New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Pedestrian Accident – What to do if You are Hit by a Car While Walking?
Posted on Oct 29, 2014 in Pedestrian Accidents
Car accidents take place when a vehicle collides into another one. But there are times that a person is walking on the street and they are hit by a car, which is termed as pedestrian accident. If you have been a victim of a pedestrian car accident, you may have certain legal rights and might be liable to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive financial compensation. Here are a few things you need to do if you have been the victim of a pedestrian car accident.
Determining who was at fault
Usually people assume that the driver of a vehicle would be at fault if a pedestrian has been hit by a car. In some cases that might be true, but there are times that the pedestrian might be at fault. At marked crosswalks as well as in certain situations as designated in the state’s vehicle or traffic code, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians. Drivers are also required to adhere to posted speed limits and traffic signals. If a driver is violating a traffic law and hits a pedestrian, the liability is very clear. There are some pedestrian-car accident cases that are a bit more complex.
Determining your injuries
If the driver is at fault for causing the accident, and if you have suffered an injury as a result of the accident, you will probably be able to file a personal injury claim with the car insurance carrier of the driver. This is referred to as a third party claim. One of the very first steps in getting compensation for losses such as income, medical bills, and general damages like pain and suffering, is an insurance claim.
Most insurance claims result in an injury settlement, which occur after many negotiations between both parties. The matter might have to be taken to civil court if the settlement talks don’t arrive at a satisfactory result.
Determining if the driver stopped at the scene
You will be able to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or through the driver’s insurance carrier, if the driver in question stopped at the scene and exchanged relevant contact and insurance information with whoever was involved in the accident.
However, your options could be narrowed quite a bit if the accident was a hit and run and the driver did not stop. You should start by reporting the accident to the police so that they can begin to investigate the case. Try and get the names and contact details of any witnesses to the accident. Once you give the police all the information you have gathered that might help you case, you will need to seek medical attention to take care of any injuries you might have suffered as a result of the accident. Usually, this will have to be done on your own and under your own health insurance coverage.
If the driver is tracked down, you should discuss your options in detail with a qualified personal injury lawyer.