What Compensation Can I Get for a Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian Accidents | February 29, 2024

When a pedestrian accident causes injuries, victims are often able to recover compensation if the incident was caused by the negligence of another party. Sometimes, this compensation comes through a settlement with an insurance carrier. In other situations, a pedestrian accident victim may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party. A successful claim could help a pedestrian recover economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic Damages (Special Damages)

When a pedestrian sustains injuries in an accident with a vehicle and a subsequent impact with the ground or a fixed object, they will likely incur significant financial losses that are relatively calculable. When we say “calculable,” we mean we can use receipts, bills, estimates, or invoices the victim receives after the incident occurs to calculate total losses.

Some of the most common economic damages associated with California pedestrian accident claims include:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • All ongoing hospital or doctor visits
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy
  • Prescription medications and medical devices
  • Out-of-pocket expenses are rising due to the injury
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning potential
  • Property damage expenses (jewelry, watch, phone, etc.)

Non-Economic Damages (General Damages)

Pedestrian accident victims are also likely to experience various other types of losses that are not as easily calculable as the economic damages previously mentioned. There are several types of more immeasurable losses these victims go through, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional and psychological pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to a disability
  • Loss of consortium damages for a spouse

as opposed to economic damages, there are not necessarily any receipts or bills to add up when calculating non-economic damages for a pedestrian accident. There are other methods used to estimate these types of losses, including the “multiplier method.” Using this method, an attorney will add up all of the economic expenses the victim incurs and then multiply that by a set number, often a number ranging from two to five. For example, if a pedestrian accident victim experiences $50,000 worth of economic damages, a multiplier of “three” could be used to calculate non-economic damages of $150,000.

Punitive Damages


California Civil Code section 3294 states that punitive damages are available in situations where there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is guilty of “oppression, fraud or malice.” In California, punitive damages, often referred to as exemplary damages, are rare but could be available depending on the actions of the alleged negligent party.

How Much is a Pedestrian Claim Worth?

Pedestrian accident victims do not receive a standard set amount of compensation if their claim is successful. Rather, each case is examined closely to understand the losses associated with each victim. Several factors can influence the total compensation amount, including the severity of the injuries, how long it takes the victim to recover, the level of out-of-pocket expenses associated with the incident, and several other factors. The total amount of insurance coverage available from the at-fault party can also influence how much a person ultimately receives. We encourage you to speak to a trusted Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyer who can help you understand the value of your particular claim.