Posted on: 26 January 2016Share
If you were walking and were hit and injured by a car, motorcycle or other type of motor vehicle, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. This can compensate you for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. However, if you have never been in this position before, you may find yourself with many questions. Here are a few of the questions you may have as a pedestrian who was hit by a car.
Does it Matter If the Pedestrian Was Out of the Crosswalk When Hit?
If you were not in the crosswalk when you were hit, and there was one nearby, you may wonder if you can still file a personal injury claim. Unless you were 100 percent at fault for the accident, such as purposely running into oncoming traffic, you can file a claim, even if you weren't in a crosswalk. Drivers have a responsibility to yield to pedestrians, pay attention to their surroundings and be on the lookout for hazards. This does not change simply because you were out of the crosswalk, and if the driver should have seen you and didn't because they weren't paying attention, they will have some fault in the accident. However, if you failed to abide by the law and use the crosswalk, you can be found to have partial fault in the accident.
What Does Partial Fault in the Accident Mean?
If both you and the motor vehicle operator are found to have played a role in contributing to the accident, you each have partial fault in the accident, also known as comparative fault. As a pedestrian, you may be found to have partial fault for walking outside of a crosswalk, wearing dark clothing at night, or failing to abide by walk and don't walk traffic signals.
Following a car versus pedestrian accident, the police will complete an accident report. In their report, they will assign fault for the accident. When both parties are at fault, they will list what percentage of fault each party had based on the circumstances of the accident. Partial fault does not always mean responsibility is split 50/50. You may have had 20 percent fault in the accident or may have had 80 percent fault in the accident. The amount of fault you have becomes important when it comes time to settle your claim.
When you file a personal injury claim after being hit by a car, you can recoup money for your past, present and future medical expenses and any wages you lost due to your inability to work following the accident. The percentage of fault you have in the accident decreases your settlement by that percentage. So, if you are entitled to $10,000 for medical bills and lost wages, and you had 50 percent fault in the accident, the driver may only have to pay you $5,000. If you have 20 percent fault in the accident, the driver may have to pay you $8,000.
The Vehicle That Hit the Pedestrian Was a Company Car? Who Gets Sued?
If the vehicle that hit you was a company car, you may be wondering who you can file a personal injury claim against. In this case, you can file a personal injury claim against both the driver of the car and the owner. However, keep in mind that you cannot double-dip just because you can file a claim against both parties. For example, if your medical bills total $10,000, and the company's insurance company reimburses you that $10,000, you can't turn around and sue the driver for the same amount, as this was already paid to you. Suing two parties increases the chances that you will be able to recoup money for your damages, as you now have two different entities to recover from. However, this doesn't mean you can double recover.
If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian and sustained injury, it is recommended that you schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney, such as those at Sarkisian, Sarkisian & Associates PC, as soon as possible. They can help advise you as to whether you may have a personal injury claim, obtain evidence that can help with your claim before it disappears, advise you about any deadlines or statutes of limitations before those are missed and answer any questions you may have.