It is a scary occurrence to hit a pedestrian when driving a vehicle, but it’s common. As a driver, it is essential to know what you should do immediately after such an accident. Stay calm and talk to the right persons to minimize your liability. It’s also recommended for the drivers to learn the basic rules of fault, how damages and injuries will be compensated. Most importantly, learn how to avoid auto crashes.
Who is at fault
Whenever a driver hits a pedestrian, the main question is, “who was responsible?” The fault is always determined by the state laws of negligence. An individual who fails to exercise an acceptable standard of care under the circumstance may be considered ‘negligent’ according to the law. But both the pedestrian and the driver can be at fault if they acted negligently. For instance, the driver might have exceeded the legal speed limit while the pedestrian was crossing the street illegally.
In Washington State, a comparative fault rule is followed. That means both the pedestrian and the driver must share the fault. The pedestrian’s compensation should be reduced by his or her percentage contribution to the cause of the accident. Other states such as Virginia and Maryland follow what’s known as pure contributory negligence law. That implies that if the pedestrian contributed to the accident in any way, then, the pedestrian and his or her insurance company can’t be compensated for damages by the driver’s auto insurance service provider.
Insurance company findings and police reports
In nearly all types of vehicle accidents, the police must take statements from the pedestrian, witnesses, and driver to determine who was responsible for the crash. Sometimes, the police may make a conclusive finding on the crash scene or investigate to make profound findings later.
Note that the police report will clearly indicate which party the officers believe was at fault. However, insurance service providers might dispute these findings and probably send an adjuster to the crash scene. They can also assess the property damages and the injuries suffered by the other person immediately after the accident. If you think that the insurance company might assign you a bigger share of fault unfairly, hire a car accident lawyer in Seattle WA for legal counsel.
Avoid pedestrian auto accidents
One of the most effective ways to avoid pedestrian accidents is to learn that ‘defensive driving’ entails being wary of all people use bicycles, walk, operate a wheelchair, electric scooter, and who play on the road. Also, pay attention to older adults and young kids who use roads. Generally, these people might be less aware of vehicles on the road.
Also, keep in mind that people who are not in a car and are in the road are vulnerable to severe injuries as compared to a driver. Taking take to give pedestrians space, notice, and the time they need to move out of your way, you will successfully avoid hitting a pedestrian.