Q: Who’s to blame if a student walks into my car and gets injured?
Today was supposed to be the day where you took your little girl to play at Belle Zeigler Park. However, as you were driving down Takoma Avenue, a student—presumably headed toward Montgomery College—decided to cross the street in the middle of traffic, and ran straight into your car. Thankfully, you weren’t going that fast, but the student still managed to roll off of your hood, and smacked his head on the pavement.
Although you were in complete shock that anyone would have done that, you turned your hazard lights on, told your frightened daughter to stay in her seat, and got out of your car to check on the student. He was sitting upright and was clutching his head while he screamed at you.
Seriously? He actually thought you were at fault. Although he was injured, considering the circumstances, you’re not to blame, right?
Injury Liability When a Student Is Struck on Campus
According to a recent study performed by the University of Ohio, accidents involving distracted students have quadrupled over the past 10 years. Nearly 2,000 students a year are treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained while crossing or walking in streets—as a result of disobeying traffic laws and not paying attention to traffic.
In severe campus-pedestrian accidents, the students who are struck usually suffer the worst injuries, and are therefore considered the “victims.” The driver of the car, who generally suffers less severe injuries, is perceived as the one at fault, strictly because he was in the “weapon” that caused the most damage. However, this isn’t always true. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the severely injured pedestrian or student could have caused his own injuries by being negligent or reckless while crossing the street.
If you’re involved in any car accident, it is important to know who is at fault.
- You ignored or intentionally disobeyed traffic laws—jaywalking, walking against pedestrian signals, walking where pedestrians are prohibited.
- If you disregarded the vehicle’s right-of-way.
- You didn’t practice reasonable care.
Although reckless behavior by a pedestrian can easily cause a tragic accident, drivers must be able to prove that they themselves aren’t also at fault.
- You hit a pedestrian when he had the right-of-way or was in a crosswalk.
- You had plenty of time to stop, but either chose not to or were too distracted to see the pedestrian and avoid the crash.
- You were intoxicated—even if the pedestrian didn’t have the right of way, if you were legally drunk, you may still be charged with reckless endangerment.
- You were driving recklessly or aggressively, which caused you to not see the pedestrian or your increased speed caused additional and worse trauma to the pedestrian.
- You fled the scene after the accident. This not only suggests guilt, but it also endangers the pedestrian even more.
Don’t Take the Blame for Someone Else’s Mistake
Proving liability in pedestrian accidents can be extremely difficult and frustrating, especially when they involve severe injuries or fatalities. Don’t allow another person’s mistake to ruin your life, as well as make you take the blame. We know how complicated car accident claims can be—especially when so many things can make or break your case. Let our experience and knowledge work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Make sure your family and friends are protected by sharing this page with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about a recent accident.