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The Definitive Guide to Pedestrian Injury Claims: Understanding Compensation


When discussing pedestrian injury claims, it’s crucial to understand that such incidents in Denver, and indeed across the US, often lead to complex legal battles and the need for substantial compensation. Pedestrians, unprotected by the physical confines of a vehicle, are highly susceptible to severe injuries when accidents occur. This guide aims to provide you with a straightforward overview of what pedestrian injury claims entail, the kind of compensation you might expect, and why legal expertise is pivotal in navigating these claims.

Pedestrian accidents can result from various factors including but not limited to driver negligence, poor road conditions, and pedestrian error. When injured, the immediate steps you take can significantly influence the outcome of your injury claims. Properly documenting the accident scene, obtaining accurate medical records, and contacting a proficient personal injury lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and compensation is secured.

Understanding the nuances of pedestrian injury claims involves recognizing the types of injuries that can occur—ranging from fractures and soft tissue injuries to more severe cases like brain injuries—and how these injuries can impact your life and livelihood. Knowing the potential avenues for compensation will not only aid in your physical and financial recovery but also in your overall adjustment post-accident.

Infographic detailing steps to take after a pedestrian accident, including first aid, collecting evidence, and legal consultation - pedestrian injury claims infographic infographic-line-5-steps

Understanding Pedestrian Injury Claims


Pedestrian injury claims are legal cases filed by individuals who have been injured as pedestrians due to the actions or negligence of another party, typically a motor vehicle driver. These claims are designed to recover damages for the injuries sustained, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Types of Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can occur in various scenarios, but some of the most common include:
Crosswalk Incidents: Where pedestrians are hit while legally crossing the street.
Hit and Run: Where the driver leaves the scene after hitting a pedestrian.
Backing-Up Accidents: Occur when a driver fails to notice a pedestrian while reversing their vehicle.
Turning Vehicles: Accidents that happen when a driver makes a turn without noticing a pedestrian crossing the street.

Each type of accident requires a unique approach to establish liability and pursue compensation, emphasizing the importance of understanding the specific circumstances of each case.

Vehicle Design

The design of a vehicle can significantly impact the severity of injuries in pedestrian accidents. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, tend to cause more severe injuries due to their higher bumper placement and larger blind spots. The European New Car Assessment Programme and other safety organizations have conducted studies showing how vehicle design can prevent injuries or reduce their severity. Innovations like pedestrian airbags and enhanced bumper designs are becoming more prevalent in efforts to enhance pedestrian safety.

Pedestrian Safety Features - pedestrian injury claims

Understanding these aspects of pedestrian injury claims is crucial for anyone involved in such an accident, whether directly or indirectly. Knowing the types of accidents and how vehicle design can affect the impact can help in preparing a more effective legal strategy and ensuring that justice and compensation are secured. We will delve deeper into determining liability in pedestrian accidents, which is pivotal in the pursuit of rightful compensation.

Determining Liability in Pedestrian Accidents

When a pedestrian is injured in an accident, figuring out who is responsible is crucial. This process involves understanding several legal concepts and the specific laws of the state where the accident occurred. Let’s break down these elements:

At-Fault States

In at-fault states, the person who caused the accident is responsible for the damages. Wisconsin, where our focus lies, follows this rule. This means if a driver hits a pedestrian, the driver’s insurance typically covers the expenses, provided the driver is found to be at fault.

Duty of Care

Every driver has a duty of care to act in a way that avoids harming others. This includes watching for pedestrians, obeying traffic laws, and driving safely given the road conditions. Pedestrians also have a duty, such as following traffic signals and using crosswalks.


Negligence occurs when someone fails to fulfill their duty of care. In pedestrian accidents, this could mean a driver was speeding, or a pedestrian darted into traffic unexpectedly. Proving negligence is key to determining liability. For example, if a driver ignored a red light and hit a pedestrian legally crossing the road, the driver would likely be found negligent.

Wisconsin Laws

Wisconsin’s laws are designed to protect pedestrians and ensure that drivers exercise caution. For instance, Wisconsin Statutes require drivers to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections when the walk signal is on. Failure to adhere to these laws can be considered negligence.

