When walking or riding a bicycle across a driveway, it is very easy to get hit by a vehicle exiting that driveway, especially if one is crossing from the vehicle’s passenger side across the driveway. This is because drivers exiting a parking lot almost always look left to see if there is any oncoming street traffic they need to wait for. However, unless that driver wants to make a left turn, they don’t think to worry about approaching street traffic from their right, and when they do, they’re looking for vehicular traffic not a bicyclist or a pedestrian on the sidewalk.
As such, they often don’t look right and sometimes hit a pedestrian or bicyclist crossing from their right to left. Therefore, as the pedestrian or bicyclist seeking to cross a driveway or crosswalk, make eye contact with the driver exiting that driveway or waiting to turn through that crosswalk. Don’t presume they see you because they look in your direction as they may well be looking past you, or through you. Make affirmative eye contact so you know if they’re going to wait for you to cross before proceeding.
Pedestrian walk signals are timed to allow a person walking at average speed to cross the street, so be wary of entering a crosswalk if they Don’t Walk Sign is already flashing as there may no longer be enough time to completely cross before your signal flashes a solid Don’t Walk and /or the traffic signal changes.
There are many instances I which your own automobile insurance may cover your injuries as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
1. Medical Payments coverage is “no-fault” benefit option offered by most auto insurance carriers. It allows a certain amount of monetary compensation for medical bills if injured by a motor vehicle, regardless of fault. Med Pay is also portable, meaning you don’t have to have been in your own vehicle to use your Med Pay coverage. If, as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you are hit and injured by a motorist, you can use your Med Pay coverage.
2. Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is another option offered by most auto insurance carriers. It covers your entire injury claim (medical bill, lost wages, pain & suffering) if you are injured by an uninsured or hit & run motorist, even if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist.
3. Neither Med Pay or UM coverage is very expensive so you should explore adding it to your own auto coverage.
Proving fault on a motorist may be challenging, especially if, as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you were crossing mid-block, or against a traffic/walk/Don’t walk pedestrian signal. However, an experienced attorney can often prove fault based on factors that include speed, distance, sight lines, reaction time, braking distance, street illumination, silhouettes, etc.
So, what should you do if a motorist hits you?
1. Don’t admit any fault. Any you say could potentially be used against you later.
2. Call 911/police/paramedics. If your injuries seem severe, don’t move until your medical condition can be assessed by a professional (law enforcement officer, paramedic, etc.)
3. Don’t move any debris/physical evidence until law enforcement can observe it and/or take measurements, as whereupon the roadway the collision occurred could impact proving liability on the motorist
4. Get the contact information for any witnesses (names, phone numbers, addresses, business cards, etc.). Don’t presume law enforcement will preserve their information and/or include it on their Accident Report because they often leave out such vital information
5. Call an attorney to assess your rights.
Contact Lebovitz Law Group, the Experienced Arizona Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today!
At Lebovitz Law Group, we routinely handle pedestrian accident cases and have helped victims get maximum compensation when available and when possible. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you are never out of pocket for our services. We only get paid if we recover for you, when we recover for you, and from any recovery we procure for you. We offer no-cost initial consultations and await your call.