When a pedestrian is hit by a car, their legal claim will almost always be against the driver of the car. However, pedestrians are sometimes able to bring a claim against the city in which they were hit. Unsafe streets or traffic controls, such as traffic lights or signs, can play a role in the accident. It is important to understand your legal options as a pedestrian and how a personal injury lawyer can help you after an accident occurs.
Who pays for the medical bills?
The party responsible for paying a pedestrian’s medical bills after a car accident will depend on the state where they live. If the incident occurs in a no-fault state, the driver’s insurance will pay some or all of the injured pedestrian’s medical bills. If the accident does not occur in a no-fault state, the pedestrian’s insurer will pay the medical bills. A pedestrian that does not have health insurance will have to pay their own bills if they were injured in a non-no fault state.
Making a claim against the driver
If a pedestrian is hit by a car, the driver is usually considered to be at fault. This liability still holds true, even if the pedestrian failed to use a crosswalk. Most states have negligence laws that require drivers to be aware of their surroundings at all times and pay attention to any hazards in the road. Drivers have a legal obligation to see and avoid any possible hazards, including pedestrians.
If a driver hits a pedestrian while they are walking on a crosswalk, the accident is certainly the driver’s fault. The driver has almost no chance of avoiding liability in this case. Even if the pedestrian was not on a crosswalk, they still have a fair chance of winning a lawsuit. For example, a pedestrian can win a case if they were paying attention to the road and did not run into the street to beat traffic.
Making a claim against a municipality
Some accidents involving a pedestrian are actually caused by the layout of a street or the failure of traffic control devices. In these cases, the municipality may be held responsible. If a traffic light was broken and both the vehicle and pedestrian get green lights at the same time, the city can be liable. If the pedestrian noticed that oncoming traffic had a green light and crossed anyway, they were also negligent. In this type if a case, a pedestrian may not have a case against the city.
Getting the help of a personal injury lawyer
There are other situations in which a municipality or driver may be held liable. If you were a pedestrian injured in an accident, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer about your options. Personal injury lawsuits are often complicated, but hiring a lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Getting the help of a personal injury lawyer can also help relieve some of your stress.