Rates of pedestrian-vehicle accidents are increasing in Las Vegas and other parts of the country. Although you should always do everything you can to avoid such an accident, you must also be prepared if you accidentally become involved in one. Pedestrian-vehicle accidents can be terrifying events for both parties, and as the driver, you must remain calm, so that you can act to support the victim as well as minimize your liability following the crash.
First Things First
Like with any accident you witness or are a party to, evaluate your own safety and the safety of the other parties. Because these accidents are particularly more dangerous for the pedestrian, you must see to their needs and help them move to a safer area if necessary. Do not try to treat their injuries yourself unless the emergency requires you to take an action such as CPR. Instead, contact police and medical professionals immediately. They will be better able to assist the pedestrian and treat their injuries.
Minimizing Your Liability
You will also want to contact your attorney and your insurance provider at this time. By giving them all the details of the accident as early as possible, they will be able to provide help and guidance when you need it most. Make sure you have the pedestrian’s name and contact information, but be careful about what else you say to them. Be careful what you say to your insurance company – you do not want to say anything that could be taken as an admission of guilt. Admissions of fault at this stage can only unnecessarily open you up to a personal injury suit, so be smart and avoid them. According to Nolo.com, you will also want to avoid talking to the pedestrian’s insurance agent or his attorney if either arrives at the scene. Your insurance agent and your attorney have the training to communicate without implicating you, so official communication should be left to them.
Avoiding These Accidents in the Future
Obviously, these accidents can happen randomly and not due to any driver error. Still, the best way to minimize your liability is to do everything you can to prevent these types of accidents from ever happening. By driving in a cautious and alert manner, you can (1) prevent most of these accidents from occurring, (2) reduce the harm these accidents cause, and (3) minimize your liability should these accidents ever occur. Here are a few things to keep in mind whenever you are driving:
– Always follow traffic signals and traffic signs
– Be especially careful around crosswalks and always yield to nearby pedestrians
– When weather or time of day impacts visibility, drive slower and more cautiously
– Never assume that a pedestrian knows you are coming
– Take note of neighborhoods or schools where children are present
– Drive cautiously so that you can avoid a collision even if a pedestrian slows down or changes direction
You cannot predict when you will become involved in this type of accident, but you can be prepared so that you and the pedestrian can walk away unharmed and without serious legal ramifications. If you do become involved in this type of accident, contact Bighorn Law immediately and our attorneys will help guide you and protect your interests.