Serious injury and even fatality can result in car accidents with pedestrians involved. These types of accidents are on the rise, in fact, with over 6,000 pedestrian deaths caused by motor vehicles in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you’re a driver involved in an accident with a pedestrian, there are a few key first steps to perform. Learn more about what to do if you hit a pedestrian and who will be held liable for damages and injuries incurred.
Immediate First Steps
You may feel at a loss after an accident with a pedestrian. You may have accidentally caused injuries or suffered damages yourself. No matter who was involved or what occurred, it’s important to stay calm and weigh all your options.
The most important immediate first step is to exchange contact information with the other party. The pedestrian may be incapacitated at the time of the accident, but you can reach out to the first responders at the scene to gather this information. You may be asked to state to the police the details for the accident report, and you should do so truthfully. Contact an attorney before giving statements to the other party’s attorney or insurance company, to avoid issues with your case later on.
Seek any medical or legal help you may need after the accident. If you have suffered any personal injury, contact your medical care provider and be sure to retain any medical documentation or bills. Be sure to give your insurance provider knowledge of the incident and let them know you’ll be seeking legal help on your end.
The injured pedestrian may use a liability claim to sue for damages incurred through a civil lawsuit. If this is the case, you may also be prosecuted for breaking any other laws during the incident, like driving over the speed limit, driving while impaired, or performing a “hit and run.” If the court can prove these other items in question, you could suffer serious fines, suspension of your license, or serve time.
Drivers are held accountable through proof of negligence, meaning reasonable care was not used in the situation. You could be held personally liable for the incident with a pedestrian if their civil lawsuit can prove your negligence caused unreasonable risk and resulted in their harm and injury. If evidence shows that you failed to obey traffic laws or acted irresponsibly, you may be required to pay out damages to the other party.
These typically include:
- Loss of wages caused by injuries sustained during the accident
- Medical costs, including medication, physical therapy, and more
- Mental and emotional suffering
When to Seek Help
If you were involved in an auto accident where you hit a pedestrian, it’s important to seek help from an accident attorney. Not only can they represent your best interests in court, but they can help you sort through paperwork related to insurance and medical claims. Contact an accident attorney in Colorado with a pedestrian accident experience for help with your case today.