If I am a pedestrian, does a motor vehicle driver owe any special duty or care toward me under law?
- March 29, 2017
As a pedestrian, you have a few more rights when it comes to drivers and what happens if you are involved in an accident. Each state has its own list of common pedestrian rights, but for the most part, pedestrians have the right of way when it comes to crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk as long as it’s done in the proper manner. Most cites have signs that indicate when it’s safe to cross the road, which is beneficial for both drivers and pedestrians. You’ll also see crosswalks in most cities. These are areas painted on the road that indicate where you can walk safely. If a driver sees a pedestrian getting ready to cross, then the driver should stop until the pedestrian has made it across the road.
As a pedestrian, you usually aren’t allowed to leave the curb or the sidewalk to walk in front of a moving vehicle. If you are trying to cross in an area that doesn’t have a crosswalk, then you have to yield to drivers. You are to obey all posted signs and regulations that have been passed by the city and the state. If you have children with you or if there are children crossing alone, then the driver is held to a higher responsibility when it comes to pedestrian laws. This is because children are unpredictable in most situations. Drivers who are in the vicinity of a school, park or another area where children are commonly seen walking have a higher warning than other drivers and will often be fined higher amounts if an accident occurs.
In the event that you are hit by a car while you’re walking, there are rights that you have. You need to get any witness information after the accident. This would include phone numbers and names as well as a short description of what happened. An attorney or the insurance adjuster will likely talk to the witnesses further to get more information. Get the information of the driver. Find out if the driver has a license and if the driver is intoxicated. Police officers who respond will usually get this information, but you are free to get it as well so that you can give it to your insurance company or attorney. Make sure the police show up at the scene before the driver leaves. If the driver leaves, be prepared to give the officer all of the details that you can about the car and what the person looked like who was driving the car. This will help the police find the suspect and make an arrest if needed.
One of the things that people tend to neglect is to get medical treatment at the scene of the accident. You need to accept the medical help that is provided to make sure that there are no issues that are emergent. If necessary, go to the hospital via ambulance to get checked out. Keep all paperwork about the trip to the hospital and what the doctor says about your condition. If you are severely inured, then this could mean more in the way of compensation and pain and suffering for yourself or your family in the event of your passing. If you are injured and did not accept treatment at the scene, then the insurance company or judge in the court case could use that information against you.
Your insurance company will likely cover you if you are hit. The uninsured or under-insured part of the policy is sometimes how the company will compensate you, but your collision coverage will likely come into play as well. It’s sometimes best to talk to an attorney before accepting any kind of offers from the insurance company, especially if the amount isn’t what you anticipated or what you think your injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering are worth. Most consultations with an attorney are free. If the case goes to court, then you can enter into evidence any documents from police officers and medical records as they relate to the accident that took place.