There are usually two parties who may be responsible for a pedestrian-auto collision: the driver of the automobile and the pedestrian. In some cases, the municipality (city) may be responsible as well.
Assigning Fault in a Pedestrian-Auto Collision
In Alaska, drivers must aware of their surroundings and pay attention to roadway hazards. Pedestrians qualify as hazards. If a pedestrian is struck in a crosswalk, the driver is clearly responsible. Drivers may also be responsible if they were speeding, ran a red light, etc.
If a pedestrian attempts to cross a street outside of a crosswalk and gets hit, the situation can be a little more difficult. On one hand, jaywalking is still illegal in most states; a pedestrian does not have the legal right to enter the street and expect cars to stop for them. On the other hand, if a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk but is paying attention to the road and does not dart into traffic, they might still be in the clear – a driver still has the responsibility to pay attention to the roadway and avoid hitting a pedestrian. While the pedestrian will clearly have significant fault for crossing in the middle of the road, the driver may also bear some responsibility.
Some pedestrian-auto collisions may also be the fault of a municipality. Malfunctioning traffic lights, a stop sign concealed by tree branches, or a poorly conceived crosswalk (e.g., a crosswalk placed just beyond a curve), among other things, can create safety hazards.
If you are a pedestrian and have been injured in a car wreck, you should contact your health insurance company to pay your medical bills. The medical insurance company in turn will seek reimbursement from responsible parties. You should also contact your own auto policy to see if you have auto medical payments coverage. If you do, your auto insurance company will likely pay your medical bills up the limits of your policy. Believe it or not, your auto insurance policy covers you for any auto collision you are in, regardless of whether you are driving or you are a pedestrian hit by another car. Your auto insurance company will seek reimbursement from the auto insurance of the at-fault driver.
You Need an Attorney
When you have injuries resulting from a car wreck, you need professional representation by an attorney with the experience necessary to win your case. You need a lawyer who you can have full confidence in. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.