In 2017 alone, one pedestrian died on roads in the United States every 88 minutes on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many more pedestrians survive collisions with motor vehicles with devastating injuries. Hitting a pedestrian can be extremely upsetting and even traumatizing for the driver of a car. However, it is important to note that drivers are not always to blame for pedestrian accidents. Drivers should know what to do if they hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk, especially when a pedestrian could potentially file a lawsuit against them. If you hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk and are concerned about the legal consequences, learn more about your legal rights. The experienced attorneys at Tyroler Injury Law can help provide answers to ensure you understand all of your legal options. Contact our legal team today for a free case review at (651) 259-1113.
Protecting Your Legal Rights After Hitting A Pedestrian
What you do if you hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and in the days afterward, can be crucial for protecting your legal rights. Hitting a pedestrian can be upsetting and stressful, however, it is vitally important that you remain calm and under no circumstances drive away from the accident scene. Remember, not every accident involving a pedestrian is the driver’s fault. Some other steps you can take to protect your rights can include:
Call 911 for Medical Help and Law Enforcement
If you, your passengers, or the pedestrian suffered any injuries, you should call for medical help and law enforcement as soon as possible. If you can offer assistance, such as moving the injured individual onto the sidewalk and away from the road, then do so if the 911 operators indicate it is safe to do so. However, if anyone is suffering from a catastrophic injury such as a major fracture or spinal injury, try to secure the accident scene and wait until emergency medical assistance arrives as you could do more harm than good. Ask any witnesses to remain at the scene, if possible. If they can not stay, remember to obtain their contact information.
Once the police arrive, an officer will begin to create an accident report. Make sure to tell the police officer your version of events as honestly and in as much detail as possible. Although your first instinct may be to apologize to the victim, regardless of whether you are at fault or not, it is best to communicate only what is necessary as anything you say could potentially be used against you later.
Collect Evidence and Contact Information
It can be in your best interest to collect as much evidence at the scene the accident as possible since you might have to prove that you are not to blame for the pedestrian’s injuries. If you can do so safely, taking pictures of the accident scene and surroundings, as well as photographs of the damage on your vehicle, can be a good idea. Again, do not forget to ask witnesses for their contact details, which should include full names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses.
Consider Visiting With a Car Accident Attorney
It can be difficult to know what to do if you hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Once the first shock has passed and the pedestrian received the medical care they require, you might want to simply drive home and forget about the accident. However, your thoughts should now turn to protecting your own legal interests. Since the pedestrian could potentially initiate legal action against you in order to recover compensation for any injuries and expenses they suffered, you should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you can after an accident.
Pedestrians are to blame for accidents with vehicles in many cases. A pedestrian could have been distracted or texting while walking and unintentionally walk into a busy roadway. A pedestrian could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and run into oncoming traffic. A pedestrian could have been attempting to cross a street at a dangerous area without the right of way. Tyroler Injury Law can be here for you after a pedestrian accident. Contact us today and take advantage of a free consultation with one of our experienced team members.
In some cases, a car driver’s negligent actions can cause an accident with a pedestrian. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol played a role in almost half of all pedestrian fatalities in 2016. However, driver negligence can also occur for other reasons such as:
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs
- Failing to yield right of way
- Running a red light
- Violating traffic laws
- Falling asleep at the wheel
The injured pedestrian could potentially file a claim against the insurance company of the driver, or sue the car driver for their injuries and losses which can include medical bills, loss of income, and other expenses. A driver could also potentially be responsible for compensating the pedestrian for any pain and suffering or emotional distress. The damages can mount up quickly, especially if the pedestrian suffered significant injuries. However, it is always important to remember that the injured party has to prove a driver’s negligence to recover compensation.
While drivers can be responsible for pedestrian accidents, a pedestrian is not able to sue a car driver who did nothing wrong. In some cases, pedestrians can be to blame for their own accidents and injuries. This can happen when the pedestrian ignored a traffic light, jumped into oncoming traffic unexpectedly, stepped into traffic while distracted or texting and walking, or other negligent behaviors. If an individual is guilty of jaywalking, they may be wholly or partly responsible for their own accident. In these cases and in many others, having eyewitness statements can be crucial to determine who is at fault. Visiting with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney at Tyroler Injury Law can help ensure that your legal rights remain protected.
Negligence of Others
Pedestrian accidents are not necessarily straightforward and could potentially happen for a number of reasons, including faulty traffic signals, overgrown vegetation, poor placement of a traffic light, or missing signage. Potholes and cracks in the sidewalk can also contribute to a pedestrian accident. If a governmental entity fails to maintain traffic lights and roads, or the road is poorly designed, a government body could potentially be held responsible for a pedestrian accident. While it can be challenging to sue a government entity, an injured pedestrian should hold the correct entity accountable for their injuries which may be another entity other than the driver of the vehicle that hit them.
Tyroler Injury Law Can Help
Hitting a pedestrian can be a shock and extremely upsetting for driver, especially if the pedestrian experienced significant injuries. However, what you do if you hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk can either hinder or help your case. Injuring a pedestrian can potentially have serious consequences for a driver. Speaking to a car accident lawyer can help determine whether you could be liable and help you understand all of your legal options. Our experienced team of professionals can help protect your legal rights and defend your legal interests. Call Tyroler Injury Law today for help and advice and a free consultation at (651) 259-1113.