When a motorcycle hits a pedestrian, the injuries to the pedestrian are often life-changing. Who is responsible for an accident between a pedestrian and a motorcycle? That depends on who was to blame for the wreck.
Whose insurance will pay when a motorcycle strikes a pedestrian?
If a motorcyclist strikes a pedestrian and the motorcyclist is at fault, the motorcyclist’s insurance will pay. If the pedestrian is at fault, he will need to turn to his own insurance to cover his damages.
When both the pedestrian and the motorcycle driver are at fault, they can seek compensation from each other. However, their negligence will reduce their recovery proportionally. This concept is called comparative negligence.
What damages can a pedestrian recover after a motorcycle wreck?
Pedestrians can recover compensation for any losses they suffered in the accident. This might include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Current Trends in Fatal Pedestrian Traffic Crashes
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, 2015 Data, pedestrian fatalities went up nearly 10 percent in 2015, as compared to 2014 data. Over 4,800 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the U.S. in 2015.
The good news is that these numbers are still much lower than in 1979, when 8,096 pedestrians lost their lives in U.S. traffic accidents, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. From the high in 1979, pedestrian fatalities steadily declined until 2010, when these numbers started climbing again.
Thankfully, Washington State is below the national average for pedestrian fatalities, according to the NHTSA. The national average in 2015 was 1.67 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes for every 100,000 population. In Washington, the rate was only 1.19 per 100,000. Delaware had the highest rate, with 3.70 per 100,000. Idaho had the lowest, at 0.48 per 100,000.
The 2015 Washington State Annual Collision Summary reports that during 2015 in Washington State:
- Every four hours, a motorcyclist was involved in a traffic accident.
- Every 2.5 hours, a traffic accident involved a pedestrian or bicyclist.
- Every four days, a pedestrian or bicyclist died in a traffic crash.
Out of 117,053 crashes, there were 551 total traffic crash fatalities and 49,505 injuries in Washington State during 2015. Eighty-six of these fatalities were pedestrians. Over 280 of pedestrians suffered serious injuries, while approximately 1,700 suffered minor injuries.
Where do motorcycle vs. pedestrian accidents happen most often?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, 2015 Data, 76 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas as opposed to rural locations. Out of the 4,851 pedestrians that died in accidents in 2015:
- 72 percent occurred at non-intersections
- 18 percent occurred at intersections
- 5 percent at roadsides/shoulders
- 5 percent at all other sites
When do pedestrian fatalities occur?
The majority (74 percent) of the accidents in 2015 were at night. Over one-third of winter pedestrian fatalities happened between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. During the spring and summer, the highest number of pedestrians died between 9 p.m. and midnight. In the fall, 30 percent of pedestrians died between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. than at any other time.
Why do motorcycles hit pedestrians?
These were some of the reported causes of crashes between pedestrians and motor vehicles in Washington in 2015:
Circumstance Total Fatal Serious Injury
Inattention/driver distractions 285 11 55
Failure to yield ROW to vehicle 202 8 54
Under influence drugs/alcohol 101 26 21
Failure to use crosswalk 100 6 28
Disregard signal 23 0 5
Failure to yield to pedestrians 18 0 5
Fatigued/asleep/ill 9 1 2
Excessive speed 8 1 1
Signal stop sign/light 8 0 1
Of the 3,432 between motor vehicles and non-motorists in Washington in 2015, 1,979 involved pedestrians. Many of the pedestrian fatalities in 2015 involved alcohol, on the part of the motor vehicle driver and/or the pedestrian.
Get help from Max Meyers Law, PLLC today.
Max Meyers Law, PLLC is dedicated to helping people injured in transportation accidents. If you sustained injuries in a crash that was not your fault, call us today at to schedule your free consultation.