If They Hit Me While I Was Walking?
Most people assume that if a car hits a pedestrian, the driver is automatically at fault. While this is usually the case, there are exceptions. If you are stuck by a car while walking, you still need to prove the motorist was at fault before you can attempt to claim damages for your injuries.
Pedestrian Rights & Rules
First things first, make sure you know your pedestrian rights and rules.
Pedestrians have the right of way:
- At marked crosswalks
- On sidewalks
- On all public roadways (even highways!)
Just because pedestrians have these rights of way, doesn’t mean they don’t have to follow certain rules, such as:
- Follow all traffic signs and signals
- Always use sidewalks, if they are available
- Being safe & responsible to themselves & others
Gathering evidence is a big step in the process of proving fault, and the earlier you start the better.
- Other Driver’s Information: Make sure to get, at a minimum, the following information from the driver involved: Name, Address, Phone Number, License Plate Number, Insurance Card Information, Make and Model of Car.
- Photo/Video: Get shots of the car involved, the weather conditions, the road conditions, even a bank sign that might indicate the date and time.
- Witnesses: Did any bystanders witness the accident? Ask if the witnesses would be willing to provide their contact information and give statements to the police.
- Police/Accident Report: A police report can help strengthen a personal injury claim.
Fault in an auto accident usually boils down to one question, “Which party acted negligently?”. Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Under this sort of claim, you would need to prove the following:
- Duty: The driver owed you a duty to drive responsibly and safely.
- Breach of Duty: The driver breached that duty to drive in a reasonable manner and hit you.
- Causation: The driver’s breach of duty caused the collision.
- Damages: You suffered a personal injury as a result.
Remember, if you weren’t following the pedestrian rules of the road, you could be found at fault as well.
Hire an Attorney
Don’t attempt to prove fault or handle the case on your own. Insurance companies have teams of experienced adjusters, investigators, and lawyers trying to settle your case for as little money as possible and place as much blame on you as possible. Experience personal injury attorneys, on the other hand, are there to fight for you. If you hire legal representation, you are more likely to prove the driver was at fault and receive a higher settlement than if you attempt to handle the case on your own.