Car accidents cause serious injuries and if you are responsible then you may face criminal and civil liability. The best you can do is to minimize the risk by being careful when you drive.
The Potential Liabilities
The liabilities of a pedestrian hit can be of two types. It includes:
- Civil Liability – The pedestrian can sue you for damages that involve medical expenses, wage loss and even emotional distress of pain and suffering.
- Criminal Liability – It can also fetch penalties for speeding, DUI, hit and run according to the discretion of the state. It may result in fines, suspension of license and even imprisonment.
No Injury Hit
Sometimes you may hit pedestrian with car causing no injuries at all. However, it is true that you should not stress yourself unless you are contacted for damages, there are few things you should do to be sure and on the safe side.
- Pull over and check the person hit.
- Ask if a call for ambulance is required or offer a drive to the nearby clinic.
- Wait for some time till the pedestrian calms down.
- If in case police arrives on call by a witness do not flee but cooperate.
- Give your phone number and information, just in case.
- Buy some painkillers and retain the bill.
- Offer a ride back home.
Hitting At A Crosswalk
There may be times when you may hit a pedestrian at a crosswalk you do not ‘own’. Well, in such situations it was obligatory for you to look at the walk signal and never encroach on the crosswalk.
To be safe, you should report the matter immediately to both the insurance companies, own as well as that of the company’s, about the hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk incident. However, if you receive a letter from a lawyer, be informed that it is not the actual ‘pedestrian knockdown case’ as the details will be revealed only in depositions and trial.
Chances Of Being Sued
Best thing to do is not worry too much and think when you hit a pedestrian what should i expect. Wait till the time the letter comes as suing will depend on several factors. However, being prepared for the worst is the best approach and for that you should inform your insurance company who might as well provide you with some valuable suggestions. Believe in few things:
- Driver hitting a pedestrian does not automatically put the driver at fault.
- If you follow the rules there is nothing to worry.
- Accepting your fault will not help and lastly,
- Liability will be assessed.
The Legal Consequences
The consequences for hitting a pedestrian with your car will largely depend on the degree of negligence, severity of the injury and several other factors. However, you will be held liable under motor vehicles act and it will depend on the injuries of the pedestrian.
To be on the safer side post- accident, follow the duty imposed by Section 134 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 on any driver and take the injured to the nearest hospital for medical treatment.