When a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the crash that occurs can cause life-threatening injuries. Even at low speeds, a motor vehicle can break human bones, knock someone to the ground to cause a brain injury or even cause amputations.
It is also quite common for pedestrian collisions to prove fatal. Both blunt force trauma and brain injuries suffered when a car strikes a person can cause death. The person affected by a pedestrian crash has certain rights, including the theoretical right to file an insurance claim and also a civil lawsuit when they can show that the driver was negligent or violated traffic rules prior to the crash.
Who has the right to make a pedestrian crash claim?
The person struck by the vehicle
The most obvious individual who will require financial compensation following a car crash is the actual person struck. They may require extensive medical support or a lengthy leave of absence from work during their convalescence.
The motor vehicle insurance policy of the person who struck them could help cover some of their costs. When the collision causes catastrophic injuries with expenses that surpass the amount of coverage available, the pedestrian struck may need to consider taking the driver at fault to civil court. They typically need to initiate such claims without two years of the crash or risk losing the right to take action because of the statute of limitations.
Surviving family members
Sometimes, the person struck by the vehicle won’t survive to bring an insurance or civil claim against the driver who hit them. Surviving family members would then become the people most affected by the crash and would potentially have the right to request compensation from insurance or the party at fault.
Wrongful death claims in California are a viable option, but state law requires that surviving dependent family members file them. A successful lawsuit will result in the courts declaring the other party responsible for your loss and also ordering them to pay you for the damages you suffered as a result.
Especially when a pedestrian suffers significant injuries or a driver doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for the damages they cause, being aware of your rights related to civil litigation could protect you. Learning more about liability and pedestrian collisions can help those trying to stay safe while walking or hoping to take action after a recent incident.