Pedestrian Accident

The Time it Takes to Settle a Pedestrian Accident Case

Pedestrian crossing filled with people using it.

Accidents involving pedestrians can have severe consequences and lead to significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be wondering how long it takes to settle a pedestrian accident case?

THE ANSWER: Few months to several years.

Allow us to go deep into the subject through this article, where we will explore the various factors that can influence the timeline of a pedestrian accident case settlement from our perspective as a personal injury law firm, as well as provide important information on factors affecting the case's time frame, the goal of a pedestrian accident case, who should cover the losses, and what to do after a pedestrian accident.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Factors That Affect Your Case's Time Frame
  3. The Goal of a Pedestrian Accident Case
  4. Who Should Cover the Losses?
  5. What Should You Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
  6. Gathering Evidence and Initial Investigation
  7. Medical Treatment and Documentation
  8. Negotiating with Insurance Companies
  9. Filing a Lawsuit, if Necessary
  10. Discovery and Pre-trial Motions
  11. Settlement Negotiations
  12. Trial Preparation
  13. Trial
  14. Conclusion
  15. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Close-up of a person using a crosswalk
Photo by Gunnar Madlung on Unsplash

Pedestrian accident cases involve complex legal processes, and the time it takes to settle such cases can vary significantly depending on several factors. It is crucial to understand that each case is unique, and there is no fixed timeline that applies to all pedestrian accident cases. However, certain common elements can give you a general idea of what to expect during the settlement process.

In California, one of the most populous states in the United States, pedestrian accidents are unfortunately prevalent. According to recent statistics, California consistently ranks among the states with the highest number of pedestrian accidents. In fact, in 2020, there were approximately 6,286 reported pedestrian accidents in California alone. This highlights the importance of understanding the legal aspects involved in settling a pedestrian accident case in the state.

Across the entire United States, the number of pedestrian accidents is also a significant concern. In 2020, there were an estimated 6,205 pedestrian fatalities and 47,511 pedestrian injuries reported nationwide. These numbers demonstrate the widespread nature of pedestrian accidents and the need for effective legal processes to address the aftermath.

When it comes to settling pedestrian accident cases, the average settlement amounts can vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Factors such as the severity of injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages play a role in determining the compensation awarded. While it is challenging to provide an exact figure, average settlement amounts in pedestrian accident cases can range from $50,000 to $250,000 dollars. These amounts highlight the potential financial impact of a pedestrian accident and the importance of pursuing fair compensation through the legal process. Let's discuss a little deeper the average time it takes to settle or resolve a pedestrian accident case.

Factors That Affect Your Case's Time Frame

Two persons holding a pencil between laptops pointing at a sheet of paper with numbers and data.
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Pedestrian accidents have quite a variety, due to this there is no exact number timewise as several factors can contribute to the length of a case, here are some of the most relevant to be taken into consideration:

  • Severity of injuries: Cases involving severe injuries may take longer to settle due to the need for extensive medical treatment and long-term prognosis assessment. This includes assessing all the expenses including future ones that might arise after some time.
  • Disputes over liability: If there is a dispute over who is at fault for the accident, it can prolong the settlement process as additional investigation and evidence gathering may be required. This is done by both the plaintiff and also the defendant, keep in mind that insurance companies are having a battle here and all insurance companies tend to have aggressive legal representation to protect their interests.
  • Insurance company cooperation: The willingness of the insurance company to negotiate and reach a fair settlement can impact the time it takes to resolve the case. In most cases, insurance companies will settle, this is especially true when they know their client is at-fault, however victims should be aware that they could and most likely will try to lowball the sum of the damages, hence why it's important to have a tenacious personal injury attorney by your side.
  • Complexity of the case: Complex cases involving multiple parties, significant damages, or legal challenges can take longer to settle as more time may be required for investigation, discovery, and negotiations.

These are some, but not all factors that can affect the time it might take to solve a pedestrian accident case.

