What Happens If You Accidentally Hit a Pedestrian?

Post By Corey Heit

Hitting A Pedestrian with A Car by Accident

Car accidents can leave people with injuries suffered and questions unanswered. In the aftermath of an accident, a huge question for all involved will often be who is at fault – especially for drivers that may have hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk or some other manner.

Pedestrians are a common sight along sidewalks, especially in Ohio which is one of the most populous states in the country with a population of 11.76 million people. And with both drivers and pedestrians sharing the roadways, understanding who may be at fault in the case of a car accident can be important.

Below, we take a look at what happens if you accidentally hit a person and how liability may be determined.

Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice; it is general information. Reach out to Heit Law, LLC for advice and guidance pertaining to your case.

Who is at Fault if You Hit a Pedestrian?

If you hit a pedestrian with a car and no injuries are suffered (or if they are suffered), you will wonder who will be held at fault.

When determining liability in the case of a hit pedestrian or car accident, there are going to be several factors that are taken into consideration. Factors like:

  • When and where the accident happened
  • How it occurred
  • What injuries, if any, resulted from the accident
  • What were the driver and pedestrian doing during and before the accident

Certain laws might be taken into consideration as well, such as Section 4511.46 of the Ohio Revised Code that details pedestrian right-of-way inside of crosswalks or any posted traffic signage in the area.

With that in mind, there is no one answer to who is at fault if you hit a pedestrian. Each situation will differ and the factors mentioned above will have to be taken into account.

What Happens if You Accidentally Hit a Pedestrian?

Following an incident where you accidentally hit a pedestrian, there are few things to do in the immediate aftermath.

  1. Seek medical assistance if you have been hurt. Even if you don’t feel like you’ve been hurt, it can be important to get looked over.
  2. Call the police if they haven’t been called. A police report will serve as evidence later on in your case if needed.
  3. Exchange contact information before leaving the site of the accident. Pedestrians and drivers should exchange information like names, phone numbers, and the driver’s registration and license number.
  4. Collect evidence like witness names and contact information, and photos of the accident site (including traffic control signage and any vehicles involved) and make note of any injuries suffered.

Connecting with a lawyer after the accident is also another step you can take. They can look over your case, provide advice, and guide you through the legal process that often comes following a car accident involving a pedestrian.

Is the Driver Always at Fault in a Pedestrian vs. Car Accident?

Many pedestrian accidents occur because either the pedestrian or driver fails to yield to the right of way. Right-of-way laws define when both a driver and pedestrian need to yield to the other. For example, it is expected that pedestrians stick to sidewalks and crosswalks when they are available.

And in Section 4511.66, it is laid out that when traffic lights or other control signals are not in place, operating, or not clearly assigning right of way, the driver of a vehicle has to yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is “crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”

Accidents, when a pedestrian has been hit, can be complex – especially since both drivers and pedestrians do have a duty to exercise reasonable care when they are driving or walking. That reasonable care includes obeying traffic laws.

In the event that a pedestrian is hit by a driver, the fault may be assigned to whichever party failed to yield.

But as discussed above, the party who is at fault will be determined based on a number of factors like how the accident occurred, what injuries were sustained, and what traffic laws were broken.

Concerned About a Pedestrian-Involved Accident? Contact a Columbus Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents of any kind can be especially concerning and stressful for all involved. As a pedestrian involved in an accident or a driver who has found themselves in a situation where liability is in question, one of your next steps may involve filing a personal injury lawsuit.

That often involves handling insurance companies and legal processes while liability for the accident is determined. You may also find yourself with a number of questions, including the ones we explored above.

Consider reaching out to Heit Law, LLC. You can book a free and confidential consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer over the phone at 614-898-5300 or through our online contact form.

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