If you’ve been injured by a car or other vehicle as a pedestrian in Vermont, a few different factors will determine if you can receive compensation and if so, how much. Part of the determination may be based on whether you contributed to causing the accident. But you may be able to recover for your medical bills and other expenses regardless of your fault.
Pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in recent years.
There is medical payments coverage under many insurance policies in Vermont so when a car accident occurs, each party’s auto insurance initially pays out for medical bills and other losses and expenses up to the limits of their medical payments coverage. If you or a member of your household have auto insurance, the med pay coverage will pay for your injuries as a pedestrian. Think of med coverage as being portable; it goes where you go.
However, if your injuries are serious and your medical bills and related expenses are significant you may want to pursue a third party insurance claim against the driver that hit the pedestrian. It is here that the question of fault becomes important.
Pedestrians may think they always have the right of way, but in fact they can be partly or even wholly to blame in an accident, depending on the circumstances. Assigning the degree of blame in a pedestrian accident is a complex determination that takes into account factors like location, speed limits, road conditions and information drawn from police reports and witnesses’ testimony.
Vermont follows the doctrine of comparative fault, which distributes damages based on each party’s negligence in causing an accident. For example, let’s suppose a pedestrian who was jaywalking while drunk suffers serious injuries when he is hit by a car whose driver was texting at the time. If the pedestrian is found to be 40 percent at fault, he will see his recovery reduced in proportion. So if his provable damages are $100,000, he would receive $60,000.
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How You Can Recover Damages If You’re Hurt As A Pedestrian in Vermont