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Does Car Insurance Cover Me if I Hit a Pedestrian?

September 30, 2021

Pedestrian accidents often result in severe injuries. If you make a driving mistake and strike a pedestrian, you need to know whether or not your insurance is going to cover you. 

Will you be responsible for covering medical bills out of your own pocket?

Could the pedestrian file a lawsuit against you to recover additional compensation?

Here, we want to discuss what the common auto insurance in Kentucky pays for. We know that these cases can become incredibly confusing, and we strongly suggest that you work with a skilled Kentucky accident attorney who can help you throughout this entire process.

Kentucky’s Choice No-Fault System

Kentucky is one of the few states across the country that operates under a no-fault vehicle insurance system, but with a twist. In a no-fault system, individuals typically turn to their own insurance carriers in the aftermath of a vehicle accident, regardless of which party caused the incident. In these systems, individuals will not be able to pursue a claim against an at fault driver, with a few exceptions made for catastrophic injuries.

However, Kentucky is a choice no-fault system, which means that drivers in this state can opt out of the no-fault system when they purchase their vehicle insurance policy. When drivers opt out of the system, they retain the right to pursue a liability claim against the driver who caused the incident. However, these drivers can also be held liable in the event they cause a collision.

We wanted to give a brief synopsis of the no-fault system in Kentucky before we described what happens if you strike a pedestrian with your vehicle.

If You Strike a Pedestrian

Regardless of whether you have gone with the no-fault system or opted out of the system, your insurance carrier will likely be on the line if you strike a pedestrian on Kentucky roadways. If you do have a no-fault system, pedestrians struck by your vehicle and still receive your personal injury protection benefits.

If you have opted out of the no-fault system, pedestrians struck by your vehicle will be able to pursue a claim against your insurance policy just like they can in a fault-based system. In other words, your insurance carrier will be on the line for paying compensation to any pedestrian you strike and injure with your vehicle.

In Kentucky, the required minimum bodily injury liability coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. We strongly recommend that individuals consider purchasing higher amounts of insurance because this $25,000 minimum quickly evaporates for anything more than relatively minor injuries. Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable in or around the roadways, and they can sustain severe injuries in the event a collision occurs.

If a pedestrian incurs injury expenses higher than a person’s insurance minimums, then the pedestrian will be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In other words, if you strike a pedestrian and your insurance does not cover all of their medical bills, you could face a lawsuit from that pedestrian and have to pay for their expenses out of your own assets.