Growing up, I was often told that “pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.” As a young lawyer, I recall my frustration when I learned that this statement is false. If you are curious, another false statement of the law is that “possession is nine-tenths of the law."
In truth, a pedestrian in a cross walk where a traffic signal permits walking has the right of way. Otherwise, the pedestrian is jaywalking. Normally, a pedestrian who is hit by a car ends up very injured. As Denver personal injury attorneys, our job in those occasions is to do our best to recover money that the injured pedestrian needs for medical treatment. To provide you with a better understanding of auto verse pedestrian personal injury cases, I want to discuss three points on this subject.
1) Harder to prove fault than you might think
When a pedestrian is fighting for his life after being hit by a car in Denver, he or she usually does not get an opportunity to tell his or her side of the story to the police. Whereas the driver of the car that struck the pedestrian gets a one-sided opportunity to talk to the police investigator about what happened. The driver will often tell the investigator that the pedestrian was not in the crosswalk, did not have the “walk” sign, or jumped out in front of the vehicle. These one-sided conversations with the driver and police investigator rarely bode well for the pedestrian and the cops usually end up blaming the pedestrian for the traffic collision. Consequently, the injured pedestrian usually does not get a fair shake in terms of how the police write up the traffic accident report.
2) Intersection cameras and eyewitnesses key
Because the police report is normally skewed in favor of the driver (see above discussion), the personal injury attorneys representing the injured pedestrian are required to conduct a proper investigation to disprove the police investigation. Getting statements from eyewitnesses (if any) and securing physical evidence like intersection video is critically important. Time is also a factor. Intersection videos are only preserved for a short time and must be ordered promptly. Also, eyewitness accounts tend to get fuzzy over time. Thus, capturing this data as quickly as possible following the auto collision is a high priority in these personal injury cases.
3) Coverage from unlikely sources
Pedestrians have the right to recover from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance and from any other car insurance (uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage specifically) that the pedestrian has available to him or her. So, even if the pedestrian’s car had nothing to do with the collision, uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage is available to compensate him or her for their losses. If the pedestrian was living with any relatives and those relatives had car insurance, those insurance policies may also be available to compensate the injured pedestrian. It is important for your attorney to explore these possibilities to find any applicable insurance coverage because pedestrians are oftentimes very injured when they get hit by a car and need as much insurance coverage as possible to be compensated fully for their damages and losses.
Victims of car verse pedestrian accidents should know that they are in for a fight when it comes to receiving compensation. These personal injury cases are difficult and require prompt investigation and trial know-how. At Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn, we are happy to talk to you about your personal injury pedestrian accident case and will always provide a free personal injury consultation. These personal injury cases can be hard to win, but when they are handled properly, personal injury compensation is in reach. Contact our experienced Denver pedestrian accident lawyers today!