Pedestrian accidents are serious, and the injuries that victims suffer are often severe and life-altering. Pedestrians struck by a vehicle, high-speed bicycle or other object may be entitled to damages.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious pedestrian accident, it may be a good idea to consult with an experienced accident or wrongful death lawyer. Victims that hire a lawyer receive on average 3.5 times more in settlement money than people that represent themselves in cases.

Here are three common myths associated with pedestrian accidents:

1. A pedestrian always has the right of way: Both pedestrians and drivers of motor vehicles have a responsibility to use caution when on the road. Pedestrians must exercise due care whenever they are walking near cars. In most states, pedestrians that were at least partially responsible for the accident will have their compensation lowered.

2. Pedestrians suffer the same injuries in all accidents: While yes, pedestrian accidents often result in head injuries and broken bones, many factors effect exactly how severe a pedestrian is injured. The driver’s speed, the pedestrian’s age and health, as well as the surface the pedestrian falls on can impact what happens after the collision. The extent of the internal injuries is often difficult to determine on site.

3. Pedestrians struck in a crosswalk are guaranteed compensation: If a pedestrian is distracted – talking or texting on their phone, listening to music, etc. – while in a crosswalk, there is no guarantee that they’ll get the maximum compensation available. Any negligence on their part can decrease the amount of settlement money they get. If a pedestrian darts into traffic and the driver was incapable of avoiding the accident – even if the pedestrian was in a crosswalk – the pedestrian may not be able to recover any compensation at all.