The Goal of a Pedestrian Accident Case

Woman in a hospital bed recovering while holding a coffee cup
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

The primary goal of a pedestrian accident case is full recovery and fair compensation for the damages and losses suffered as a result of the accident. This includes compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other relevant damages. Additionally, a pedestrian accident case serves as a means to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions which also add another sum to the settlement in the form of punitive damages. Justice is just as important in these cases because it teaches society that bad actions bring severe consequences. The good news is that with appropriate legal guidance and representation an estimate of 95% of these cases are resolved through settlement, which makes the whole process quicker and easier for the victim.

Who Should Cover the Losses?

In pedestrian accident cases, the party responsible for causing the accident is generally held liable for covering the losses. Pedestrians, being the more vulnerable party in accidents involving motor vehicles, typically have priority in terms of safety and legal protection. The law recognizes that pedestrians are more prone to severe injuries and even fatalities when involved in collisions with vehicles. As a result, drivers, property owners, and other parties whose negligence or wrongdoing contributed to the accident are often held accountable for the damages suffered by pedestrians.

It is important to note that pedestrian accident cases can involve various scenarios, such as a vehicle striking a pedestrian at a crosswalk, a driver failing to yield the right of way, or a property owner failing to maintain safe conditions for pedestrians. Each case is unique, and liability will be determined based on the specific circumstances and evidence presented.

In some cases, multiple parties may share liability for the pedestrian accident. For instance, if a driver was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and the accident occurred on poorly maintained property, both the driver and the property owner may be deemed responsible. The extent of responsibility for each party will be determined by evaluating their degree of negligence or fault.

What Should You Do After a Pedestrian Accident?

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is crucial to take the following steps:

  • Seek medical attention: Your health and well-being should be your top priority. Seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately and could worsen over time.
  • Contact the authorities: Call the police to report the accident and ensure that an official report is filed. This report will serve as valuable evidence for your case.
  • Gather evidence: If possible, collect evidence at the accident scene, such as photographs, witness contact information, and any other relevant details that may support your case.
  • Document your injuries and losses: Keep detailed records of your medical treatment, including doctor visits, medications, and rehabilitation. Additionally, document any financial losses, such as lost wages or property damage.
  • Notify your insurance company: Inform your insurance company about the accident, even if you were not at fault. They will guide you through the claims process and provide assistance.
  • Consult with a personal injury attorney: It is essential to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in pedestrian accident cases. They will protect your rights, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and help you navigate the legal process.

Gathering Evidence and Initial Investigation

Evidence collected and stacked on a desk.
Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

The first step in settling a pedestrian accident case is gathering evidence and conducting an initial investigation. This includes collecting police reports, eyewitness statements, photographs of the accident scene, and any other relevant documentation. This process typically begins immediately after the accident and can take several days to weeks, depending on the availability of evidence and the complexity of the case.

However, it's important to acknowledge that in some cases, pedestrians may be too injured to gather evidence themselves. Severe injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident can leave victims unable to collect information or document the scene. If you find yourself in this situation, there are steps you can take to ensure crucial evidence is obtained:

  1. Call a loved one or ask for a bystander to help you. This may be enough for emergency services to cover the rest, including police report, pictures, medical evaluation and witness statements.
  2. After being treated in the hospital reach out to witnesses, stores with security footage nearby and police to gather all necessary documentation, your personal injury attorney might be able to assist you.
  3. Get a personal injury attorney, he will be able to build a strong case on your behalf and help you obtain a fair compensation for all the damages.

