Warm weather is here, and that means more pedestrians will take advantage of good weather to walk to their destinations or go out and get some exercise. That also means an increase in car/pedestrian collisions, which may not damage the vehicle, but can kill or permanently injure the pedestrian. Even more alarming, the number of pedestrians killed or injured by motor vehicles is rising.
Last year in California alone, 131 pedestrians were killed after being hit by motor vehicles, a number that nearly doubled over two years. In Los Angeles, arguably the car capital of the United States, nearly half a million people suffered some type of motor vehicle/pedestrian collision.
What to Do in A Car/Pedestrian Accident
Often, the person driving the car is not injured after hitting a pedestrian, although they are likely to be emotionally upset. As with any type of collision, it is crucial to call 911 immediately. That’s true even if the pedestrian appears unhurt. The adrenaline rush resulting from the accident may allow the pedestrian to feel better than they actually are.
Both parties should try to gather evidence, whether that is taking photos or videos of the scene with their cellphone, or getting the names and addresses of witnesses. The driver and pedestrian should exchange insurance information, if possible.
Do not leave the scene until the police have arrived and handled matters.
Just because the car is much larger and potentially deadly does not automatically mean the driver was at fault. If the pedestrian was crossing the street illegally – say, darting out into traffic between parked cars – he or she may be partially or completely at fault for the collision.
However, even under those circumstances, if the driver was going faster than the posted speed limit, perhaps 40 in a 30 mile per hour zone, they may bear some responsibility for the crash. The police will take information from all parties involved, as well as witnesses.
The police report will state which party the officers on the scene assess was at fault, but that is not the end of the story. The auto insurance company may not accept this conclusion, and will send their own adjusters to conduct an inquiry.
If the pedestrian was just walking along the road when they were hit, who pays their medical expenses and other accident-related claims? If they have their own health insurance, their policy should take care of medical expenses. If the person was on the job while walking, workers’ compensation insurance may foot the bill.
In general, most pedestrians will file a claim against the driver who hit them with the driver’s – or vehicle owners’- automobile insurance company. However, much depends upon the laws of the state in which the accident occurred, and the insurance coverage of both parties.
It is important to contact a car accident lawyer to sort out all the options and find the best avenue to pursue when it comes to damages.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Work with Car Accident Victims
If you or a love on have been involved in a car accident with a pedestrian, the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can help. Call us today at 215-569-8488 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. With offices throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout the state, Delaware, and New Jersey.