What a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in Philadelphia Needs to Know
Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common in Philadelphia and can be terrifying experiences. If you are hit by a car while crossing the street, walking on the sidewalk, jogging, etc., it is essential to know what steps to take to ensure your safety and how to protect your legal rights.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
The steps you take after a pedestrian accident are critical:
- Seek Medical Attention: Call 911 if you are severely injured so you can be treated and transported to the hospital. However, even if your injuries seem minor, still have them checked out as soon as you leave the scene.
- Document the Scene: If you are able to safely do so, document the accident. Take pictures and videos of the area, the vehicles involved, your injuries, and any other relevant details.
- Contact the Police: If you call 911, an officer will arrive to create an accident report. If you did not find it necessary to call 911, still notify the police. An accident report can be critical to holding the at-fault driver accountable.
- Exchange Information: Ask the parties involved for their contact and insurance information.
- Talk to Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and if they can provide a statement.
- Contact a Lawyer: Contact an experienced Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Are Pedestrians Ever at Fault for an Accident?
Pedestrians can be partially or entirely at fault for accidents in Philadelphia. Pedestrians are expected to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care for their own safety. If a pedestrian fails to do so and causes an accident, they may be liable for any resulting damages or injuries.
For example, if a pedestrian runs into the street outside of a crosswalk and is hit by a car, the pedestrian may be found at fault for the accident. Similarly, if a pedestrian is intoxicated and stumbles into the street, they may also be responsible for a collision. In Philadelphia, the rule of comparative negligence will apply to each pedestrian accident case. Under comparative negligence, the plaintiff’s (victim’s) damages are reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to them. For example, if a pedestrian is awarded $100,000 and found to be 20% at fault for their injuries, they will receive 80% of their award or $80,000. As long as pedestrians are not found to be more than 50% to blame, they can recover compensation.
How to Prove a Driver Is at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident in Philadelphia
Proving a driver is at fault for a pedestrian accident requires evidence of the following four elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: Establish that the driver had a duty of care to the pedestrian, which means that the driver had a responsibility to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to others while driving.
- Breach of Duty: Evidence that the driver breached their duty of care by acting in a way that was unreasonable or unsafe, such as failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, driving while distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, etc.
- Causation: Demonstrate that the driver’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the pedestrian’s injuries. This may require medical evidence to establish the extent and nature of the injuries sustained by the pedestrian.
- Damages: The pedestrian suffered damages as a result of the driver’s negligence, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney can help you gather as much evidence as possible, such as eyewitness statements, police reports, photographs or video of the accident scene, medical records, and any other relevant documents. This can help establish the sequence of events and hold the at-fault driver accountable.