When operating a vehicle, it is always incredibly important to be completely aware of your surroundings. Drinking, texting and other forms of intoxicated or distracted driving can be incredibly dangerous, not only to yourself, but to those around you.
This is why so many drivers find themselves in the unfortunate case of being involved in a pedestrian accident. Because they weren't giving their full attention to the road and accidentally hit someone.
However, there are cases where a pedestrian walked into the street without looking or something else out of the driver's control occurred.
If you've been involved in a California pedestrian accident, here are the steps you need to take.
1. Check for injuries.
Immediately get out of the car to check on the person you hit. It can be extremely upsetting hitting a pedestrian, so take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Do not administer any medical attention past CPR—and only if you know what you're doing.
2. Call the police and medical personnel.
Call the authorities to report the accident. Unless you barely brushed a pedestrian, you absolutely want to ensure they get proper medical attention so there are no underlying issues that could get more serious.
Be sure you honestly and accurately relay your account of what happened to the police who are filing the accident report. Getting caught in a lie could only make matters worse later on.
3. Exchange contact information.
If the pedestrian is conscious, be sure to exchange contact information. But don't exchange many more words with them than that. However, if you file a police report, you may not even have to speak with them at all.
Whatever you do, be sure not to admit fault or say "I'm sorry" or "I feel so guilty" to the pedestrian. This could easily land you in a personal injury lawsuit.
Get the bare minimum you need from the other person and refrain from engaging in any further conversation with them.
4. Hire an attorney.
The biggest factor in a pedestrian case is who was at fault. Typically in cases like this, the person at fault is deemed so due to negligence. However, there can be negligence on the part of the driver and/or the pedestrian.
Whether the pedestrian was crossing the street illegally or you weren't correctly following the laws of the road can determine whose fault it was. And hiring a car accident attorney can definitely help you out if the pedestrian was the one being negligent.
Call The May Firm today to schedule a free consultation. We'd love to hear more about your case so we can help.