In cases involving both parties’ negligence, Wisconsin employs a modified comparative fault rule. This rule allows a pedestrian to recover damages only if they are less than 51% responsible for the accident. If found more than 50% at fault, the pedestrian cannot recover damages.

Understanding these aspects is crucial for anyone involved in a pedestrian accident. Knowing your rights and responsibilities under Wisconsin laws can help navigate the aftermath of an accident effectively. As we explore the common injuries from such accidents in the next section, we’ll see the physical and financial impact these incidents can have.

Common Injuries and Their Impact

When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the lack of protection compared to those inside the vehicle means injuries are often severe and can have long-lasting effects. Let’s discuss the common types of injuries and their potential impacts on the lives of the victims.

Bone Fractures

Bone fractures are a frequent outcome of pedestrian accidents. The most vulnerable areas are the legs, arms, and ribs. These injuries can range from simple fractures, which might heal with minimal medical intervention, to complex ones requiring surgery and long-term rehabilitation. Recovery time varies significantly, potentially leading to lost wages and reduced mobility.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious injuries that can occur in pedestrian accidents. They can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Symptoms might include headaches, confusion, dizziness, and in severe cases, changes in personality, cognitive impairment, and long-term disability. TBIs can affect every aspect of a person’s life, often requiring extensive medical care and rehabilitation.

Soft Tissue Damage

Soft tissue injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Common examples include sprains, strains, and contusions. While these might seem less severe, they can cause significant pain and require lengthy periods of rest and physical therapy. In some cases, soft tissue injuries can lead to chronic pain or complications if not properly treated.

Each of these injury types can lead to substantial medical bills, ongoing care costs, and personal suffering. The emotional and financial strain on the victims and their families can be immense, affecting their quality of life and financial stability. This is why understanding the full scope of possible injuries and their impacts is crucial in pedestrian injury claims.

In the next section, we’ll guide you through the immediate steps to take following a pedestrian accident to ensure safety and protect your legal rights.

Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident

When involved in a pedestrian accident, the steps you take immediately after can significantly impact your health and any subsequent pedestrian injury claims. Here’s a straightforward guide to follow:

Assess Injuries

First and foremost, check for injuries. Even if you feel fine, some injuries, like internal bleeding or concussions, might not show symptoms right away. If possible, get medical attention at the scene or visit a hospital immediately after the accident. Documenting your injuries early will also be crucial for your claim.

Exchange Information

Next, exchange contact and insurance information with the driver involved. Make sure to get their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance details. If there are witnesses, get their contact information as well, as they can provide valuable testimony later.

Document the Scene

Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including street signs, traffic signals, and any skid marks or debris. Capture different angles showing the impact site and any visible injuries you have sustained. If you’re unable to do this yourself due to injuries, ask someone nearby to help.

Seek Legal Advice

Even if the accident seems minor, it’s wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in pedestrian injury claims. They can guide you on the necessary steps to protect your rights and help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

By following these steps, you ensure that you not only look after your health but also secure the necessary documentation and professional help to support your claim effectively. The actions you take immediately after an accident are pivotal in shaping the outcome of your injury claim.

Compensation and Damages

When you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, understanding the types of compensation and damages available is crucial. Here, we’ll break down the key areas: Medical Expenses, Lost Wages, Pain and Suffering, and Punitive Damages.

Medical Expenses

If you’re hit by a vehicle, the medical bills can pile up quickly. Compensation for medical expenses covers everything from emergency room visits to ongoing medical treatments such as physical therapy or surgery. It’s important to keep all receipts and records of medical treatment as these will be vital in proving your expenses during the claim process.

Lost Wages

For many, being injured means missing work. Compensation for lost wages covers the money you would have earned had you not been injured. This can include missed salary, wages, or other earnings. If your injuries impact your ability to work in the future, you may also claim for loss of earning capacity, which considers future earnings.

Pain and Suffering

This type of compensation is subjective and covers the physical pain and emotional distress you experience due to the accident. Calculating pain and suffering can be complex as it varies greatly depending on the individual case. Typically, the more severe the injury, the higher the compensation for pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the driver’s behavior was particularly reckless or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. These are not related to the direct costs of injuries or losses but are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.

