All traffic accidents can cause devastating injuries, but collisions between an automobile and a pedestrian can be particularly catastrophic. The massive size differential between the two means such accidents are often life-threatening for the pedestrian, even when they happen at relatively low speeds. If the motorist caused the crash, an injured pedestrian can seek compensation from the at-fault driver. But does car insurance cover hitting a pedestrian?

Who Is at Fault in a Pedestrian Car Accident?

Because pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users, traffic laws generally favor their increased risk of injury. As such, in many circumstances, a motorist will be at fault if they strike a person traveling on foot. However, there are others where the pedestrian may be at fault. These include:

  • When a pedestrian suddenly crosses into the path of oncoming traffic despite the vehicle having a green light
  • When pedestrians step out into the middle of the road without warning and oncoming motorists do not have an opportunity to avoid hitting them
  • On freeways and interstates where the presence of pedestrians is expressly prohibited

Because each accident involves unique circumstances, consulting with an experienced West Virginia pedestrian accident attorney is the most effective way to determine who was at fault in a collision. West Virginia follows comparative negligence rules, which means a person involved in an accident may still be eligible to recover compensation even if they are partially at fault.

Car Insurance Coverage for Pedestrian Accidents

How does car insurance work if you hit someone? West Virginia requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum liability insurance policy of:

  • $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per accident in total bodily injury liability
  • $25,000 per accident in property damage liability

This liability insurance covers injuries the policyholder causes, such as by hitting a pedestrian who had the right of way.

However, drivers who carry only the minimum amounts may be personally responsible for the excess if the pedestrian’s injuries are more extensive than their policy limits. For example, suppose a pedestrian’s medical bills and lost wages after an accident amount to $75,000, and the at-fault driver’s policy only covers $50,000. In that case, the driver is responsible for the difference between their policy amount and the injury victim’s expenses ($25,000). Covering this cost may require the driver to forfeit assets. As such, many drivers elect to purchase policies with higher coverage limits.

And if you’re wondering, “Does liability insurance cover my car if I hit someone?” the answer is no. It only covers the damage and injuries you cause others. However, if you have purchased optional collision insurance, you can make a claim under this policy for repair or replacement costs.

Personal Insurance for Pedestrian Accident Victims

A pedestrian struck by a motorist who does not carry the required liability insurance can use their own health insurance to cover their medical expenses. However, if the driver is deemed at fault for the collision, the pedestrian retains the right to file a lawsuit for additional compensation.

Contact Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers for Help

Being in a pedestrian accident is traumatic for everyone involved. You may be struggling in the aftermath, unsure of what steps to take, how you will afford accident-related expenses, and what the consequences will be. Our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, are ready to give you the guidance and support you need at this challenging time. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you.

Jeff Robinette professional headshot - West Virginia personal injury attorney
( West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney )

Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.