Being involved in a car accident can be extremely traumatic, but when you are hit by a car as a pedestrian everything can change. It is crucial to know what legal options you have, because not only is the driver most likely liable for any injuries but depending on the conditions of the road and your surroundings it is possible that you may have a claim against the local municipality as well. Obviously your health is the number one concern following an accident but having a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the steps following your unfortunate event is a benefit that cannot be overstated enough.
First Steps After Being Involved in an Accident
Immediately after your accident there are certain actions you should take care of. Getting the information of the other driver, calling your insurance company, and calling the police to the scene in addition to taking pictures of the scene of the accident are all steps you should take following your incident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Regardless of whether you are physically aware of your injuries or not it is important get medical treatment immediately. Not only because the doctor might find injuries that you were not aware of, but this will also document your concerns more clearly for if and when you want to file a suit in the future. So not only is it best for your health to get treated as soon as possible, but for future juries or insurance claims it will go a long way in proving you were injured if you went to see a doctor rather than never going to receive medical attention at all.
Who is Responsible For Your Medical Bills?
The laws can vary on who is responsible for paying your medical bills after a car accident by state, and because of this you will need to become familiar with the laws where the accident occurred. In a no-fault state it is generally assumed the insurance company of the driver of the vehicle will pay for most if not all of the victim’s medical bills. In a state that is not a no-fault state the person who was hit by the car would have their own personal insurance company pay their bills or if they do not have insurance they would most likely have to pay their medical bills themselves. Knowing the laws of the state you are in is a valuable tool when trying to get compensated for your injuries.
Claims Made Against the Driver
Despite whether or not the pedestrian was in a crosswalk when the accident occurred in most cases the one driving the vehicle is the one considered to be at fault. Drivers are legally responsible for paying attention to the road under any conditions, and if a person is in the road it is up to the driver to avoid any and all obstacles in the road and another human being qualifies for that definition. If the person who was hit can prove that they were paying full attention when crossing the road and that they were not recklessly running into the street out of nowhere it is almost always the case that the driver will be the one who is at fault. If it can be shown that this was not the case and that the pedestrian was negligent in how they entered the road it is possible the driver may not be found liable, but that would depend on those specific circumstances in this type of situation.
Claims Made Against the Local Municipality
There are times when an accident occurs due to poor road conditions or an improper street sign or even a malfunctioning street light. In these situations if a pedestrian is hit by a car they may find the town or city is at fault since they are responsible for maintaining safe roads. Elements such as a badly placed crosswalk or any other possible safety hazards that occur due to poor design by the city can all be examples of the municipality being liable for negligence.
Understanding your rights and how to handle what to do after being involved in a car accident as a pedestrian is half the battle. Contact the Paris Law Firm at 909-469-5127 or via our online contact form to schedule an initial case evaluation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.