If you have been stuck by a motor vehicle, your primary claim will likely be to hold the driver of the car that hit you responsible for his or her negligence. Depending on the conditions, however, you could potentially be able to bring a claim against the city or town in which the incident took place.
After the Collision – It is always difficult to plan for emergency situations. Even with a plan in mind, when a catastrophic event takes place, most plans will undoubtedly be forgotten. As a pedestrian, planning for such an event with complete accuracy will be impossible. For one, the extent of your injuries will be uncertain. Second, your emotional state will also be unpredictable. Despite all of this, it is nevertheless important that you know what you can do in the event that you experience being struck by a motor vehicle.
If you have been the victim of a car accident in which you were struck by a car as a pedestrian, some of the most important steps you can take are:
- Calling the police,
- Taking quality pictures of the scene and vehicle which struck you, and
- Detailing witnesses’ names and contact information.
- Taking note of the physical conditions of the accident scene such as road conditions and weather.
Seeking Medical Attention for Your Injuries
Above all factors, if you have been injured after being struck by a motor vehicle, seek medical attention immediately. If it is possible, contact an emergency response team by calling 9-1-1. In the event in which you do not feel immediate pain, be aware that this can be due to the turbulent emotions you could be experiencing. Common examples of this can be the feeling of an adrenaline rush or even shock.
Seeking medical attention can also be very beneficial if you plan on filing a claim against the negligent party. Often, insurance adjusters will attempt to discredit your injuries if you did not seek medical attention immediately after the incident. Further, having a medical record will also further validate your claims.
Holding the Driver Accountable the Injuries You Sustained
More often than not, if you were hit by a motorist, that driver can be held responsible for the incident. This can also be the case in the event in which you were not using a crosswalk. Most laws hold drivers responsible for being attentive for all road hazards including pedestrians. Therefore, all drivers have a legal duty to be watchful and avoid dangers.
Be mindful, however, that while it is likely that the driver could be held liable, you could still face an invalid claim if you placed yourself in danger. Not using a crosswalk at night while wearing dark clothing could be a reason to reduce the validity of your claim. Another example is running across a street in an attempt to beat the approaching traffic. In the event in which you are seeking restitution for your injuries, if you have been found to be partially liable, you could face a major reduction in the amount of compensation you receive. This is known in California as comparative negligence where your portion of fault can be factored into your award.
Filing a Claim against the Municipality in which the Incident Took Place
If you have been struck by a motor vehicle, the driver of that vehicle is not the only one who could be held accountable. The city or town in which the incident took place in could also be held responsible. You could have the opportunity to seek restitution if any of the few examples given are true:
- Unsafe crosswalk location,
- Low street sign visibility, or
- Unkempt vegetation obstruct your or the driver’s visibility.
Seek Legal Assistance
In the event in which you have been struck by a motor vehicle, it is important that you seek professional assistance from a qualified attorney. Not only is the process of filing a complaint a complex matter, there are also many time constraints you might not be aware of. Further, a legal professional who is experienced in the matter will be able to know what current laws and regulations were broken by the responsible party. Seek the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney who will champion for your rights and seek the compensation you are owed.
Attorney Justin H. King is a dedicated professional who has helped many accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. He has achieved numerous successful results for his clients by vigorously representing auto accident victims against both insurance companies and municipalities. If you were stuck by an automobile as a pedestrian Justin H. King can help. Learn more about pedestrian vs. auto accidents and claims.