Traffic accidents involving pedestrians can and do occur anywhere and at any time; naturally, they are more common in heavily-populated cities and urban areas, including busy intersections. If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a pedestrian, there are some important things to know.
In these accidents, the driver of the car/truck/motorcycle may face civil liability, criminal liability, or both. Civil liability generally means that the injured pedestrian can, with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, sue the at-fault party for damages sustained in the accident, including lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional distress. Criminal liability is placed in accidents in which the at-fault driver was engaged in a criminal act, such as driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, or a hit-and-run. In these cases, a government agency may prosecute the driver in a matter separate from his/her civil liability for the accident, which may result in fines, probation, a revoked/suspended driver’s license, or even jail-time.
A driver who accidentally hits a pedestrian should be mindful of a few important legal obligations:
- Stay at the scene! Never leave the scene of an accident. It is a crime, and, in cases in which a person has been injured, may be a felony. It is the driver’s responsibility to check-in with the pedestrian, even if he/she does not appear to have been injured.
- Offer assistance. Do what you can to ensure that the pedestrian is not hurt. If immediate medical attention is necessary, make sure it’s on the way.
- Notify the police. The police must take statements and information from both sides, including passengers of the vehicle and any witnesses.
- Cooperate with police officers and medical personnel. Avoid over-apologizing or divulging unnecessary details, but do not withhold information or lose control of your emotions in any way. Simply answer all questions shortly and accurately.
- Remain at the scene until the very end. Preserving evidence is important for a potential injury claim; do not leave the scene until all information is exchanged or, if applicable, police or medical personnel allow everyone involved to leave.
- Report the incident to your insurance company.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a traffic accident with a pedestrian, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.