Typical Settlements for Pedestrians Hit By Cars in New York

average payout for pedestrian hit by car

If you’re a pedestrian who has been hit by a car in New York, you’re probably wondering what kind of settlement you can expect for your injuries. Getting struck by a vehicle can really do a number on you, resulting in hefty medical bills, missed work, physical pain, and overall disruption to your life. While money won’t undo the trauma, fair compensation can help get you back on your feet financially.

This blog post breaks down the typical settlement amounts pedestrians in New York tend to receive based on the severity of their injuries. We’ll look at real data on what these cases are worth and the key factors that influence how much money you could potentially take home.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries and Their Average Settlements

New York pedestrian accidents can cause several injuries, each with varying settlement payouts.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides information on pedestrian accident claims and insurance payouts.

Minor Injuries

Minor pedestrian accident injuries include cuts, bruises, and abrasions. While this harm may not require extensive medical treatment, it can still trigger pain, discomfort, and temporary limitations.

The average settlement for a New York pedestrian accident involving minor injuries can range from $1,000 to $20,000, according to the NAIC.

Psychological Injuries

Pedestrian accidents can also cause significant psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

These emotional injuries have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and may require ongoing therapy or counseling.

The average settlement for a pedestrian accident involving psychological injuries can range from $10,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the severity of the trauma and its long-term effects on the victim’s life.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Likewise, traumatic brain injuries can change a person’s life and often require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care.

A pedestrian accident involving a TBI can range from $100,000 to over $1 million.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries may cause partial or complete paralysis, significantly affecting a pedestrian’s mobility and quality of life.

Pedestrian accident victims in New York should expect to receive $500,000 to several million dollars after receiving a devastating spinal cord injury to cover their long-term care needs.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are common in pedestrian accidents, particularly in the lower extremities.

The average settlement for a pedestrian accident in the US involving broken bones can range from $5,000 to $200,000, depending on the complexity of the fracture and the required treatment.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Finally, soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and contusions, are often less severe than other types of injuries but can still result in psychological harm, significant pain, and limitations.

Soft tissue injury settlements range from $500 to $50,000 in Brooklyn.

It’s important to note that these are rough estimates, and actual settlement amounts can vary widely based on the specific circumstances of each case.

Factors such as the severity of the injury, the required medical treatment, and the impact on the victim’s life all play a role in determining the final settlement amount.

Factors That Can Reduce Pedestrian Accident Settlement Payouts

While many circumstances increase the average payouts for pedestrians hit by a car, other factors can reduce the settlement amount.

Severity of Injuries

The extent of your injuries is one of the most significant factors in determining the settlement amount.

Insurance adjusters measure the severity of harm by looking at the following evidence:

  • Medical bills (past and future).
  • Lost wages and earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering payouts based on previous claims.

More severe injuries generally lead to higher settlement amounts because they cover extensive medical expenses, provoke significant lost wages, and cause greater pain and suffering.

Insurance Coverage

The at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is also important when determining the settlement amount.

New York requires drivers to carry minimum levels of car insurance, which includes:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury.
  • $50,000 per car accident for bodily injury.
  • $10,000 for property damage.

If the driver’s insurance policy limits are low, it may limit the compensation you can receive, even when your damages exceed those limits.

Comparative Negligence

New York follows a pure comparative negligence law, meaning that insurers consider the fault of both the pedestrian and the driver when determining the settlement amount.

If the facts show the pedestrian victim was partially at fault for the accident, an insurance company may reduce (but not bar) his or her settlement accordingly.

Gathering evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and surveillance footage, is vital for countering comparative fault arguments and maximizing your settlement.

Lack of Evidence

Similarly, pedestrian claimants must produce strong evidence to support their case and receive a substantial settlement payout.

This proof includes witness statements, police reports, medical records, and expert testimony.

Securing a high settlement payout becomes more challenging if there is a lack of evidence or conflicting accounts of the accident.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Insurance companies often argue that not all of the claimant’s damages are related to the accident itself.

This affirmative defense asserts the pedestrian had pre-existing medical conditions that the accident only aggravated but did not cause.

Pre-existing conditions reduce settlement payouts since the insurance company is only legally obligated to compensate the victim for injuries directly and foreseeably caused by the policyholder’s negligence.

Failure to Mitigate Damages

Under the New York mitigation of damages doctrine found in the holdings of WILLIAMS v. BRIGHT, persons injured in an accident must take reasonable steps to minimize their losses.

This duty means seeking proper medical treatment and following your doctor’s recommendations for recovery.

When pedestrian accident victims fail to do so, and their injuries worsen, insurers may argue that they are not entitled to full compensation under a mitigation of damages defense.

An experienced personal injury law firm can argue to dismiss these potential challenges, building a solid case on your behalf.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages in Pedestrian Accident Cases

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, make up a significant portion of a pedestrian accident claim.

Factors that insurers consider when determining non-economic damages include:

  • Age of the pedestrian
  • Impact on quality of life
  • The permanence of serious injuries

Car accident lawyers use several methods to calculate non-economic damages, such as the multiplier or per diem method, to ensure that clients receive fair compensation for their suffering.

Don’t Wait Too Long

The New York statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including pedestrian accidents, is generally three years from the accident date.

This rule means that you must file a lawsuit within three years, or you may lose your claim rights.

Some exceptions exist to this rule, such as when the pedestrian is a minor or the at-fault party is a government entity.

However, it’s always best to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible to discover which deadline applies to you.

Why Hiring a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Is Essential

Dealing with insurance companies in the civil claims process after a pedestrian accident can be stressful, especially when dealing with injuries and mounting expenses.

Hiring an experienced pedestrian accident attorney offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Handling the claim on your behalf.
  • Gathering evidence and building a strong case.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement.
  • Representing you in court, if necessary.

Most pedestrian accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case.

How Long Does a Pedestrian Accident Settlement Take?

The timeline for a New York pedestrian accident settlement varies significantly and depends on the case’s complexity and the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate.

Some claims settle within a few months, while others take a year or more.

Factors that can influence the timeline include:

  • Severity of the injuries.
  • Amount of evidence available.
  • Number of parties involved.
  • Court’s schedule, if a lawsuit is filed.

While it can be tempting to accept a quick settlement offer, you should seek advice from an experienced attorney before doing so.

Your legal counsel will assess your injuries and determine whether your settlement addresses all of your damages.

Maximizing Your Pedestrian Accident Settlement

Let’s recap the information above on maximizing your pedestrian accident settlement:

  1. Document the accident and your injuries thoroughly.
  2. Follow through with all recommended medical treatment.
  3. Avoid admitting fault or accepting an initial settlement offer without consulting an attorney.
  4. Keep track of all expenses and losses related to the accident, including anticipated costs.

And remember, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney can increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement that fully compensates you for your damages.

You Don’t Have to Face Insurers Alone

If a car hits you while walking in New York, the knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Held, Held & Held in Brooklyn are here to help.

We understand New York’s insurance liability laws and have successful outcomes in handling pedestrian accident cases.

Schedule your free consultation today, and let us put our experience to work for you while you recover.

Contact Held, Held & Held today to take the first step toward securing the settlement you need to move forward with your life.


Author Bio

Edward Held is the founding member of Held, Held & Held, a family-owned multi-practice law firm in Brooklyn, NY. With more than 40 years of experience, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including personal injury, real estate, criminal defense, bankruptcy, and estate law.

Edward received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School and is a former President of the New York Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors. He has received numerous accolades for his work and has been admitted into the Supreme Court of the United States and the New York State Courts.

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