Were you hit by a car while you were walking?

Were you hit by a car while you were walking?

Being hit by a car while walking can often result in serious injuries that leads to unexpected medical bills and treatments.  Therefore, it’s crucial to be able to determine fault because the outcome of the situation will be quite different when a driver of a vehicle is at fault vs. a pedestrian.

Pedestrians must employ reasonable care for their own safety.  A pedestrian may be found at fault of if he or she was jaywalking or walking outside of a sidewalk, crossing the street against traffic signals, or walking in an area prohibited to pedestrians. If this is the case, the pedestrian may be responsible for their own medical expenses, and the driver of the car may even file a lawsuit against the pedestrian for any damages incurred as a result.

However, in most situations, the driver is found to be at fault in an accident with a pedestrian due to negligence.  Common factors that contribute to driver negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to yield right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk
  • Disobeying traffic signs and signals
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

If the driver is found to be at fault, the pedestrian may be able to file a claim to collect damages for medical bills as well as lost wages and pain and suffering.  

Rule # 1 :  Pedestrians have the right of way

Traffic accidents that occur between vehicles and pedestrians are more common than you may realize.  According to the CDC, one pedestrian death happens every 1.6 hours on roads and highways in the U.S.

Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable and due care to ensure the safety of pedestrians on the road.  In other words, if a driver can protect the safety of a pedestrian, he or she has a responsibility to do so.  This can include reducing his or her speed when approaching an intersection, looking both ways before making any turns, and being alert for pedestrians on the roadway. With few exceptions, a driver who hits a pedestrian is usually found to be at fault.

A person who has been hit by a car while walking may face multiple injuries ,some of them severe and even life-threatening.  Even when a pedestrian is hit by a slow moving vehicle, he or she will be pushed over, crushed, or even run over. By filing a personal injury claim, the drivers’ insurance company may be required to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Your legal rights

If you’ve been hit by a car while walking, it’s very important that you speak with a personal injury attorney about your legal rights as a pedestrian. Greg Yates and Michael Shubeck of Rapid City Law have represented hundreds of clients in and around Rapid City during their years of practicing personal injury law.

Get acquainted with our personal injury attorneys with a free consultation. Call our office today to schedule it.