throughout the United States.
Pedestrians are defined as a person on foot, skis, skates, rollerblades, or a non-motorized wheelchair, or the rider of a horse or a horse and buggy. In 2018, there were 2,317 pedestrian crashes in Michigan and most resulted in serious injuries. There were 145 deaths, a number was down slightly from 178 fatalities the previous year.
The highest percentage of pedestrian crashes occurred between 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., which makes sense because it is a busy time on the road and usually at dusk or dark outside.
Pedestrians not crossing at marked intersections were the most common deadly reason for fatalities. Alcohol consumption, by both drivers and pedestrians, was also a major factor for pedestrian deaths.
The line graph above shows the trend of pedestrian fatalities in Michigan from 2009-2018.
From 2009 to 2015, there was a noticeable increasing trend in pedestrian fatalities in Michigan. However, there has been a sharp drop off in deaths the past few years.
Do Pedestrians Get Michigan No-Fault Insurance Benefits?
Pedestrians injured by a motor vehicle always get no-fault insurance benefits under Michigan law. You can get benefits even if the person did not own an automobile or have an auto insurance policy.
No-fault benefits will either come from your own car insurance, the car insurance of a family member, or from the insurance company of the negligent driver that you on the bike. If none of these people had auto insurance, you can get benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
Determining which insurance company is responsible for paying your benefits can be confusing. Our attorneys will figure it out for you and assist you in submitting the required paperwork. We will deal directly with the insurance adjuster to get your benefits are paid.
These benefits include payment of lifetime medical bills, lost wages, attendant care services, household benefits, and payments for other medically necessary services and things.
Can I Get No-Fault benefits if I was Blamed for the Accident?
You can receive all No-Fault insurance benefits even if you were partially or totally at-fault in the accident. This is true even if you were unlawfully crossing the street when hit by the car or if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
An insurance company cannot deny your benefits if the accident was your fault for any reason.
Your Rights After a Michigan Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident
Hit and run accidents are all too common. Many drivers unlawfully flee the scene of a serious pedestrian injury or death because they are fearful of the possible criminal charges that might result.
Drunk and intoxicated drivers face likely imprisonment and do not want to undergo roadside sobriety testing at the scene of a serious accident.
Even if a car or driver is never identified, the victim of a hit and run accident is still entitled to no-fault insurance benefits. The evidence must only show that a motor vehicle was involved in the accident. This can be proven by eyewitness testimony and physical evidence at the scene.
In addition, many auto insurance policies have uninsured motorist coverage. This provides for a pain and suffering settlement in the event of a hit and run, or being struck by a driver or vehicle with no auto insurance.
Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering Compensation?
You can sue for pain and suffering compensation if you were hit by a vehicle. This is in addition to payment of your no-fault insurance benefits.
You can sue the negligent driver and the owner of the vehicle driven by the at-fault driver. The evidence and eyewitness testimony must establish that the driver was violating the rules of the road and was at fault in the accident. It must also be proven that the driver’s negligence was the cause of the injuries or death of the pedestrian.
These claims are known as “bodily injury” or “personal injury claims” and are completely separate from no-fault insurance claims.
Bodily injury claims provide money compensation for your physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, psychological damages, disability, and scars caused by the accident. There is no limit to the amount you can receive for pain and suffering damages in a case. However, the insurance policy limits of the defendants is a major factor in your total compensation payout.
Police Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Program
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning released the results of the 2019 state pedestrian safety campaign. The four cities targeted were Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Warren. The goal was to educate motorists and pedestrians about issues pertaining to safety.
A total of 294 citations were handed out and 257 warnings given.
For motorists, the focus was on illegal turns, failing to yield for pedestrians and illegal turns.
For pedestrians, warnings were given for not walking on the sidewalk and not facing traffic when walking on the roadway.
Types of Liability Claims in Fatal Pedestrian Crashes
In cases involving a pedestrian death, our attorneys will file a wrongful death lawsuit for the surviving family members.
The compensation in a fatal pedestrian accident case is for the pain and suffering of the decedent from the time of accident until the death (even if it was just a few seconds or more) and the loss of companionship of the loved one by surviving family members.
If the decedent provided economic support to family members, a claim for those financial losses is also sought in the lawsuit.
In addition, the no-fault insurance laws provide payment for Survivor Loss Benefits. These include payment of lost wages for up to the 36 months, payment of medical expenses, payment of household services, and payment in the amount of $ 1,750.00 toward funeral and burial expenses.
Is there a Time Deadline to File a Michigan Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?
Under Michigan law, the time limit to sue someone for personal injuries for a pedestrian accident is three years from the date of the accident. This is known as the “Statute of Limitations.
The period may be extended longer if the injured person was a minor at the time of the crash. Claims for no-fault insurance benefits must be made with the insurance company within one year of the accident.
It is best not to wait long before contacting a lawyer for your case. In addition to the time deadlines, it is important to start the accident investigation right away. This helps our investigators track down and interview eyewitnesses, inspect any vehicles, and obtain surveillance video from neighboring businesses, building, and houses.
Important evidence can be lost, deleted, or just difficult to find even just days after the accident.
How Much are Michigan Pedestrian Accident Settlements?
There is no “average” pedestrian accident settlement that is used as a basis for determining the compensation payout amount in your case.
Michigan does not have any caps or limits on the amount of compensation you are allowed, but many times it is determined by the insurance policy limits of the negligent driver and the limits of any other possible insurance coverage.
Every claim is completely different and based upon a number of factors. The amount of your settlement will depend on the seriousness of your injuries, the permanency of your injuries, the type and length of your medical treatment, and how the injuries have affected your ability to lead a normal life.
Other settlement factors include whether you had an excess loss of income and a loss of future earnings
Our attorneys investigate every possible source of insurance coverage to ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement. This includes locating insurance policies for both the driver and the owner of the vehicle that hit the pedestrian.
Many times, these are two separate policies that can be added together to increase the insurance money available to pay the settlement.
Additionally, many pedestrians are covered by their own auto insurance or the insurance policy of a family member.
Many policies contain uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage which provide for settlement payments for pain and suffering damages.
Examples of Pedestrian Settlements in Michigan
- $4,500,000 wrongful death settlement killed by a septic truck driver in Oakland County.
- $3,825,000 wrongful death settlement after being hit by a truck while crossing Detroit intersection.
- $1,600,000 settlement for a pedestrian who was killed by a vehicle in Oakland County
- $1,250,000 settlement for a Grand Rapids pedestrian critically injured by an SUV.
- $1,200,000 settlement for a pedestrian killed in Waterford, Michigan.
- $1,080,000 settlement for a Lansing man hit by a drunk driver on a highway shoulder.
- $ 950,000 settlement for an Ann Arbor pedestrian hit by a commercial vehicle.
- $ 400,000 settlement for our pedestrian struck by a golf cart in a gated community.
- $ 375,000 pedestrian wrongful death settlement in Ferndale, Michigan.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement?
The length of time that it takes to get paid a settlement varies on a case by case basis.
Some cases settle quickly because the injuries are serious and the insurance policy limit is low, so the adjuster will pay the entire policy limits quickly. However, most cases can take up to a year or more after the accident to get a settlement check because the victim is still recovering and the future effect of the injuries are unknown.
It is not wise to settle a case before the long-term impact of the injuries is known.
Beware of lawyers promising fast settlements. This usually means they are putting their own interests before your best interests and want to make a quick fee and then leave you to handle your No-Fault Insurance claims on your own. This is a common tactic of many TV lawyers.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for my Case?
You are not required to hire an attorney to help you with your case. In fact, if you have a very minor injury and have recovered you may be better off just trying to settle on your own with the insurance company. However, if you have a serious injury or the case involves a death, you should consult with an experienced lawyer to find out if you need help.
There are many good reasons for hiring a lawyer that specializes in pedestrian accident cases. First, the no-fault insurance laws are complex and confusing. You shouldn’t expect the insurance company to tell you everything you are owed, nor should you definitely expect that you will get paid for everything.
It is likely that you will not even know about the benefits the insurance company did not pay you.
Second, you will have difficulty finding out the potential insurance policies available to pay you an injury settlement.
Do not expect the insurance company adjuster to tell you the real limits or to negotiate with you in a fair manner. You will be requested to sign a Release of All Claims and these documents often get you to give up benefits that you are entitled to for your lifetime.
How Much do Lawyers Charge for Pedestrian Accident Cases?
The Buckfire Law firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not receive a legal fee unless you win a settlement. We do not charge any fees to start your case and only get paid when you receive your settlement check. We pay for all case expenses and if your claim is not successful for any reason at all, you don’t owe us a penny.
Get Help from the Best Michigan Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
You need the best pedestrian accident lawyers on your side. Our team of attorneys have earned the top awards in the legal profession. These include:
- AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, highest possible rating for skill and integrity
- Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report
- Best Lawyers in America
- Michigan Top Lawyers
- Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Put us to work for you. We will explain your legal rights and the full process to you from start to finish.
Contact us today to speak with a member of our team of top-rated lawyers. If you cannot visit our office, we will meet you at your home or at the hospital to answer your questions and get started on your case.
Michigan Pedestrian Accident References & Resources
- Michigan Traffic Crash Facts (Publication of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning)
- Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Pedestrian Safety
- Safe Kids Worldwide
- Michigan State Police – Pedestrian Safety
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