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If I Am a Pedestrian Hit By a Motor Vehicle, Is There Anyone Else I Can Sue Other Than the Motor Vehicle Driver?
- March 29, 2017
Even the smallest of accidents can tie a person up for at least an hour or two waiting on the police and filling out reports. When an individual is a pedestrian and hit by a motor vehicle, that timeline increases. Injuries can be worse, and more than one person may be a fault.
The pedestrian has responsibilities on the road just as a motor vehicle driver does. They are supposed to use crosswalks for crossing the street. When traffic lights have “walk” signs, those should have the attention of the pedestrian. They should watch for vehicles making turns onto the street they are crossing. In general, if a pedestrian isn’t following the rules of the road, they can be at fault just as the motor vehicle driver can.
The driver normally has a responsibility on the road to adhere to laws set forth by the state they are driving in. When the situation involves a pedestrian, they have even more responsibility. First of all, they should anticipate the presence of pedestrians, especially in areas where they generally cross streets. An example of this would be an area where there is a college. Students are constantly walking from place to place.
The driver should blow the horn if a pedestrian is walking out in front of them. While it is the responsibility of the pedestrian to watch carefully for oncoming vehicles, the driver has more responsibility because the pedestrian may not anticipate a turn or know exactly what the driver is thinking.
Drivers should also anticipate the fact that a pedestrian may panic when in these types of situations. They may run across the road or freeze in the middle of the road. The driver should expect this and drive carefully around all pedestrians.
Who can be liable
The driver of the vehicle may be the only one liable for the accident, or the pedestrian may be liable. In some cases, both parties may be at fault. For instance, if the driver hit the pedestrian but he wasn’t in the crosswalk, the driver and pedestrian can be found negligent. There are also other parties who may be held accountable.
If a bus, taxi or other professional vehicle hits a pedestrian, the company that owns that vehicle can be found liable because their employee acted irresponsibly. If the property that the accident occurred on is damaged and that caused the accident, the owner of the property can be found liable. Mechanics can be held accountable if they work on a vehicle and it malfunctions and causes the accident. In the case of a child, the person responsible for ensuring the child makes it across the street safely can be negligent.
Types of compensation
There are many things that can be considered for compensation in an accident between a pedestrian and driver of a motor vehicle. Lost wages from work are one consideration. During the healing process, the pedestrian will miss work and money. There may also be life long injuries that can cause the pedestrian to lose a job. In this case, he can obtain a claim for loss of future wages. Pain and suffering and emotional suffering are two other reasons for compensation. They may also sue for loss of enjoyment of life, especially if they lose the use of their legs or arms.
If the pedestrian who was injured is married, their spouse may be able to file a claim for loss of consortium, or loss of comfort and care by their spouse. If the pedestrian is paralyzed, their life will change drastically.
What an attorney can do
A professional personal injury attorney understands laws for the state where the accident occurred. He will perform a thorough investigation, including hiring expert witnesses to re-create the accident if needed. He will collect medical records, police reports and witness statements and put together a claim for the victim. He will then handle the insurance company and work toward an agreement. If the insurance company doesn’t want to pay what the claim is worth, he will take the case to trial to try and get what his client deserves.