What to Do Following a Car-Pedestrian Collision
Sadly, tens of thousands of Americans are injured by vehicles while walking along our roadways.
In Florida alone, there were nearly 8,500 car-pedestrian incidents in 2013, the latest numbers available according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Of those collisions, 498 ended in pedestrian fatalities and another 7,467 in pedestrian injuries.
If you are hit and injured by a vehicle while walking, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if you can prove the driver was negligent.
Collisions on the roadway can be disorienting and confusing. Here are a few tips for what to do and not to do if you’re involved in a car-pedestrian collision.
What to do immediately following a collision
If you are a pedestrian and are hit by a vehicle, you should first stay where you are and try not to move, so long as your current location is safe.
If you are driving, you must stop to render aid. Florida law dictates that a driver involved in a crash that causes injuries is required to stop to render aid to the injured person and to call for emergency medical personnel. Fleeing the scene of a crash that caused injuries can result in serious criminal penalties, including a mandatory prison sentence of four years if the person injured dies of their injuries.
You should call for medical help as soon as possible. Then, call the police and insurance providers. You should swap insurance information, as well. Ensure that the police take a thorough report and ask how you can get a copy of it once things have settled down.
One important thing to keep in mind: do not admit fault or state that it was your mistake. In fact, you shouldn’t make statements like “I feel guilty,” as that could be used against you or hurt your case if you do file a personal injury lawsuit later on. Once all involved have been checked for injuries, keep the conversation brief and stick to sharing the pertinent information.
Comparative Fault in Florida
Florida is a “comparative fault” state. This means that the pedestrian, even if they were partially at fault for the incident, can recover financial compensation through the driver’s insurance company. Essentially, even if the pedestrian was 99% at fault for the incident, they can still recover some financial compensation.
For example, if a pedestrian was crossing the street illegally and the driver was driving over the posted speed limit, the fault may be assigned 50 percent to the pedestrian and 50 percent to the driver.
In that example, both the pedestrian and driver would be considered somewhat negligent, meaning they did not exercise a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances.
Contact a Lawyer
If you were hit by a driver while walking down the street and believe you may be eligible for financial compensation as a result of your injuries, contact Boone & Davis in Broward County, Florida, today. We have taken on many personal injury cases and can walk you through the process and secure for you the best possible outcome.