You’re driving along in silence, making sure to pay attention to everything around you and being extra-careful, when all of a sudden, a pedestrian comes from seemingly out of nowhere and steps right in front of your car. You have no time to stop for them because of the suddenness with which the person appeared, and as a result, you end up hitting them. Such a situation may involve criminal charges if improperly handled, which is one reason why you need to know what to do if this ever happens to you. Here are a few ways to avoid getting any sort of charges filed against you in the event that you are in this scenario:
Stay At The Scene
Obviously, one of the best ways to avoid criminal charges in any accident is to stay at the scene. If you drive away, the accident will probably be considered a hit-and-run, and in that case, you will face criminal charges. As a result, the best thing that you can do is get out of your car and stay at the scene of the accident until help comes. Call 911 right away to get emergency responders out to the site of the accident. You should also determine if the pedestrian is conscious or unconscious.
If they are conscious and responsive, get as much personal information as you can from that person, like their name, phone number, address, and age. Try to keep them talking, if possible, as that will help ease their pain and may even help keep them conscious until help arrives. If the person is unconscious and/or unresponsive, then notify the dispatcher of the 911 call of this fact, and just try and sit next to the person until help comes. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to medically treat the person yourself, because you could end up causing further injuries.
Write Down As Much Information About the Accident As Possible
You need to write down as much information about the accident as possible, so that this can be used in determining who was at fault in the accident. If you are shaking too badly to be able to write this information down, then you should use a recording app on your smartphone and try to speak as many details as possible into the phone so that you can share this audio with the necessary personnel later on.
For example, explain what time of day it was, what street you were traveling down, how fast you were going, and what happened that caused you to hit the pedestrian. Be as detailed as possible in your recording, and give a copy of this audio to your attorney for him to review and, if necessary, provide to your insurance company or the police who were assigned to the case.
Don’t Agree to Sign Anything Until You Talk To Your Attorney
Do not sign anything that is presented to you until you talk to your attorney. You don’t want to be held responsible for the accident if it truly wasn’t your fault, and signing any sort of a statement or settlement may in some cases be considered an admission of guilt or liability. This could result in your being held responsible for all or part of the accident. After it occurs and everyone has received the information they need, then talk with your car accident attorney right away so that he or she can give you guidance and direction while arriving at a solution that, hopefully, is good for all parties involved.
With as quickly as people travel from one location to another by car and on foot, it is entirely possible that you could hit a pedestrian while you are out driving one day. However, as long as you follow the tips mentioned above, you greatly reduce your risk of being held liable for the accident, and as a result, you will also reduce the chances of having any criminal charges filed against you.