Michigan Pedestrian Accident FAQs | Lee Steinberg Law Firm

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Pedestrian Accident FAQs

Michigan Pedestrian Accident Lawyer – Frequently Asked Questions

Michigan Pedestrian accidents can result in serious personal injury. For decades, the Michigan pedestrian accident lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have been helping our clients get full justice and money compensation for their injuries.

Call our office with any pedestrian accident questions you may have. Or submit an online form here.

If you are in an accident involving a car, truck or motorcycle as a pedestrian, there are a few different things you should try to do right after the pedestrian accident.

  • Call the police – use your cell phone and call 911. If you can’t, ask someone to call the police or 911 for you.
  • Stay Calm
  • Get the names and address of everyone involved in the crash.
  • Collect Evidence – Take photographs of the accident scene, including the license plates of all the vehicles in the crash. Take video if necessary.
  • Seek Medical Attention – go to a local hospital or make an appointment at your family doctors or urgent care. Even minor injuries can become dangerous.
  • Contact a Lawyer – call an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to find out your rights

The rights of a pedestrian after getting hit by a car in Michigan are the same as those inside a car. You are entitled to Michigan no-fault benefits, or personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. These benefits include the payment of hospital bills, doctor bills, rehabilitation, prescription, out-of-pocket costs and other benefits.

If the driver of the car is at least 50% at-fault for causing the crash, then you also have a claim for pain and suffering. This is called a negligence case. It is also known as a “third-party” case. An experienced Michigan pedestrian accident lawyer can help you get compensation for the pain and suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, depression and other things that resulted from your injuries.

Under Michigan law, both the driver and the owner of the car can be held responsible. Even if the car owner was not driving the car, if he or she gave the driver permission to use the vehicle, and the driver acted negligently, then the owner is responsible for the injuries as well.

It depends on the severity of the injuries and if a lawsuit is needed. A lot of cases can be settled without having to file a lawsuit. This is usually referred to as a “pre-suit” settlement. At this stage, a lawyer will collect medical records and other documentation. The lawyer will then forward a formal demand package to the insurance company to settle the case. Often, a case involving a pedestrian can settle without filing a lawsuit. This process usually takes 6-12 months. However, every case and situation is different.

It is important to understand that going it alone is not a wise choice. The insurance company will take advantage of you and likely make a low-ball offer to get you to settle. That’s why it’s important to choose the best Michigan pedestrian accident lawyer you can find.

If a lawsuit is necessary, then it will take longer to settle the pedestrian lawsuit. Again, every case is different but usually it takes a least a year to settle a case after a lawsuit is filed. In most situations, the amount of time is longer. If a case goes to trial, then it could be two years or more.

In Michigan, most personal cases do not go to an actual trial. In fact, roughly 98% of personal injury cases, in particular auto accident cases, settle or reach some resolution before reaching the jury trial stage.

Yes. If a driver is the cause of a fatality to a pedestrian, then their insurance carrier is responsible for the accidental death. This is called a wrongful death case. These cases are separate from any criminal case that may also occur.

Wrongful death cases are usually strongly defended. The car insurance company will try to blame the pedestrian for the crash. Often, they will try to say the pedestrian stepped out on the road or was not crossing at the crosswalk and not there to be seen. It is important to hire an aggressive and winning Michigan pedestrian car accident law firm to protect the rights of your loved one and receive proper justice

This is not true. If a pedestrian was jaywalking and walked in front of a moving vehicle that was there to be seen, then the pedestrian may be held at fault. Again, if the pedestrian is more than 50% at-fault for causing a crash, the pedestrian is not entitled to pain and suffering compensation.

For example, at an intersection a vehicle turning left or right must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. However, the pedestrian must be lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk. If the pedestrian is not, then the pedestrian can be held liable for causing their own injuries. 

If you hit a pedestrian, do not freak out and leave the scene. That is a criminal act and you can go to jail for this. Instead, get out of your car and check on the health of the pedestrian and call the police. Make sure you tell the police your side of the story.  

