If you are in a car accident with a pedestrian, a Vancouver car accident lawyer can give you advice on how to proceed.
The Dangers Of Car-Pedestrian Accidents
It can be a frightening experience to hit a pedestrian when driving a vehicle, but your car accident lawyers Vancouver will tell you that it is not unusual. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled statistics that show more than 60,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in traffic accidents in 2006. A car hitting a pedestrian when moving at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour causes more serious injuries and deaths, but a pedestrian can be disabled by an accident in which the vehicle was traveling as slowly as 10 miles per hour.
Understanding What To Do After You Have Been In An Accident With A Pedestrian
If you are in an accident with a pedestrian, remember to do the following:
- Follow safety procedures. If someone is injured, help the person to a safe place. Do not provide medical treatment beyond what is required in the event of emergency. CPR is an example.
- Call for medical and legal assistance. Call an ambulance and contact law enforcement. You should also get insurance information from everyone involved. In the event that you are confronted with the possibility of criminal charges because of the accident such as driving while intoxicated, make sure to contact a criminal defense attorney. Be honest with the police and the representative from the insurance company when they arrive.
- Share contact information, but no more than that. You should give all of your contact information to the pedestrian. Do not engage in extended conversations with the pedestrian and any witnesses. Do not admit fault. In addition, you should not speak to the attorney or insurer of the pedestrian. Let your own insurance representative handle those conversations.
Determining Fault In An Accident With A Pedestrian
In an accident between a car and a pedestrian, one of the most common issues car accident lawyers Vancouver face is determining who was at fault. In general, fault will hinge on the law of negligence. If the driver or pedestrian did not follow a reasonable standard of care at the time, either or both could be a finding of negligence. An example where both are negligent would be if the pedestrian was jaywalking and the driver was speeding.
The Importance Of Police Reports And Findings Of The Insurance Company
In their investigation, the police will speak to the driver, the pedestrian and any witnesses that might have seen what occurred. This information will be used to determine fault. They might be able to come to a conclusion immediately after the accident or will embark on a deeper investigation to come to a decision. In the police report, there will be an indication as to which party the officer believes was at fault. The auto insurer might not agree with the law enforcement findings and may send an adjuster to the scene to have a firsthand look.
If you think that you are being assigned too great a responsibility in the accident, it is important to protect yourself with a lawyer.
Types Of Insurance For Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian who is injured in a car accident will generally be covered under their personal health and disability insurance coverage. If the injured person was working, the coverage can come from workers’ compensation. The following is also possible:
- Recovery From Auto Liability Insurance – The injured person can seek compensation against the auto liability insurance policy of the driver or car owner. Almost every state requires owners and drivers of vehicles to have liability insurance to provide protection to third parties who are injured or have their property damaged. The amount that will be recovered is often contingent on the state in which the accident occurred and the law.
- No-Fault Recovery – Certain states adhere to the “no-fault” rule in which insurance companies must pay for the treatment and expenses of their own policyholders. With no-fault, it makes no difference who is considered to be responsible for the accident. This is also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP). With a no-fault state, there could be some variations in the law and how much will be paid by the driver’s insurer. Even if the pedestrian is at fault, these states might hold the driver’s insurance responsible to pay up to the limit of PIP.
Call An Experienced Vancouver Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about a vehicle-pedestrian accident, call (360) 693-2919 to speak to car accident lawyer Vancouver at the Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff.