Usually, when a pedestrian gets hit by an automobile, that same victim has reason to consider two possible courses of action. He or she could, of course, file charges against the driver. By the same token, the shaken and possibly injured pedestrian could file charges against the municipality in which the accident occurred.
Steps to follow when filing claim against driver
Get immediate medical examination and treatment. Then determine which insurance company needs to pay for the medical expenses. If the accident took place in a state with no fault insurance, then the driver’s insurance should pay the pedestrian’s medical bills. If that state does not have no-fault insurance, then the pedestrian’s health insurance must cover such medical bills.
Normally, the driver will be deemed at fault for the accident. Drivers are expected to watch for hazards. A pedestrian crossing the street qualifies as a hazard. Yet the driver can fight a charge if the hit pedestrian had chosen to walk into the street and almost demand that all incoming traffic come to a stop.
Steps to follow when filing claim against municipality
Again, get immediate medical attention. Then be sure to file your claim on time. Most municipalities provide victims with a very short statute of limitations. Consider carefully what defect might be sited in the filed claim. What correction could be made, in order to avoid a repeat of the past incident? Is it possible that a traffic light had stopped working? If so, when did that light first fail to work properly? Had the municipality been given plenty of time in which to recognize and fix the problem?
Should a traffic light at a given intersection be altered by introduction of a “walk” signal? Are pedestrians put in danger by assuming that the red, yellow and green lights are sufficient? Could a “walk” signal have kept the existing plaintiff/victim from getting hit?
Maybe the municipality needs to re-consider the layout for its streets. Has a cross walk been placed in a dangerous location? Does it force a pedestrian to enter a space in which his or her body remains partly or fully obscured from the motorist’s view?
Should additional cross-walks be installed on certain streets? Are there places where a pedestrian must walk over 2 to 3 extra blocks, in order to reach a designated crossing? Would members of the municipality’s governing body appreciate the need to carry out that added amount of walking?
A good injury lawyer in Cambridge should help with introduction of a reasonable and beneficial change. After all, if a pedestrian were to get killed, the municipality might become the target of charges, regarding its negligence. Society expects government bodies to insist on introduction of safety-focused procedures.