In a typical car accident, a car collides with another car, and fault can be assigned based on traffic laws that were broken that caused the accident. If you are involved in a car accident where another driver hits you as a pedestrian, it is treated differently. Ask yourself these three questions to determine if you can be compensated for your injuries.
Were You At Fault?
It's easy to assume that the driver is always at fault when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. Drivers must yield when pedestrians use crosswalks, but it's common to see pedestrians cross the street wherever it is convenient for them.
Some situations where fault can fall on the pedestrian include:
- Violating traffic signals
- Crossing a street while intoxicated
- Walking in prohibited areas (highways and bridges)
In those instances, you would not be able to claim compensation for any damages you incur as long as the driver was following all traffic laws. The driver could actually sue you for damages to their own car if you caused any. If the driver was breaking the speed limit at the time you broke a law, then you would share liability.
Were You Hurt?
If you have determined that the driver of the vehicle was at fault, and you suffered an injury resulting from the accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Your first step should be negotiating with the driver's insurance company for your big expenses such lost income and medical bills. If you are not getting the compensation you feel you deserve, you can take your case to court and pursue civil charges in the form of a personal injury lawsuit.
Did The Vehicle's Driver Flee The Scene?
When a driver hits a pedestrian, they are legally obligated to stop and exchange contact information with you. This will ensure that you are able to receive compensation from the driver's insurance company, or the previously discussed personal injury lawsuit.
If the driver did flee the scene of the crime, you may be out of luck. Your own health insurance will cover your injuries, but you will be responsible for paying deductibles and out of pocket costs.
All hope is not lost though. It's possible that eyewitness are able to provide identifying information, or traffic cameras caught the vehicle's license plate in the surrounding area before or after the accident. That is why you must always report a hit and run accident to the police so they can further investigate the incident for you.
This overview will give you a good idea about what your rights are when hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian. If you need more assistance, contact a car accident lawyer for additional legal advice pertaining to your specific situation.