Hitting a pedestrian with your car is one of the most traumatic and stressful experiences that a driver can face. Not only can it cause serious injuries or death to the person involved, but it can also have legal, financial, and emotional consequences for the driver. That’s why it’s important to know what to do and what to expect if you ever find yourself in this situation.
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What to do if you hit a pedestrian with your car?
If you hit a pedestrian with your car, you should follow these steps immediately after the accident:
- Stop your car and turn on the hazard lights. Do not flee the scene or try to hide your identity, as this can make things worse for you.
- Call the emergency services and report the accident. Provide them with your location, the condition of the pedestrian, and any other relevant information. Wait for them to arrive and follow their instructions.
- Exchange information with the pedestrian and any witnesses. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance details. Do not admit fault or apologize, as this can be used against you later.
- Report the incident to your insurance company. Inform them of what happened and cooperate with their investigation. They will handle the claims process and deal with the pedestrian’s insurance company or lawyer.
- Seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may face civil lawsuits or criminal charges. A lawyer can help you protect your rights and interests.
What are the legal consequences of hitting a pedestrian?
Hitting a pedestrian with your car can have serious legal consequences, depending on the severity of the injuries, the cause of the accident, and the laws of the country where it occurred. Some of the possible scenarios are:
- Civil lawsuits: The pedestrian or their family may sue you for damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or wrongful death. The amount of compensation will depend on the extent of the injuries, the degree of negligence, and the insurance coverage.
- Criminal charges: You may face criminal charges if you were driving recklessly, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or without a valid license. The penalties may include fines, jail time, community service, or license suspension.
- Legal defenses: You may have some legal defenses if you can prove that you were not at fault or that you acted reasonably under the circumstances. For example, you may argue that the pedestrian was jaywalking, crossing against the traffic light, wearing dark clothing at night, or distracted by their phone.
How to avoid hitting a pedestrian?
The best way to avoid hitting a pedestrian with your car is to drive safely and responsibly at all times. Here are some tips to prevent accidents with pedestrians:
- Drive with caution and respect the speed limits. Adjust your speed according to the weather, road, and traffic conditions.
- Obey the traffic signs and signals. Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections. Do not run red lights or stop signs.
- Avoid distractions while driving. Do not use your phone, eat, drink, or do anything else that takes your attention away from the road.
- Be alert to pedestrians in school zones, residential areas, or commercial districts. Watch out for children, elderly people, or people with disabilities who may move unpredictably or slowly.
- Use your headlights at night or in low visibility situations. Make sure your car is visible to pedestrians and other drivers.
What are the rights of a hit pedestrian?
A pedestrian who has been hit by a car has certain rights that they can exercise to seek justice and compensation for their injuries. Some of these rights are:
- The right to file a claim against the driver’s insurance company or sue them in court for damages.
- The right to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation for their injuries.
- The right to recover lost income and future earnings due to their inability to work.
- The right to claim pain and suffering and emotional distress caused by the accident.
- The right to hire a lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accidents and who can represent them in negotiations or litigation.
What factors increase the risk of hitting a pedestrian?
According to statistics from the European Commission, there were 21 000 fatalities and 135 000 serious injuries among pedestrians in road accidents in EU countries between 2010 and 2019. Some of the factors that increase the risk of hitting a pedestrian are:
- Lack of visibility at night or in bad weather conditions.
- Distracted driving or walking due to phone use, music, or other devices.
- Impaired driving or walking due to alcohol or drug consumption.
- Excessive speed or aggressive driving behavior.
- Non-compliance with traffic rules or signals by drivers or pedestrians.
Hitting a pedestrian with your car is a serious matter that can have devastating consequences for both parties. Therefore, it is essential to know what to do, what to expect, and how to avoid it. By following the advice in this article, you can reduce the chances of being involved in such an accident and handle it properly if it happens.
The team of writers of Nonna Shikh is made up of a group of lawyers specialized in personal injury, traffic, construction and slip and fall cases. Each member of the team has extensive experience in their area of specialization and is committed to providing the best defense and compensation to their clients in New York City.