Pedestrian accidents can be devastating for injured persons and their families. Such accidents can have life-altering consequences. Drivers who hit pedestrians may face criminal and civil repercussions. Examples of criminal penalties include incarceration, fines, and driver’s license suspension. Civil consequences entail paying compensation to the injured party.
In a civil case, determining liability is essential in recovering compensation. Liability describes the responsibility of an individual in causing an accident. The process of establishing liability and getting compensation can be complex. There are multiple aspects that you have to consider, including deadlines.
You can visit a Gainesville pedestrian accident lawyer if you get injured in Florida. They will tell you about the four-year deadline for filing a suit and help you get compensation.
Here’s all you need to know about determining liability in a pedestrian accident case.
Importance of Determining Liability in a Pedestrian Accident Case
If the court finds the driver liable for your accident, the driver will have to pay damages. Damages are monetary awards given to the injured party. They compensate the victim for the losses they suffered due to the accident.
There are different types of damages in a pedestrian accident case. They include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and other monetary losses. On the other hand, non-economic damages cover subjective losses. They include reduced quality of life, disability, and emotional distress. Punitive damages punish the at-fault party for their reckless or intentional behavior.
Elements You Need to Prove to Show Liability
You must prove certain elements to show that the defendant is liable for your accident. These elements include the following:
Duty of Care
You must establish that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty is usually to act as a reasonably prudent person would in the same circumstances. All drivers must act with reasonable care to avoid any foreseeable harm to a pedestrian.
Breach of Duty
You must also show that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. For example, if the at-fault party was driving recklessly, they would be in breach of their duty of care. Reckless driving may entail failing to yield the right of way, drunk driving, and speeding.
Plaintiffs have to prove that the breach of duty was the cause of their injury. Thus, you must show that your injury wouldn’t have occurred if not for the breach of duty. Proving causation can be complex, but you can seek legal help.
The final element you need to prove is damages. You must show that you suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm from the accident.
Collecting Evidence to Determine Liability
A lawyer can help you collect evidence to prove that the defendant is at-fault for your accident. Different forms of evidence can help you establish liability.
Photos and Videos
Photos of the accident scene can be a valuable source of evidence. They can provide insight into the weather and lighting conditions during the crash. Photos can also show injuries and damage caused by the collision.
Videos from multiple sources show the events leading to the accident. The main sources are traffic cameras and surveillance cameras in nearby buildings.
Eyewitness accounts can provide important information about the accident. Witnesses can offer details about:
- The car’s speed
- The pedestrian’s actions
- The visibility of the road during the accident
Medical records can provide proof of the injuries that you sustained. They can also help show the extent of the injuries.
The police report can provide details of the accident. The report may include information on the following:
- Statements from witnesses
- The officer’s assessment of fault
- Road and weather conditions
Expert testimony can help determine liability in a pedestrian accident case. An accident reconstructionist is an example of an expert. Their testimony can shed light on how the accident occurred and who is at fault.
The determination of liability will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident. However, sufficient evidence can help support your case.
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