Pedestrian accidents are sometimes inevitable and can result in serious injury or death. If you are the operator of the motor vehicle that collides with a pedestrian, it can be a terrifying event. As a driver, it is vital to know what to do immediately after any such accident. You must remain calm and talk to the right parties who will help minimize your liability.
Things to remember should you ever be involved in a motor vehicle/pedestrian accident:
Stop and help the victim
No matter what, do not drive away. Do all that you can to assist the injured person. Do not attempt to give him any emergency medical help beyond what is needed. In many cases, a CPR may be necessary to revive him before support comes along.
Call for Support
Stay calm and call the police and/or emergency personnel. You may be asked to call someone on behalf of the pedestrian. At some point following an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in Tulsa.
Who failed to play by the rules?
The question eventually becomes, who is at fault for the motor vehicle/pedestrian accident. Generally, the fault is determined by the law of negligence, which is essentially the person who fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances. If both parties have been negligent in causing the accident, the case will be treated differently, and states vary in their position of penalty. A smart personal injury lawyer in OKC can assist.
States such as Maryland and Virginia are party to a ‘pure contributory negligence’ rule where if the pedestrian contributed in the slightest bit to the accident he will be unable to recover any damages from the driver and his auto insurance company. Others follow a ‘comparative fault’ rule which means that a pedestrian can recover some damages even if he was partly at fault
Contest Insurance Company Findings if unfair
The police will conduct its initial investigation and obtain statements from the driver, pedestrian, and witnesses to determine who was at fault, making a conclusive finding. Although the police report will usually give an opinion as to the cause of the accident and who was at fault, this may be contrary to what the parties and/or insurance carrier can prove in terms of negligence. Insurance companies will have adjusters assess the damage to persons and property soon after the accident. Hire a personal injury lawyer in Tulsa to contest the insurance company’s viewpoint if you believe they have unfairly assigned blame to you.
Always drive with caution
The best way to avoid pedestrian accidents is to be a ‘defensive’ driver who is aware of people who walk, use a bicycle, operate a wheelchair, rollerblade, roller-skater, ride an electric scooter, and play on the road. Pay grave attention to young children and older adults who are prone to stray outside crosswalks and miss traffic signals.
Consult with a Lawyer
State laws differ on car insurance regulations, and each state has limitations and exclusions. In addition, recovery may depend on the particular insurance policies involved as well as judicial decisions in that state.
To sort it all out, injured pedestrians can seek advice from a professional, such as a smart personal injury lawyer in OKC. Pedestrians can seek help from an attorney in order to determine how best to approach any applicable insurance policy.