An accident is not a deliberate action. In most cases, it happens in spite of your best efforts to avoid one. Having said this, it does not follow that when you hit another car or a pedestrian, you can simply walk away on the grounds that you did not plan the accident. There are always consequences when accidents happen. In this article, the aim is to answer the question, what happens if you hit a pedestrian by accident?
When you hit a pedestrian by accident, you might get into serious trouble but then it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Below are some common scenarios and the likely consequences.
You Hit a Pedestrian at a Zebra Crossing
In road traffic terminology, a Zebra Crossing is also called a Pedestrian Crossing. This is usually indicated by a series of marks on the road. Now, the purpose of the Zebra Crossing is to protect the pedestrian. You usually find the Zebra Crossing near schools, churches, markets and other public places. If you are driving, you must slow down when you approach the Zebra Crossing. If there are people crossing the road at that spot, you stop for them to pass. If you hit a pedestrian at a Zebra Crossing, you are likely to get into very serious trouble. Chances are, you will be arrested and prosecuted for flagrantly disobeying traffic rules.
You Hit a Pedestrian Because Your Brakes Failed
When you drive, it is your duty to ensure your automobile is in good working order. This means your brakes must be in good shape. If you hit a pedestrian because your brakes failed, you are clearly at fault because you cannot go driving with defective brakes. Depending on the level of injuries sustained by the pedestrian, you might go to jail, pay for treating the accident victim or have your driving license revoked.
You Hit a Pedestrian When Another Car Impeded You
If you hit a pedestrian because another car impeded you, the case might get complicated but this does not absolve you of guilt. Maybe you were driving on your lane and another driver practically forced you off your lane. In trying to avoid a head-on collision with that other driver, you had a car accident with pedestrians. In this case, that other driver is culpable for causing the accident and you can sue him or her. However, you are also culpable for hitting the pedestrian and he or she can file charges against you.
You Hit a Pedestrian on Highway Close to an Overhead Bridge
If you hit a pedestrian, it does not follow that you will always be at fault. Sometimes the person you hit might be at fault even though he or she has suffered injuries. For instance, you hit a pedestrian at a point on the expressway where pedestrians are not allowed to cross the road. Now, it is not your fault at all. If there is an overhead bridge nearby and the pedestrian refused to use this bridge, you can press charges against the accident victim.
As you can see, road accident law can be quite complicated. Things are not always what they seem and the motorist is not always wrong in an accident. Know the law and use it to your advantage.