August 27, 2018
Auto Accidents Involving Pedestrians in Michigan
Auto accidents involving pedestrians are uncommon but nasty. In 2015, traffic crashes involving pedestrians saw to the death of 5,376 pedestrians in the United States. In the same year, approximately 129,000 pedestrians received medical care in emergency departments for non-fatal or crash-related injuries. Thus, this shows that such accidents occur regularly. However, if you are in such a crash and behind the wheel, you might want to buckle up for you are in for a bumpy ride. A Michigan auto accident lawyer can be very helpful to anyone who is injured in an auto accident. Here is what to do when in an auto accident involving a pedestrian:
What to Do When you hit a Pedestrian?
1. Halt your car: When you hit a pedestrian, chances are that you will panic and there is the temptation to drive off. However, when in such a crash, fight off the urge to panic and stay at the scene of the accident. Doing this will go a long way in helping you evade severe consequences. For that reason, pull over and then stop the vehicle.
2. Call for medical help: Once you stop your car, put on the emergency lights and seek emergency medical help by calling 911. Also, help the victim in the best way you can. This includes administering the typical first aid procedures such as CPR if required. Also, ensure that you are not in the way of traffic and that you are in a safe area. Also, in case witnesses are present, ensure that they stay so that they can give their statements.
3. Exchange contacts: If the victim is conscious and is able to talk, it is important to exchange information such as names, phone numbers, and names of insurance providers. Also, wait for the cops and give your statement.
4. Take pictures of the scene: If you are in a position to photograph the scene, go ahead and take photos of the damages as well as the surrounding area, including the injuries on the pedestrian.
5. Do not admit liability: By all means, do not acknowledge that it is your fault or imply fault to any person. Avoid apologizing or saying statements such as, ’I did not see you there!’’ or ‘’I’m so sorry!’’ All these can be used against you.
6. Call your attorney: If you have a Michigan car accident lawyer or Detroit car accident lawyer, this might be a good time to contact them. An experienced attorney will advise you further. They can guide you on how to file a Michigan auto accident claim. Additionally, you might be in for civil or criminal liability or both, therefore having your attorney there will help get you through this.
7. Report to your insurance provider: You will be required to inform your insurance company of the happenings, during a period of 30 days. Your lawyer will also guide you in this.
Who is at fault?
When a driver is involved in an auto accident with a pedestrian, the question lingering in his/her mind is: Who is at fault? Well, when determining who is at fault, it all boils down to the law of negligence. In this case, any person who does not put into place a reasonable standard of care in the circumstances will be considered ‘negligent.’
However, in some cases, the pedestrian and the driver can both be at fault for being negligent. For example, the pedestrian may have been crossing the street illegally while the driver was driving beyond the posted speed limit. However, this is treated differently depending on the state.
Police report and the insurance company discoveries
Another determinant is the police report. Once you contact the police after the event of an accident, you must wait for them to arrive at the scene. They should go ahead to take the statements of the driver, the victim and any witnesses present to figure out who was at fault. If there is enough evidence, they can make a conclusive report on the spot. Other times, they resolve to carry out a more detailed investigation to come up with a finding later on. The police report usually indicates the party that the police officer determined as being responsible for the whole thing.
However, auto insurance companies can dispute the finding. Insurance companies usually dispatch adjusters to accident spots to evaluate the damage that has been made on property and persons after the occurrence of the accident, and if they feel that the police report is untrue, they will dispute it.
How to avoid hitting pedestrians?
We all know it is best to avoid hitting a pedestrian in the first place and to help you do that, here are some tips:
- Always slow down when you come around pedestrians. Excessive speed is the most significant contributor to collisions with pedestrians. When you are driving too fast, errors in your driving are mostly magnified. For this reason, reduce your speed when around pedestrians.
- Allow pedestrians to pass at crosswalks. This applies to the marked ones and those that are not marked. Crosswalks are said to exist at every intersection. As such, drivers are expected to give way to pedestrians in this case.
- Be on the look for pedestrians wishing to cross the street. The surest way to determine this is eye contact. When pedestrians want to cross the street in most cases, they will seek confirmation from the oncoming driver and ensure that the driver sees them before crossing.
- In case of bad weather, brake moments before halting for a pedestrian. With severe weather, that is rain or snow, comes slippery roads, uncertain brakes, poor visibility and poor maneuverability and accidents under these conditions are usually as a result of the driver not taking into account the circumstances. As such, the driver is expected to apply the brakes moments before stopping.
Of course, with an auto accident involving pedestrians in Michigan, many complications can arise, and you might find yourself in a fix. This calls for seeking the services of the right Michigan auto accident lawyer. At Elia & Ponto, we are ready to help you today!