Pedestrian accidents are quite common. According to the statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year, nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle accidents, and approximately 76,000 pedestrians suffered injuries when hit by a car or truck in 2012. The number of pedestrians injured is growing; in 2006 it was about 60,000. If a vehicle hits a pedestrian at a speed of over 30 miles per hour, it usually results in severe injuries and can even by fatal. Even if the speed was 10 miles per hour, it might severely disable a pedestrian.
After an accident happens, the driver often panics and does something stupid. Every driver should know what to do when pedestrian accidents happen.
Immediately After the Accident
Most drivers who hit pedestrians become extremely confused right after the collision happens. You should take a deep breath and concentrate on what to do now instead of concentrating on what has happened:
Call for Medical Help
After the accident, at first you have to check your own body’s condition. And if you are safe then check on the pedestrian’s condition. If you find someone injured, then bring the person to a safe place. In an emergency, you should not attempt to administer any medical treatment beyond what is required.
After the accident, contact the police, medical care providers, and your auto insurance company. If you get criminal charges for the accident, then if you can, you should contact your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. When the police, insurance adjuster, and your attorney arrive, you should give honest statements to them about the accident. What were you doing at that time, and how did it happen.
If you need to exchange contact information, exchange your name, phone number, and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. Always try to avoid talking extensively with the other party. Try to collect vital records about the accident. Be extra careful about what you say, never admit fault, or make any statement that you are guilty. It could expose you to a personal injury lawsuit. If you want to avoid getting into any legal problems, then avoid directly speaking with the pedestrian’s attorney or insurance company. You should have your attorney or auto insurance company communicate with the pedestrian, their attorney, or insurance company.
Liability for the Accident
Usually, the person liable for a pedestrian accident is decided by the law of negligence. The person who did something that should not have been done or did not do something that could have prevented the accident can be sued successfully. Either the driver or the pedestrian could be found liable for the accident.
Action Against the immediate accusation
Police will investigate the scene and determine who is at fault, or there could be a detailed investigation. This will determine who is liable for the accident in the eyes of law enforcement. However, auto insurance companies may deny this conclusion. Insurance companies usually send an adjuster to the accident scene soon after the accident happens to view the harm to persons and property. If you think that the insurance company will unfairly charge you and say you were at fault, then you can retain a personal injury attorney to clarify that you are not at fault.
Compensation Coverage for Pedestrian Accidents
Insurance companies usually compensate injured pedestrians with their health and disability insurance policies, or worker’s compensation coverage policy. If the accident happens on the job, there may be one or more auto insurance policies that will cover the compensation for the pedestrian.
The injured pedestrian can also file a claim against the driver or the vehicle owner’s auto liability insurance policy for compensation of his injury. There are some states where regardless of who is at fault, it requires insurance companies to pay the medical expenses and lost wages of their policyholders. This is called personal injury protection (PIP). The compensation percentage varies in different states.
Retain an Attorney
State laws about accidents are very complicated. There are many insurance schemes, and each of the schemes has its restrictions and prohibitions. The recovery also depends on specific insurance policies and judicial decisions. You need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to sort out all this.