Will my car insurance cover me if I am sued for hitting a pedestrian?

Liability car insurance will cover hitting a pedestrian, which is why most states require minimum liability coverage. Unfortunately, if you are sued for more than the minimum coverage, you will be responsible for the excess costs out-of-pocket. To add more car insurance to cover hitting a pedestrian, start comparing shopping online now with our free tool.

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UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 4, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Depending on your coverage limits, your insurance company will pay for some or all of the costs if you are sued
  • Even if you were not to blame for hitting the pedestrian, he can choose to sue you for medical payments
  • If you find out you are being sued, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance provider

If you are driving a car and you hit a pedestrian who ends up suing you, your car insurance company should cover some or even all of the costs associated with that lawsuit.

One of the biggest fears that most drivers face is hitting a pedestrian while they drive.

While having any car accident isn’t high on anyone’s list, at least when you hit a vehicle, the passengers have some level of protection.

However, when you hit a pedestrian, they are completely exposed to your vehicle.

While driving with caution is a good way to avoid hitting pedestrians, there is no complete protection from this type of accident.

If you drive where there are pedestrians, there is always some small risk that you will strike someone, even if you are careful when you drive.

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When can a pedestrian sue if they are struck by my car?

Because lawsuits are civil matters and not criminal ones, anyone can sue you at any time, even if you were found not responsible for striking the pedestrian.

For example, if a pedestrian walks in between two vehicles into the road, he is at fault but can sue you.

Although the person in question may have a more difficult time finding a lawyer to take their case if you weren’t at fault, it isn’t entirely out of the question.

also, no one has to inform you that you are being sued until the time comes to provide you with an “invitation” to court.

The good news is that if the police find the pedestrian at fault for an accident, it is very unlikely that a lawsuit will even be considered by a lawyer.

If a lawyer decides to take the case, it is improbable that the pedestrian will win the case.

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What do I do once I learn I’m being sued?

The first thing that you need to do is to contact your insurance company.

In most states, if someone accepts payment from the insurance company for their damages, they are not legally allowed to sue unless there are extenuating circumstances.

You need to let your insurance company know as soon as possible so that you can determine if the person suing has already received a payment from the insurance company.

If you have liability insurance, then you should not have to worry about hiring a lawyer for this case, your insurance company will take care of that end of things.

Your insurance company will most likely offer a settlement to the pedestrian that you hit with your car rather than going to court.

However, in some cases, the insurance company will settle with the person even if you weren’t at fault in the accident. Your rates will be affected by whatever the insurance company pays out.

Insurance companies will sometimes do this because they feel that hiring lawyers and going to court will be far more expensive than any settlement that they can negotiate.

If this happens to you, it will be in your best interest to change insurance companies.

How much will my insurance cover for the lawsuit?

The insurance company will pay the maximum amount of liability coverage that you have and no more.

If you choose the lowest amount required by your state, then it is possible that you will also have to pay money towards the lawsuit, especially if it goes to court because the pedestrian won’t settle the car insurance claim out of court.

Therefore when you purchase insurance, most insurance companies recommend that you purchase more than your state’s minimums.

You can increase your coverage at any time before an accident, but if you increase your minimums and maximums after an accident, they will only apply to future incidents, not one that has already occurred.

If you aren’t sure if you can afford an increase in your rates because you increase your coverage, ask yourself what you can afford to be sued after hitting a pedestrian.

Drivers and pedestrians should be extra cautious to avoid accidents, especially in any of the 10 most dangerous states for pedestrians.

Of course, you should check with multiple car insurance companies to ensure you get the lowest rates for your insurance too. Get FREE car insurance quotes right now by entering your ZIP code!

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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