What Kind of Insurance Coverage Is Available for Accidents Between Pedestrians and Cars?

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North Carolina is an at-fault state for car accidents, so in most cases, you would first seek coverage from the at-fault party’s car insurance policy. However, there are some situations where you might need to look at other options for coverage.

This is one reason why it’s always a good idea to contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer right away – we can review the details of your accident and consider all possibilities for recovering compensation.

Here are some examples of why the at-fault party’s insurance coverage might not be the ideal option in every case:

  • The car accident is your fault – Everyone makes mistakes; sometimes, even the slightest driving error can lead to a car crash. At the same time, a pedestrian’s error might also cause a collision with a vehicle.

If you were at fault, you wouldn’t be able to recover from the other party’s insurance coverage, and they will probably seek damages from you (if they have any). Depending on your insurance coverage, your own damages – and the other party’s – may or may not be covered.

We’ll discuss different types of insurance coverage later in this article.

  • The car accident was not your fault… mostly – North Carolina uses contributory negligence statutes for personal injury cases, including car accidents. Under contributory negligence, the plaintiff, or injured party, can’t recover damages from the defendant if the plaintiff shares any amount of fault for the accident or injury.

We’ve seen many cases where a driver was speeding or driving recklessly when they struck a pedestrian, but they weren’t liable because the pedestrian also made an error and was partially at fault.

  • The car accident wasn’t your fault, but you can’t prove it – Maybe the driver who hit you was 100 percent at fault, but they have a different story about what happened. This is often the situation with accidents in or around intersections, where both parties may claim they had the right of way.

The driver might say that the pedestrian was outside the crosswalk (where pedestrians must yield the right of way). In contrast, the pedestrian insists they were inside the crosswalk (where pedestrians have the right of way in most situations).

This is another reason why consulting a lawyer about your case is essential – we can investigate your accident and search for evidence of the other party’s fault, such as traffic camera or doorbell camera video, black box data from the vehicle, witnesses, etc.

In some cases, we can prove the other party was fully responsible. However, there are also some circumstances where we simply can’t locate any evidence of fault despite a thorough investigation.

  • The car accident was entirely the other party’s fault, and you can prove it, but they are uninsured or underinsured – Unfortunately, when a car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian usually suffers much more severe injuries than the car’s occupants (who are often unhurt or have only minor injuries).

A pedestrian lacks the protection of airbags, seatbelts, or even the helmet a bicyclist might wear. As a result, you could suffer multiple serious injuries that require extensive medical care, some of which may not be covered by your medical insurance.

North Carolina only requires a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for drivers. If you have $75,000 in medical costs and the driver has this minimum coverage, you can only recover $30,000. There are also situations where the driver has no insurance at all.

What Is Personal Injury Protection Coverage?

Sometimes people ask if they should buy personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. It’s important to understand that PIP is a specific type of coverage required in some states with no-fault car accident laws.

Florida, for example, requires all drivers to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. On the other hand, PIP coverage is unavailable in at-fault states like North Carolina, so you won’t be able to buy it if you’re a resident.

Do I Need Personal Injury Protection?

You do need coverage to protect your interests if any of the above situations occur. While PIP coverage is unavailable in North Carolina, you can buy Medical Payments insurance or MedPay.

MedPay is an add-on (not required, but recommended) type of coverage you can buy with your car’s required liability insurance. It pays for your own medical bills when you are involved in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault (Your liability insurance will pay for the other party’s medical expenses if you’re at fault.).

How Does MedPay Help Me If I’m a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?

If you can’t prove the driver was 100 percent at fault or if they didn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, you (or a covered family member) can use the MedPay coverage from your own insurance policy.

It doesn’t matter if you weren’t in your car at the time of the accident. You were involved in a car accident, so your MedPay coverage should be available.

What About Other Damages?

Aside from your medical bills, you may have other damages, such as lost income from the time you missed work after your accident, pain and suffering, and in some cases, permanent disability or disfigurement.

If you are dealing with these severe damages and the other party claims they were not at fault, or their insurance coverage isn’t enough to cover all your damages, please contact a car accident lawyer immediately.

In some cases, you may be able to use your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if we can prove the other driver was at fault. We will consider this and every other option for recovering the compensation you deserve.

Contact Tatum & Atkinson After Your North Carolina Accident

Our experienced team at Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters have successfully recovered more than $100 million in damages for our clients. If you’re unsure about fault or insurance coverage, please contact us for a free consultation.

If you decide to move forward with our representation, we won’t charge you any fees until we win or settle your case, so there are no upfront expenses to worry about. Please call 800-LAW-0804 today to learn more about your options for recovering the compensation you deserve.