Proving fault in a pedestrian accident is a crucial aspect of the legal process, as it determines who is responsible for the injuries and damages suffered by the pedestrian. Establishing who is at fault in any accident involves gathering evidence and building a strong case to support the pedestrian’s claim for compensation.
Gather Evidence At The Scene:
The immediate aftermath of a pedestrian accident is a critical time to gather evidence. If you have an involvement in an accident as a pedestrian, or if you are assisting someone who is, take the following steps to collect essential evidence:
Call the Police:
Contact law enforcement to report the accident. A police report will document the incident, including statements from witnesses, the driver, and the pedestrian. It may also include information about any citations issued.
Document the Scene:
Take photos of the accident scene, the positions of the vehicles involved, and any relevant road conditions. Photograph the pedestrian’s injuries, damaged property, and any other relevant details.
Gather Witness Statements:
If there are any witnesses to the accident, obtain their contact information and statements about what they observed. Witness testimony can be valuable in supporting your claim.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the driver involved in the accident. This information will be necessary for filing a claim.
Seek Medical Treatment:
If you are the pedestrian having an involvement in an accident, or if you are helping someone who received an injury, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. The pedestrian accident attorneys in Austin note that not only does this ensure that there is adequate treatment of the injuries, but it also establishes a direct link between the accident and the injuries. Medical records and reports can serve as crucial evidence in proving fault.
Identify Traffic Violations:
One of the primary methods of proving fault in a pedestrian accident is identifying traffic violations committed by the driver. These violations can include:
If the driver was exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions, it may indicate negligence.
Failure To Yield:
If the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian at a crosswalk or intersection, this could be a clear violation.
Running Red Lights Or Stop Signs:
Running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign can demonstrate negligence on the part of the driver.
If the driver experiences distractions by phone, radio, or any other distraction at the time of the accident, it can be a factor in proving fault.
Driving Under The Influence:
If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is a significant violation and can clearly establish fault.
Pedestrians generally have the right-of-way at crosswalks, intersections, and other designated pedestrian areas. If the pedestrian was legally crossing the road within their right-of-way, and the driver failed to yield, this can be strong evidence of the driver’s fault.
Analyze Security Footage:
In cases where the accident occurs near businesses or public places with surveillance cameras, obtaining security footage can be extremely valuable. Such footage may capture the accident and provide undeniable evidence of fault. Be sure to request this footage as soon as possible, as one may overwrite or delete it over time.
Preserve Physical Evidence:
Physical evidence, such as vehicle damage and skid marks, can help establish fault. The point of impact on the vehicle and the location of the pedestrian when struck are crucial details. Preserve these pieces of evidence by taking photographs, measuring distances, and documenting the extent of damage to the vehicle.
Consult With An Attorney:
If you are the pedestrian involved in the accident, or if you are assisting someone in this situation, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents. An attorney can assist you in navigating the legal process, procure the pieces of evidence, and finally, build a robust case. They can also assess the strength of your claim and advise you on the most appropriate legal action to take.
Communicate With Insurance Companies:
Insurance companies will be involved in the claims process, and it’s important to communicate effectively with them. Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters, and do not admit your faults or accept any settlement offers without consulting your own appointed attorney. An experienced attorney can assist you in negotiating with the insurance companies to maximize your compensation.
Utilize Expert Testimony:
In complex cases or cases with disputed liability, expert testimony may be necessary to establish fault. Accident reconstruction experts and medical professionals can provide critical insights and opinions on how the accident occurred and the resulting injuries.
Proving fault in a pedestrian accident can be challenging, but with thorough evidence collection, legal expertise, and a strong case, it is possible to establish liability on the part of the driver. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, consider seeking legal advice to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.