Pedestrians usually have the right-of-way on roads, but there are several instances where a pedestrian could be the cause of a serious car accident you’re involved in. Such times include:
A pedestrian runs out into oncoming traffic where there is no crosswalk.
A pedestrian enters a crosswalk when there is a “do not walk” signal, not a “walk” signal.
A pedestrian crosses the road at an unmarked location, when there’s a crosswalk or working crossing signal close by.
A pedestrian crosses an intersection diagonally when there is no traffic control sign directing them to.
A pedestrian is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs while walking on a road.
A pedestrian is walking on the road even though there’s a sidewalk available to walk on.
Pedestrians pose a serious danger to themselves when they don’t follow traffic laws. In 2017, pedestrian fatalities reached a 25-year high, with nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there were nearly 130,000 pedestrians who received medical help in emergency rooms for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015. Alabama has the eighth-highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the country. Most pedestrian deaths occur at night, in non-intersection locations and in urban areas.
When a motorist tries to avoid a pedestrian who is breaking the law, the driver could cause harm to themselves or another motorist, all in an attempt to avoid a pedestrian.
If you are involved in a car accident where the pedestrian caused the accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries, time missed off work, car repairs and more. Here’s what you should know about what to do when a pedestrian causes your car accident.
Whether you hit a pedestrian or swerve to avoid one and end up causing a car accident, you must stay at the scene of the car accident and wait for police to arrive. If the pedestrian is attempting to flee, do not chase after them, because you’d be leaving the scene of the accident. There might be other parties who are potentially injured, as well.
Try to take a photo of the pedestrian immediately after the accident and observe identifying characteristics of the pedestrian, like height and clothes. Note the direction they are heading in, and call police immediately.
If there are other witnesses at the scene, such as motorists who have stopped at the accident, ask them to remain at the scene until police come so they can provide an account of what happened. At the very least, get their contact information in case your legal team needs to contact them in the future.
Be honest to police about what caused the accident. Carefully detail what the pedestrian was doing and how they contributed to the accident. Tell police where the pedestrian headed if they left.
If the pedestrian is still at the scene, get their full name, phone number, email address and insurance information. Take their photo, as well.
You should also document the scene of the accident. Shoot photos of your car and any other cars involved in the accident. Take photos of your injuries. Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver(s). Make sure any other parties involved with the accident talk to police about their account of how the pedestrian caused the accident, too.
Get medical treatment. Your shock from the accident may lead you to believe you are injury-free, but there are many injuries that might not be immediately apparent that you may have experienced. You should get emergency treatment and go to a hospital if needed, or at the very least head to urgent care to get checked out. If you don’t do so and experience painful symptoms later, another party could claim that something other than the car accident caused your injury.
If a pedestrian caused your car accident, you should consult with a Birmingham car accident attorney right away. It may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against the pedestrian because their negligent behavior put you and the lives of other motorists in danger.
Create a binder where you store your evidence, medical files, a copy of the police report and documentation of your injury progression. An Alabama car accident lawyer who is versed in motorist rights and laws pedestrians must follow may be able to help you piece together a case that protects you and your finances in this distressing time.
Even though you were the one in the massive machine of a car, pedestrians must obey traffic laws that keep communities safe. Do not hesitate to contact Pittman, Dutton & Hellums for a free consultation on your case and how we may be able to help. Call (866) 515-8880, call or text (205) 900-4188, or contact us online for information.