5 Issues That Can Help Your Case If You Hit A Pedestrian

Unfortunately, accidents in which a pedestrian is injured by a car are far too common. On average, a pedestrian is injured every seven minutes in the United States. When this happens, many people assume that the driver is always legally at fault. That's often true, but not always. 

If you've hit a pedestrian, you may be charged by the police and also be sued. An attorney can help defend you in these circumstances and may be able to raise some of the following five issues if the pedestrian was completely or partially at fault:

1. Did he exercise reasonable care? Was the pedestrian paying attention, or did he just walk out into the street without looking? Was he talking on his cell phone or texting? Was he wearing headphones or earbuds and paying more attention to his music than to traffic?

Especially if there were witnesses to this behavior, these elements can go a long way in your defense.

2. Where did the accident happen? Where the accident occurred is important. Was the pedestrian crossing in a marked crosswalk or at an intersection? Or did he simply cross in the middle of a street?

If he was in a marked crosswalk, did he ignore "Don't Walk" signs or other signals?

3. Is someone else responsible? A third party may also hold some responsibility for the accident. For example, if the pedestrian was in a crosswalk or at an intersection, was it inherently dangerous in its location or design? Are the lines marking it visible? Does the road have a pothole or other defect that caused the pedestrian to trip?

If so, the city or other entity could be guilty of negligence, especially if the defect was uncorrected over time and the owner either knew about it or could reasonably be expected to have known.

4. Is there proof of injuries? The pedestrian may claim injuries that resulted in medical expenses and lost wages. Sadly, in some cases, he may exaggerate or even completely falsify injuries in hopes of a financial windfall.

Your lawyer can help you verify the pedestrian's claims. What medical attention was sought, and what proof is offered in regard to expenses and lost ability to work? The pedestrian will need to be able to back up his claims.

5. Did the pedestrian mitigate his damages? Even if the pedestrian was injured, he has a responsibility to mitigate his damages. This means that if he's hurt, he should seek and follow appropriate medical care and advice. 

Did he promptly see the doctor? Were the doctor's orders adhered to? For example, if the pedestrian's back was injured and his doctor told him not to work for six weeks, did he return prematurely and worsen his injury?

Hitting a pedestrian is a stressful incident that can be made even more so if you're sued as a result. Consult an attorney like Micheau & Young to help make sure that you have professional advice and representation.