Visitor Question

I hit a pedestrian with my car…

Submitted By: Greg (Orange, California )

I was pulling out of the parking lot and I forgot to put my headlights on. I was driving and I almost full on hit a pedestrian (it was a guy I know). Thank god I honked and moved outta the way so only the side of my car hit him.

I rolled down the window and I asked him if he was fine. He said he was fine and he had no injuries. I then called him to make sure he was okay. He again said he was okay, had no injuries and that he wasn’t going to do anything. Then after I texted him like 2 hours later and asked if he was okay and he said “just don’t worry about it, I’m fine.” My friend who was with him after the incident told me he was fine and had no injuries.

Can he still sue me if he decides to later on? I feel really bad about it. I took pictures of our texts and our phone calls and I have saved stuff on Facebook from my friend telling me he’s okay. He said he was fine though and had no injuries. So I guess I’m wondering if he can still sue if there are no injuries?

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 Greg,

In the State of California there exists a 2 year Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury cases. The Statute of Limitations is the time period in which a person has to either settle a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle alleged to have caused the injuries.

Anyone can file a lawsuit but having grounds to prevail in a lawsuit is a whole different issue and so much harder than the mere filing. If a person files a lawsuit and the lawsuit is groundless, the person filing the suit may suffer sanctions from the Judge.

Judges do not like frivolous lawsuits. Sanctions against those who file them can include stiff fines, court costs, and possibly even a term in jail.

To prevail in a lawsuit the injured party must show damages. Damages start with medical bills. If there are no medical bills, 99% of the time there will be no grounds for the filing, and even more so the award of any money from the person who is alleged to have caused the injuries.

Even if the man you slightly hit seeks medical care, if he doesn’t do so rather quickly, his chances of having a strong case – or any case, diminish greatly.

You were correct in saving text messages and Facebook material. Every time he confirmed his good health his chances of having any case against you again diminished rapidly.

From the facts you present you can be very confident there will be no lawsuit. You really do not seem to have anything to worry about.

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: July 29, 2011

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