Legal Effects Of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Pedestrian accidents can have significant legal consequences for all parties involved, including the pedestrian, the driver, and even potentially other third parties. These legal effects can range from criminal charges and civil liability to insurance claims and potential changes in legislation aimed at improving pedestrian safety. If you are in need of legal counsel or representation, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer today.

Criminal Liability:

In cases where a pedestrian accident results in serious injury or death, criminal charges may be filed against the driver involved. The specific charges can vary depending on the circumstances, but they often include:

  1. Manslaughter or Homicide: If a pedestrian dies as a result of the accident and the driver is found to be reckless or negligent, they may be charged with manslaughter or homicide, which can lead to significant jail time.
  2. Reckless Driving: Drivers who are found to be operating their vehicles recklessly, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or texting while driving, may face criminal charges related to their dangerous behavior.
  3. Hit and Run: Fleeing the scene of a pedestrian accident is a crime in many jurisdictions. Hit-and-run charges can result in fines, license suspension, and imprisonment.

Civil Liability:

In addition to potential criminal charges, the driver may also face civil liability for the pedestrian accident. This means that the pedestrian or their family may file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries or loss. Common claims in pedestrian accident cases include:

  1. Personal Injury: The injured pedestrian may seek compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.
  2. Wrongful Death: If the pedestrian dies as a result of the accident, their family may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. This can seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
  3. Property Damage: In some cases, pedestrians may suffer damage to personal property, such as clothing or belongings, which can also be claimed in a civil lawsuit.

Insurance Claims:

Insurance plays a significant role in pedestrian accident cases. Both the pedestrian and the driver involved typically have insurance coverage that can come into play:

  1. Driver’s Insurance: The driver’s auto insurance policy may cover the pedestrian’s medical expenses and other damages. However, if the driver is uninsured or underinsured, it can complicate the claims process.
  2. Pedestrian’s Insurance: In some cases, the pedestrian’s own auto insurance or health insurance policy may provide coverage for their injuries, even if they were not in a vehicle at the time of the accident.

Government Liability:

In some instances, government entities may be held liable for pedestrian accidents if poor road design, lack of proper signage, or other infrastructure issues contributed to the accident. Claims against government entities can be complex and may require proving negligence on their part.

Legislative Changes:

Pedestrian accidents can also lead to changes in legislation aimed at improving pedestrian safety. In response to rising pedestrian fatalities, some jurisdictions have implemented stricter traffic laws, lower speed limits in certain areas, and enhanced crosswalk safety measures. These changes aim to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents and increase driver accountability.

Pedestrian accidents have far-reaching legal effects that can impact the lives of those involved and the broader community. According to law firms such as Hall-Justice Law Firm LLC, the legal consequences may include criminal charges, civil liability, insurance claims, and even changes in legislation to enhance pedestrian safety. It is essential for all road users to exercise caution and adhere to traffic laws to prevent such accidents and their associated legal ramifications.