Who Is at Fault When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car Crossing the Street?
When a pedestrian is hit by a car crossing the street it is not always the driver who is at fault. Laws of negligence will usually determine who is at when a pedestrian is hit by a car crossing the street. Negligence usually rests on the question of reasonableness. This is to say, was the person crossing the street acting as a reasonable person would when he was hit by a car crossing the street. For example, it could be said that a reasonable person would not in the exercise of normal prudence, cross a four lane, busy road in the middle of the street at night but, instead, a reasonable person would have used the lighted crosswalk at the corner. Conversely, a driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to use reasonable care when operating his vehicle and to operate it in a manner so as not to endanger pedestrians. For example, a reasonable driver would not send text messages on a busy four lane road while his vehicle was in motion. Instead, a reasonable driver would not use a cell phone while driving. In many cases, both the driver and pedestrian can be partially at fault. So, you must analyze both parties behavior immediately before the accident occurred to determine fault when a pedestrian is struck crossing the street. It is not usually cut and dried. You will likely need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to help you determine fault if you are hit by a car crossing the street.
An experienced personal injury attorney will look at the same things that a judge will look at to determine who is at fault when a pedestrian is hit by a car crossing the street. The following are some of the things that may be examined to determine fault in a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accident.
Police Reports and Insurance Company Findings
The police will take statements from the driver, pedestrian, and witnesses to determine who was at fault. They may make a conclusive finding on the spot or conduct a detailed investigation to make the finding later.
The police report will show which party the investigating officer determined to be at fault. However, the police findings are not conclusive and they are subject to being challenged by both the insurance companies and your attorney. Insurance adjusters conduct their own investigations and they may determine something far different than that of the police. This can place you in a odd position where your insurance company may conclude you are at fault and the police may determine that you were not or vise versa. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can sort out these kinds of messes and insure that you both get compensated for damages and protect your rights against any charges or citations that the police may issue.
Insurance Coverage for Pedestrian Accidents
Injured pedestrians will typically be covered by their health and disability insurance policies, or worker’s compensation coverage, if the accident occurs on the job. They may also be covered under one or more auto insurance policies.
Payment Under Auto Liability Insurance
An injured pedestrian should typically file a claim against the driver’s or vehicle owner’s insurance policy. California requires all vehicle owners to carry liability insurance to cover personal injuries to third parties and damage to third parties’ property. However, if and how much you can recover depends on who’s at fault and the policy limits of the insured. It may be necessary for your personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit against the other party so that a judge can assist you to determine fault. If litigation becomes necessary, payment for your injuries will be delayed until after the litigation has been resolved.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer.
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers all dedicated to making sure you get the smallest possible award. If this isn’t enough to make you call a personal injury attorney consider this: if you do not agree to the settlement amount offered by the insurance company, you will need to file a lawsuit to get what you deserve. While the litigation is pending, you will still likely need medical treatment and transportation, your personal injury attorney can help to arrange this for you. Also consider that you will not only be taking on an insurance company but also the guy who hit you. Very few people have the knowledge and ability to successfully navigate a personal injury lawsuit without the assistance of a lawyer.