If you are a pedestrian who has been injured by a car accident, you may have assumed that your medical bills will be covered by the driver who hit you. However, some cases are not this straightforward, and to understand who is responsible for your damages you may need answers to several questions first.
What kind of state is it? At-Fault States versus No-Fault States
Indiana is an at-fault state. This means that the party at fault for an accident is responsible for paying damages, including associated medical costs. However, if you were out-of-state when you were injured, determining who is responsible for damages depends on that state’s laws. In no-fault states, adults may be responsible for carrying no-fault insurance to help cover their own injuries and lost time from work following an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Could anyone share liability?
On the day of your accident you may have been carefully crossing a road, doing your best to follow traffic laws—or perhaps you weren’t. In some cases, pedestrians may bear partial liability for their own accidents. Examples of when this may be true include:
- Intoxication. While walking drunk is safer than driving drunk, any level of intoxication may impair judgment. Being intoxicated may make a pedestrian make foolish decisions that contribute to accidents and injuries. If you were intoxicated and as a result made poor decisions as a pedestrian, you may bear partial or full responsibility for your injuries.
- Failure to follow traffic laws. Pedestrians have right of way, but that does not mean a pedestrian should carelessly enter a road in front of a passing car. Pedestrians must protect themselves by following traffic laws, acting defensively when necessary, paying attention to traffic signals, and only crossing at crosswalks.
- Behaving irresponsibly or dangerously. In some cases, pedestrians may fail to protect their own safety by walking into traffic or taking other irresponsible or dangerous actions. Injured pedestrians who caused the accident by their behavior may not be able to hold another party liable.
What if the driver was clearly at fault?
If the driver was clearly at fault for the accident in an at-fault state like Indiana, their insurance may be responsible for covering the pedestrian’s associated medical expenses. If the driver was uninsured, they may be held personally liable for the damages they caused. In cases where long-term care is required or there has been a change in the victim’s ability to earn an income because of the accident, the liable party may offer a settlement that will permanently discharge them of responsibility to pay continuing costs.
Determining who should pay
If you were a pedestrian injured by an accident you may be struggling to determine who is responsible for paying your medical bills and holding them accountable. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of William W. Hurst and learn if we may be able to help. Contact us today at (317) 636-0808 or online for a free consultation.