Car accidents are a pain, but they happen frequently, especially in our congested area. What happens less frequently but still too often is car accidents with pedestrians. These accidents can have catastrophic consequences. Even at slow speeds, pedestrians face life-altering personal injury when they are hit by a vehicle.
Drivers are often taught that pedestrians always have the right of way. Although drivers do have a responsibility to be alert, not distracted, and do what they can to avoid hitting pedestrians, in some cases, pedestrians may hold some of the blame for an accident.
When a Pedestrian Might Be Partially to Blame?
The bottom line is this: Did the driver or pedestrian break a law or regulation? If so, that person may hold responsibility for the accident. Although most cases are much more complex than this, considering this question is what may lead investigators, police, and insurance companies to determine blame for the accident.
If a pedestrian entered a roadway not at a crosswalk and against traffic flow, they may be held responsible for the accident. If the driver did everything correctly, was not speeding, and was paying attention to the road but still did not have adequate time to react, they may escape liability.
In this same scenario, however, if the driver was texting or otherwise distracted, they may then become at least partially responsible for the accident. In this case, both the pedestrian and the driver would be liable.
When a pedestrian does not follow a traffic control device or rushes out into a street without looking, they could hold sole or at least partial responsibility for the accident. However, each case is unique and will require an intense investigation to determine who is at fault and to what degree.
If a driver had time to take evasive maneuvers to avoid hitting a pedestrian but failed to do so or was distracted and did not see the pedestrian in time, they could hold responsibility instead. Ultimately, what this means is that your car accident with a pedestrian may require analysis by accident reconstruction experts and a trusted and experienced legal team.
What to do after a Pedestrian Accident?
Regardless of blame, and regardless of whether you were a driver or pedestrian in a car accident, everyone’s health and safety are paramount. Make sure that any injured people receive prompt medical attention by calling 911.
Calling 911 will also send the police to your accident scene. Although the officers may not assign fault, they will compile detailed and relevant information into a police accident report. The police will speak with each party involved in the accident and with any witnesses.
As a party in the accident, you should also speak with witnesses. Because not every witness will wait around for the police to arrive, at least get their contact information so that your legal team can speak with them later before they forget what they saw.
You should also take detailed photos and video of the accident scene, any injuries, and any other relevant items. These images and video can help piece together how the accident happened and who is to blame.
If you were injured in the crash, keep a personal injury journal. Writing in your own words how your life has been affected by your injuries will help to paint a clear picture of just how severely your life has been impacted by the accident. Make sure to keep daily notes. Over time, you will not recall every hurdle and obstacle you faced during your recovery process. Keeping these notes will help refresh your memory about what you had to endure.
The reason it is so important to determine who is to blame for the accident is to know whose insurance company should cover medical bills. If both parties share responsibility, both the driver and pedestrian may have to file a claim with their own insurance company to cover their expenses.
However, when one party is at fault, the injured party may be able to get compensation from the negligent party’s insurance provider. However, it is important to remember that insurance companies are not thrilled with paying out claims to injured people. They want to keep profits high and avoid paying the full value of claims.
That is why you may need to speak with an experienced legal team to help guide you through this complex process. When you suffer injuries, your sole focus should be on your health and wellbeing, not worrying about how you cover massive medical bills.
Together with your legal team, you can work to collect compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
The more serious your injuries, the more likely you are to need extensive and ongoing medical care. This can become extremely expensive and can make it difficult for you to think about anything else. Your focus should be squarely on your physical and mental recovery, doing what is necessary to get back to your regular life. Partnering with a trusted and experienced legal advocate can give you the advantage you need to help you keep your focus on getting better while your lawyer works diligently to get you full and fair compensation.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients Recover from Their Pedestrian Accident
When a car and a pedestrian come into contact, it creates a potentially deadly situation. If you have been involved in a car accident with a pedestrian or if you were a pedestrian hit by a car, you may have legal options. To discuss your options, reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our knowledgeable and skilled team will investigate the cause of the accident and fight to secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we work with clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.