Medical Treatment and Documentation

The health and well-being of the injured pedestrian are of utmost importance. Seeking immediate medical attention and following the prescribed treatment plan is essential not only for your recovery but also for building a strong case. Medical treatment and documentation can take weeks, months, or even longer, depending on the severity of the injuries and the required rehabilitation. This would also fall into pain and suffering and loss of wages as medical treatments might take a long while for you to recover properly and also lose valuable work time to produce income.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Two females discussing documents and negotiating.
Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Insurance companies often play a significant role in settling pedestrian accident cases. After the initial investigation and once the injured party has reached maximum medical improvement, negotiations with insurance companies can begin. This process involves submitting a demand letter outlining the damages and losses suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. The negotiation phase can take weeks to months as both parties attempt to reach a fair settlement. Keep in mind that the reason why we strongly suggest hiring a lawyer is because insurance companies will try their most to lowball your compensation, given it goes against their interest, a trained and qualified attorney can determine their strategies and assess them correctly, he also has a good grasp of the strength of your case and what your compensation should be, in case the insurance doesn't want to settle, he can battle by your side in court and get and even higher sum.

Filing a Lawsuit, if Necessary

If the negotiation process fails to result in a satisfactory settlement, filing a lawsuit may be the next step. This involves drafting a complaint and filing it with the appropriate court. The time it takes to file a lawsuit can vary depending on court availability, but it typically takes a few days to weeks. This would result in a lengthier case, but it could mean a higher payout as your attorney would consider the additional resources this causes to the client, court and all parties involved.

Discovery and Pre-trial Motions

Once the lawsuit is filed, both parties engage in the discovery process, where they exchange information and evidence. This process can involve depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and more. Additionally, pre-trial motions may be filed, such as motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment. Discovery and pre-trial motions can extend the timeline of a pedestrian accident case by several months.

Settlement Negotiations

During the discovery phase, settlement negotiations can still occur. The majority of personal injury cases, including pedestrian accident cases, are settled before going to trial. Both parties may engage in alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to reach a resolution. Settlement negotiations can take weeks to months, depending on the willingness of the parties to compromise. As previously mentioned, settling is the most common outcome on pedestrian accident cases, however in many occasions it has to reach the lawsuit phase in order for them to settle, as they discover that you and your attorney might have compelling evidence which could give them an unfavorable result with the judge's decision, so in order to prevent that they would settle and your attorney would recognize this and possibly get an even higher settlement.

Trial Preparation

If a settlement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial. Trial preparation involves gathering additional evidence, identifying and preparing witnesses, and developing a trial strategy. This phase can take several months, as thorough preparation is essential to present a compelling case before the court. Although very rare, there is still a possibility of facing this outcome and having to go through extensive litigation.


gavel and block sitting on a white background
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

The trial itself can vary in length depending on the complexity of the case. It may last from a few days to several weeks. During the trial, both parties present their arguments, evidence, and witness testimonies. Ultimately, it is up to the jury or judge to decide the outcome of the case. A good personal injury attorney will know if your case is strong, and very likely to win over the judge or jury, so he will advise you to go all the way through the process if the insurance company is not willing to fulfill the requested settlement.


In conclusion, the time it takes to settle a pedestrian accident case can vary widely depending on numerous factors, including the severity of the injuries, the complexity of the case, the cooperation of the involved parties, and court availability. While some cases may be resolved within a few months, others can take a year or more to reach a settlement or go to trial. It is crucial to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you achieve a fair resolution.

At Mendez & Sanchez Law, we understand the challenges you face after a pedestrian accident, and we are here to provide compassionate and skilled legal representation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you seek the compensation you deserve.


‍The duration of pedestrian accident case settlements can vary depending on the circumstances of each case. While some cases may be resolved within a few months, others can take a year or more.

‍Yes, the majority of pedestrian accident cases are settled before going to trial. Settlement negotiations with insurance companies or alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, can help resolve the case without going to court.

‍Several factors can contribute to delays in settling a pedestrian accident case, including the complexity of the case, disputes over liability or damages, the need for further medical treatment, and court availability.

‍It is highly recommended to hire an experienced personal injury attorney for your pedestrian accident case. They can provide legal guidance, protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.

‍You can start by researching reputable law firms in your area, reading client reviews and testimonials, and scheduling consultations with potential attorneys. It is essential to choose a lawyer with experience in handling pedestrian accident cases.

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