The Legal Ramifications of Hitting a Pedestrian

If you were driving a vehicle and accidentally hit a pedestrian, whether they were riding a bicycle, walking or out for a run; you probably are likely overwhelmed with the consequences of the situation. This is especially true when faced with a lawsuit or criminal charges as a result of the accident.

If a Lawsuit has been filed Against You

In most cases, the driver is at fault in the event that they have hit a person with their car. When a person gets behind the wheel, they are required to adhere to the laws of the road: by going the speed limit, following traffic signs and not being under the influence while driving. When a car hits a pedestrian, they are considered a risk of the road, meaning that the driver has a duty to avoid pedestrians who are on the road.

Criminal Charges

As scary as it may be, hitting a pedestrian could result in criminal charges being filed. That’s where an experienced lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer relies on, can be of service to you. If you find that you are facing potential jail time, an attorney can provide legal representation to you that may be able to help in a reduction of the criminal charges you may be facing. There are several reasons this may occur, for example:

Driving Under the Influence: If you were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs when you hit a pedestrian with your vehicle, the results will be devastating not only for you but, for the person you hit. If you are charged with a DUI, legal recourse could be far greater than if you accidently hit a pedestrian and were sober.

Leaving the scene of the crime: You could be impacted if you hit a person and leave the scene of a crime. A hit and run could be the result of hitting a car and driving away as well. A hit and run is considered a felony charge and could mean additional fines and jail time.

Driving Recklessly:  Is when a driver has a complete disregard for traffic laws. For example, if a person is driving in a school zone with a speed limit of 15mph and they hit a pedestrian driving 50mph, they could be charged with driving recklessly and disregarding the safety of others intentionally.

Whether the consequences of a pedestrian accident result in a civil suit or criminal suit or both, having a skilled attorney can be invaluable. Contact a lawyer today.