Visitor Question

Car Collision with Pedestrian at the Mall…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I was driving my neighbor’s car, making a left out of one of the rows in a parking lot at the mall, and had to go onto the the main street in the mall to turn into a different row. I made a full stop, blinker on, looked to the left, right, left again, right again, then I started to turn. As I was turning into the lane I was turning my head and I hit a woman and her child going maybe 5 mph.

It looked like she ran into the middle of the street and didn’t look. I was already in the middle of the street when she ran across, but there is a witness who said she was there first.

If her daughter broke her leg can I be sued? If she can sue me or my neighbor what am I looking at potentially? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

People often think if they are involved in a collision, and there is any evidence the collision was their fault, that they will automatically be sued.

That is seldom the case. Most times the insurance companies will first investigate the facts of the case. After the facts are reviewed the insurance companies decide whether or not to accept liability on behalf of their insured.

If they accept liability they will normally do everything possible to negotiate a settlement. Insurance companies do not want their insured to be sued. Lawsuits take tremendous time, effort and expense.

Presuming the girl’s parents filed a claim with your insurance company, an investigation will ensue. If your company thinks you were at fault it will attempt to negotiate a settlement.

Your insurance company will fight for your interests. They will only agree to pay if they are sure the girl’s injuries were as a result of your negligence.

If they believe the injuries were not entirely your fault, they may advise the girl’s parents or Attorney that they believe the mother was contributorily negligent. If so, they may only agree to pay a smaller amount.

You can be sure if you are sued you will not have to retain an Attorney. When a person purchases automobile insurance they sometimes don’t realize they are also hiring an Attorney to represent them in the case of a lawsuit.

You too are protected by your insurance company. If you haven’t already reported the collision to your insurance company, do so now. You are obligated to do so. If you don’t they can technically refuse to protect you.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 1, 2011

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