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HELP! I Hit a Pedestrian!

Automobile accidents involving other vehicles are frightening enough, but when you collide with a pedestrian who is not protected by the heavy body armor of a car the severity of the situation is magnified. Many pedestrian automobile collisions result in injury and in extreme situations fatality. Motorists are always required to yield to pedestrians and in most cases assume the blame for car accidents involving pedestrians. However, under certain circumstances (contributory negligence) pedestrians can be at fault for accidents involving automobiles.

If you ever find yourself in an accident involving a pedestrian, it is imperative that you follow the necessary and cautionary steps to ease the severity of the repercussions that may follow.

1. Remain calm

After you hit a pedestrian fight against the rising feelings of panic. Arrival of law enforcement, paramedics, and bystanders will cause chaos around and on the scene of the accident. It is very important that you remain calm, cool, and collected under pressure.

2. Move to safety

If possible relocate yourself and the injured party to a safe area. Removing yourself from busy intersections or traffic will reduce the potential for other incidents to occur. On some occasions moving the injured party may actually cause more damage by worsening their injury, if you feel this is the case wait for trained medical care providers to move the injured pedestrian.

3. Call for help

As soon as you are able contact the police, paramedics, and insurance companies. Law enforcement, medical care providers, and insurance providers are trained and well equipped to deal with situations like this. Once they arrive on the scene and get involved in the situation, they will conduct the required and routine procedures.

4. Exchange appropriate information

Next, if the pedestrian is not immobilized exchange basic contact information(name, phone number, insurance company). Try to avoid sharing information in excess. Statements like "This is my fault" or "I feel responsible" could subject you to a personal injury or liability case.  Accepting responsibility prematurely may hinder your case.

5. Police reports and insurance company reports

After the police take statements, the insurance company files a claim, and once the investigation is concluded fault is assigned to the party responsible. Sometimes law enforcement at the scene of the accident will determine fault based on their findings, however insurance companies can sometimes dispute this. If you feel that the percentage of fault assigned to you is incorrect you can hire an attorney to challenge the case.

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident involving a pedestrian can be a long and stressful process. In order to avoid the distress that accompanies pedestrian accidents be very mindful of pedestrians on crosswalks, side streets, and sidewalks. Pedestrians do not always follow traffic laws, for this reason it is your responsibility as a motorist to not place yourself or any pedestrians in harms way.

For legal advice concerning accidents involving pedestrians feel free to contact us at Colley and Colley.