By consulting with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in pedestrian injury claims, you can get a clear understanding of what types of compensation you might be entitled to and the best strategies to maximize your claim. Each component of compensation plays a crucial role in ensuring that you can recover and move forward from the incident without bearing unnecessary financial burdens.

Modified Comparative Fault Rule in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, understanding how fault affects compensation in pedestrian injury claims is crucial. The state follows a “modified comparative fault rule,” which plays a significant role in determining the outcome of these claims.

51% Bar

Under Wisconsin’s modified comparative fault rule, if a pedestrian is found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, they are completely barred from recovering any damages. This means that if you, as a pedestrian, are mostly responsible for the accident, you cannot receive compensation from the other party.

Fault Percentage

Determining the fault percentage is a critical aspect of the process. In Wisconsin, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you share in the accident. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault and the total damages amount to $100,000, you would only be eligible to receive $70,000.

Impact on Compensation

This rule emphasizes the importance of gathering solid evidence and presenting a strong case. If the other party can prove that you were more than 50% responsible for the accident, your chance of obtaining compensation is null. On the other hand, even if you are less at fault, your compensation will still be reduced proportionally to your share of the blame.

In pedestrian accidents, fault can be influenced by various factors, such as jaywalking, distracted walking, or failing to follow traffic signals. It’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can help accurately assess fault and navigate the complexities of the law to protect your rights and maximize your potential compensation.

By understanding these rules and working with a skilled attorney, you can ensure that your pedestrian injury claims are handled effectively, giving you the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case. This approach not only helps in securing fair compensation but also in understanding the legal landscape of pedestrian accidents in Wisconsin.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pedestrian Injury Claims

What happens if someone walks in front of your car?

When someone unexpectedly walks in front of your car, it can lead to a serious accident. If you’re the driver, it’s crucial to stay at the scene, ensure everyone’s safety, and call emergency services if needed. Legally, you must report the accident to the police, especially if it involves injuries. The next steps include exchanging information with the pedestrian and any witnesses, and documenting the scene with photos if possible.

For both parties, determining who had the right of way at the time of the accident is essential. This will help establish liability, which impacts how damages might be awarded.

What to do after getting hit by a car?

If you’re a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, your immediate priority should be your health. Seek medical attention, even if injuries seem minor — some symptoms can appear later. Once you’re safe, try to gather evidence from the scene:
– Take photos of the location and your injuries.
– Collect contact information from the driver and any witnesses.
– Obtain a copy of the police report if one is filed.

It’s also recommended to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your pedestrian injury claims. They can guide you on how to proceed with insurance claims or legal action if necessary.

Can a pedestrian sue if hit by a car?

Yes, a pedestrian can sue if hit by a car. The success of such a lawsuit typically depends on proving that the driver was at fault due to negligence, such as speeding, ignoring traffic signals, or distracted driving. If the pedestrian was partly at fault, for example, crossing against a signal, this might reduce the amount they can recover in damages due to the “comparative fault” rule applied in places like Wisconsin.

In any case, consulting with a personal injury lawyer is beneficial. They can help assess the details of the accident and determine the best course of action to seek compensation for injuries, lost wages, and other damages.

By addressing these critical questions, individuals involved in pedestrian accidents can better understand their rights and the steps necessary to protect those rights. Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, knowing how to react legally and safely can significantly impact the outcome of any subsequent claims or legal actions.


Navigating the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and the potential legal complexities. This is where The Boyle Law Firm comes into play, offering expert legal guidance to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

At The Boyle Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of pedestrian injury claims. Our team is equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle each case with the care it deserves. From investigating the scene of the accident to negotiating with insurance companies, we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for our clients.

We believe that everyone should have access to top-tier legal representation without financial strain. That’s why we offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best way forward. Our goal is to alleviate the burden so that you can focus on your recovery while we handle the legal details.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to reach out. Visit our pedestrian accident attorney service page to learn more about how we can help you navigate through this challenging time. Let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Taking prompt legal action can significantly enhance the strength of your claim. The Boyle Law Firm is here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring that you are not alone in this journey.