While crossing the street in a crosswalk, after 1/3 of way across, a driver in the right turn lane made the turn and hit the pedestrian. The car rolled on top of the pedestrian’s left foot and then stopped on 1/4 of the right foot, on the toe. The car remained on the pedestrian’s foot for several minutes, while witnesses were asking if he was okay.
After 5 mins, the driver is “asked” to back the car off of the pedestrian’s feet, who then fell back onto their buttocks. The pedestrian was basically in shock, with 5 minutes or so of being unable to breathe properly.
X-rays showed several fractured toes, injured (bruised) back, contusions, etc. The driver did not have a driver’s license, did not own the car, and the owner’s auto insurance lapsed 2 weeks earlier.
The pedestrian is homeless without a car or place to stay. Would appreciate information on the victim’s rights, and any direction to pursue financial assistance. Thank you.
Virtually every state in the country has traffic laws governing the rights and obligations of pedestrians and drivers in crosswalks. In almost all cases, a pedestrian has the right of way once he or she has entered a crosswalk. Once a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, a driver must stop and yield to permit the pedestrian to safely cross.
There is an exception. If the pedestrian jumped or suddenly lunged into the crosswalk, the driver may not be liable. Moreover, if the pedestrian was intoxicated, or otherwise impaired, and such intoxication or impairment contributed to his or her injuries, the driver may escape liability.
The pedestrian’s injuries are serious enough to require legal representation. Presuming the driver was at-fault, the driver will likely be liable for the pedestrian’s medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages (if the pedestrian was working at the time of the accident), and an additional amount for pain and suffering.
Hopefully, the pedestrian or other third party secured the driver’s insurance and contact information. Moreover, if the police were dispatched to the accident scene, they would likely have completed a police report.
The report will contain a description of the circumstances precipitating the incident, and other information including witness names and addresses, weather conditions, tickets issued to the driver, and a diagram showing how the incident occurred.
The pedestrian should gather copies of his or her medical records, and make several appointments with various personal injury attorneys. Most injury attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation. Moreover, they do not charge any fee until, and unless, they either settle the case or win it at trial.
Best of luck,
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