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What Are My Rights As A Pedestrian Hit By A Car in Michigan?


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When two motor vehicles crash, the outcome can be serious and even fatal. But when a car hits or injures a pedestrian, it is likely that the results of the crash are even more tragic. This is because unlike a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle, a pedestrian does not have the outside shield to protect them.

In fact, some of the most common injuries that result from a pedestrian being hit or struck by a car include permanent life-long injuries, such as a brain injury or spinal cord injury. These types of injuries can affect a person’s entire life and may require life-long care.

According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Facts (MTCF), in 2014, pedestrians were involved in 2,406 crashes. This number is down 10.3 percent from 2005. However, 158 pedestrians were involved in fatal crashes in 2014– up 5.3 percent from 2005.

Know Your Rights

Pedestrian accidents do happen, and it is important that victims and their families understand their legal rights. Every state is different in regards to what laws apply to pedestrians. Of course, every accident is different and must be handled on a case-by-case basis as well. Typically, if you or your loved one sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident in Michigan, you may have means to file two types of claims.

First and foremost, it must be determined whether or not the driver who hit you was negligent or the cause for your injuries. If it is determined that the driver was at fault for the incident and caused injury to you as the pedestrian, you may be able to file a third party lawsuit against the negligent driver for your pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering damages are known as your non-economic damages.

The other type of claim you may be able to be file as an injured pedestrian is a Michigan no-fault insurance claim, also known as a first-party claim. A no-fault insurance claim is filed against your own auto insurance company to collect compensation for your economic damages. Economic damages could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Medical expenses

  • Prescription expenses

  • Medical mileage to and from your doctor appointments

  • Attendant care (in-home nursing care), and more.

It should be noted that a pedestrian is only entitled to these benefits if the accident involved a motor vehicle. Under Michigan no-fault law, an injured victim is only entitled to such benefits, regardless of who is at fault, if a motor vehicle is involved. Therefore, even if you were at fault for the accident, pedestrians still may be able to collect no-fault benefits. You will, however, not be able to collect damages for your pain and suffering damages if you were considered at fault.

If a pedestrian is killed as a result of the car accident, surviving family members may be entitled to certain rights. If the driver was found negligent and caused for your loved one’s death, you and your family may be entitled to file a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In addition, you may be able to file a survivor loss benefits claim, which is a Michigan no-fault benefit, from the auto insurance company. Survivor loss benefits are forms of compensation that covers what surviving family members would have received if your loved one had not been killed in the an accident.

Involved in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact Goodman Acker, P.C.

At the law firm of Goodman Acker, P.C. our Michigan pedestrian accident lawyers frequently represent injured victims and their families. If you or your loved one has questions regarding a claim or are unsure of your legal rights, call our award-winning law firm today to discuss your case. We offer free, no obligation consultations and represent all our clients under a no-win-no-fee promise. This guarantees you no costs or fees until we win your case.

We have won millions of hundreds of dollars for our clients, including a $3,000,000.00 pedestrian accident settlement on behalf a client in Ingham County. Call our office today to start your case now!