Are You Covered With Auto Insurance as a Pedestrian?

Are You Covered With Auto Insurance as a Pedestrian?
••• Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images

Typically, a pedestrian who is hit by a car will be covered by the driver's car insurance company. This, of course, will depend on who was at fault and whether the driver has the necessary insurance coverage in your particular state. If the situation gets complex and the insurance company refuses to compensate you, a lawsuit may be the next course of action. The amount and type of compensation you may eventually receive will be determined by the court based on the defendant’s assets, insurance, the extent of your injuries and your contribution to the accident.

General Fault

As a pedestrian, there is always some small risk a driver will strike you. Should you be hit by a car, fault will typically be determined by the law of negligence; the individual who failed to use a reasonable standard of care given the circumstances of the accident will likely be considered negligent. It could be the driver was speeding, or you may have been distracted and started to cross the road illegally. For insurance purposes, your compensation would be based on the driver being at fault.

Auto Liability Insurance

If as a pedestrian you get hit by a vehicle, you are likely to receive payment under the auto liability insurance policy of the driver or vehicle owner. Nearly all states will require drivers and vehicle owners to carry liability insurance to cover personal injuries sustained by a pedestrian and/or their property. If you are injured, you can file a claim against the driver's auto liability insurance policy, although this will depend on whose fault the accident was in the first place.

No-Fault Coverage

You may be entitled to payment under no-fault coverage, available in some "no-fault" states, if you get hit by a car while walking. In these states, insurance companies are required to offer personal injury protection, or PIP, by paying for the medical expenses as well as lost wages for their policyholders. As a pedestrian, the driver's insurance company will pay you the amount of your medical expenses up to the PIP limit, regardless of who is at fault. However, this will depend on the state.

Your Insurance Coverage

If you have your own auto insurance, but were injured as a pedestrian, you may receive compensation from your policy. In many states, your automotive insurance -- specifically, bodily injury liability -- will pay for your losses due to the fault of the other driver. However, your first stop should be your medical insurance, to pay for medical bills. Your medical insurance company will later collect reimbursement for your medical expenses from the responsible auto insurance company.