What to Do Immediately After the Pedestrian Vehicle Accident in Texas
When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, there are three main questions to consider: Who was responsible for what happened? Was the pedestrian injured because he or she failed to act reasonably? And was the driver negligent? These factors determine whether someone is found liable for damages.
In general, the fault is determined by applying the law of negligence. This means that a person who fails to use reasonable care under the circumstances could be considered negligent. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits a pedestrian, the driver is usually held accountable for the collision. If the pedestrian did nothing wrong, however, the driver might still be found negligent.
The same goes for pedestrians. If you walk into traffic without looking around, you're probably negligent. If you look both ways before crossing the street, you're less likely to be blamed for being hit by a car.What if the Driver and the Pedestrian Are Both at Fault?
The driver and the pedestrian can both share fault for a traffic collision. In some states, like Maryland and Virginia, the law treats pedestrians and drivers equally. Under this system, if you are walking across the street and a car hits you, it doesn't matter whether you crossed the road illegally or legally; you're still responsible for your own injuries. However, in other states, the law follows a comparative negligence system.
Under this system, if you cross the street without looking and you're hit by a car, the driver could be held partially liable for your injuries. But if you walk into the street without looking and a car hits you because you didn't see it coming, the driver isn't necessarily at fault. Instead, the law says that you bear some responsibility for your own injuries.Police Reports and Insurance Company Findings
A police report is one of the most important documents you'll ever write. If it's done correctly, it can help determine liability and damages in a civil case. A police report can also serve as evidence in criminal cases. In fact, many states require police reports to be filed within 24 hours of an incident occurring.
The police report includes the following elements:
- Preliminary observations - This section contains the officer's initial thoughts about what he observed during his investigation. These notes may include things like "the driver was speeding," "there were no skid marks," "the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing," etc.
- Witness statements - Witnesses often provide accounts of what they saw or heard immediately before or after the collision. Officers record witness statements to document the events leading up to the crash. They also note where each party was located at the time of impact.
- Police interviews - After interviewing both drivers and pedestrians, officers summarize the facts gathered during the course of their investigation. They identify potential causes of the accident and explain their conclusions.
- Fault determinations - An officer must decide who caused the accident based on the circumstances surrounding the crash. For example, if the officer determines that the driver failed to yield the right of way, she may assign him/her the majority of responsibility for causing the accident.
- Other comments - Some police departments use standardized forms for reporting accidents. Others prefer to use their own form. Regardless of the format, every police department requires a narrative description of the accident. This part of the report explains the accident itself. It may include additional information such as weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle damage, etc.
If you hit someone with your car and they walk away, it doesn't mean they are lying about being hurt. You might think that because they didn't go to the hospital or call 911 immediately, they aren't really injured. But there are reasons why people might choose not to seek medical attention right away.
In most states, pedestrians must wait 30 minutes before calling 911 to report a crash. This gives police enough time to arrive on the scene and investigate. And while it might seem like a long time, it could actually help a pedestrian recover faster.
Endorphins and adrenaline can mask pain. A person who feels pain might feel fine and able to move around, even though they are hurting inside.
The same thing happens when someone gets into a car accident. Drivers often experience neck pain or whiplash, but they might not realize how badly they've been hurt until later.
So if you hit someone with your vehicle and they walk away, don't assume they aren't hurt. Even if they fail to follow the rules and requirements of the law, they still have a valid claim against you.Talk to an Accident Lawyer
An experienced accident lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you with your accident case. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.