Pedestrians have the right to occupy certain areas of the roadway. Even if you have a green light, you must yield the right of way to a pedestrian or person walking through a crosswalk. This includes people walking, running, jogging, skateboarding, or even riding a bicycle. If you are making a left turn or right turn, you must stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk or legally allowed to cross the street.

If you are a pedestrian and injured while walking on the roadway, you can file a lawsuit against the city, county or municipality responsible for maintaining that roadway. However, these cases are fact specific and the government has a lot of protections in Michigan.

In fact, under MCL 691.1407, a governmental agency is immune from tort liability. This means cities and counties and even the state of Michigan itself cannot be sued for personal injury accidents, except under certain exceptions.

One of those exceptions is knowns as the “highway exception”. It is found under MCL 691.1402(1) and says:

Each governmental agency having jurisdiction over a highway shall maintain the highway in reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel. A person who sustains bodily injury or damage to his or her property by reason of failure of a governmental agency to keep a highway under its jurisdiction in reasonable repair and in a condition reasonably safe and fit for travel may recover the damages suffered by him or her from the governmental agency. 

This means a city or county must maintain its roads, streets and bridges in reasonable repair so that it is reasonable safe for travel. This includes fixing potholes in the pavement. Winning these cases is not easy. Plus there are strict notice requirements that must be met.

So although it is possible to file a lawsuit against a city of county for a trip and fall as a pedestrian, you should contact a pedestrian accident lawyer immediately.

Yes. Pedestrians have the same legal rights as drivers and passengers inside a vehicle. Pedestrians are always entitled to receive Michigan PIP benefits from an auto insurance carrier. An injured pedestrian is also eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

The law is the same whether you are a pedestrian or inside a vehicle. This was not always the case, but it is now. Under MCL 500.3114 and MCL 500.3115, you always start with your own car insurance first. This is the true even if you are pedestrian and your car had nothing to do with the crash.

Again, you always turn to your own auto insurance first for the payment of PIP benefits. If you have State Farm Insurance, and the person who hits you has Allstate Insurance, then State Farm is responsible for paying PIP benefits. Allstate Insurance is responsible for paying the pain and suffering, and any medical bills or lost wages that are in excess of your own PIP policy.

If you do not have auto insurance, or you are not a named insured on another policy, then you turn the car insurance of a resident relative. A resident relative is a person who lives with you and is related to you. This typically includes a spouse, sibling, parent, child, aunt, uncle and even a cousin. So if you don’t have any car insurance, but live with your sister and she has Geico, then Geico Insurance is on the hook to pay the PIP claim.

If there is no auto insurance at those two levels, a pedestrian can still get PIP benefits. How does this work? It’s simple, you make a claim through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP). The MACP is an organization managed by the auto insurance industry. It allows for individuals injured in a car crash, like a pedestrian, to apply for PIP benefits. After an Application for Benefits is completed and submitted, the MACP will then assign an insurance carrier – such as Citizens or Farmers Insurance – to pay up to $250,000 in PIP benefits.

If you have sustained a head injury from a slip and fall accident, recovery can be slow. The medical bills and lost wages can mount. That is why it’s important to contact an experienced Detroit slip and fall accident lawyer for help.

Hit and run accidents are very frustrating. It is a cowardly act and naturally makes your blood boil. But there are things you can still do. First, as explained above you can still make a claim for Michigan no-fault benefits. Even if you don’t have auto insurance, a car insurance carrier is responsible for paying up to $250,000 in medical bills and benefits.

Second, if you have your own auto insurance or you live with someone with auto insurance, you may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim. This is also called a UM claim.

Uninsured motorist coverage steps into the shoes of the uninsured driver. It is not mandatory coverage, but many people have it even if they don’t know it. UM coverage pays for pain and suffering caused by the hit-and-run driver. In some situations, it may even cover medical bills and lost wages.

If you are hit by a hit-and-run driver, or a driver without insurance, give our office a call.

Michigan Pedestrian Lawyers You Can Count On

The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has a team of pedestrian accident lawyers who have represented residents throughout Michigan. Let our team answer your questions and walk you through the process. We never charge anything until we win your case and the consultation is always free. Call us today at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733).