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Written by: Steven R. Clawson
| Read Time: 2 minutes

When there is an accident involving someone not in a car but walking down the street, many focus on the rights of the pedestrian.

But if you are the driver, you may wonder what the consequences are for hitting a pedestrian.

When the unthinkable happens, and you find yourself facing this difficult circumstance, taking the appropriate steps to minimize your liability is necessary.

Contacting a California pedestrian accident lawyer is crucial after such an incident. An attorney can help you answer the common question, What happens if I accidentally hit someone with my car?

Today, we will discuss this and more.

What Happens If I Hit Someone with My Car? 

The most important thing a driver can do after hitting a pedestrian is stop and help them. After the scene settles, it is helpful for a driver to understand what to expect next. 

Personal Injury Liability 

There are various situations where the accident is clearly the driver’s fault. Common examples include the following: 

  • Failing to yield to a pedestrian when they have the right-of-way, 
  • Speeding, 
  • Running a red light through an intersection,
  • Running a stop sign or failing to make a complete stop at such a sign, 
  • Texting and driving, and
  • Going around a stopped school bus.

As the driver, you will not usually face criminal charges for these collisions. However, you will likely face a fine for the traffic violations and be financially responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries. 

Depending on your insurance coverage, your policy may cover a large or small percentage of this cost.

Your policy covers the pedestrian’s property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

However, if your insurance policy fails to cover these losses adequately, the pedestrian may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against you personally.

This could result in you owing them a substantial amount of money. Hiring an experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible is perhaps the best way to limit your liability. 

Potential Criminal Charges 

If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the accident, the prosecutor would likely file criminal charges against you.

You’ll likely pay fines for any less serious traffic violations that resulted in the accident. Penalties for DUIs can be severe, including prison time and revocation of your license.

This situation can be scary, but hiring qualified California pedestrian accident lawyers to represent you could reduce your criminal and civil consequences. 

Is the Pedestrian Ever At Fault? 

Pedestrians have a responsibility to act with reasonable care when out on the roads, just like all motor vehicle drivers.

And although pedestrians have the right of way and drivers must often yield to their movements, some circumstances may result in a pedestrian sharing some of the fault for an accident.

For example, suppose a pedestrian is intoxicated and juts out into the street unexpectedly and without warning.

This may lead to the pedestrian sharing some proportion of fault for their own injuries and losses.

An experienced attorney analyzes the facts surrounding your collision to determine how to best protect you from liability. 

Get in Contact with a Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer Today

For over 40 years, the Wells Call legal team has represented clients across California and the Western United States.

While we never guarantee a particular outcome, our strong track record has earned us an impeccable reputation among clients and peers.

Our professional personal injury attorneys are standing by to assist you. Let us put our extensive experience to work for you today.

Contact us by phone or online for a free consultation and learn more about your options. 

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