Road accidents are rising day by day in the US. According to a statistic, 33 thousand fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in 2019. National Highway traffic administration says a road accident happens every 60 seconds. Sadly, the motorcycle accident death ratio is higher than any other accident. Have you ever wondered what happens if you accidentally run someone over your motorcycle or car?
No, I’m not going to explain what happens to the victim’s spirit after death! Realistically, there are laws in the area of the venue. While most the accidents are a vehicle to vehicle accidents, vehicle-pedestrian accidents are troubling and full of legal steps.
In this article, you will know what typically happens after a road accident and the activities you must perform if you accidentally hit a pedestrian or a vehicle.
Motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuit (What happens if you accidentally run someone over)
Motorcycle accidents are always a sensitive issue. Nowadays, most motorcycle accidents occur because of the involved vehicle’s fault. Motorcycles don’t give decent protection by default. A little bit of fluctuation or mismanagement can cause fatal accidents.
So, if a motorcyclist runs over a pedestrian and the motorcyclist’s fault, the rider will get an obligation to compensate the injured party. In this case, you’ll repay the other party regarding the loss expenses. Typically, you’d need to pay all costs related to medical bills, loss of wages, and benefits.
Sometimes, the biker pretends it was not his fault and files a case against the opposite party. If the opposing party also files a lawsuit and fights against you and it becomes proven in the court that you are responsible, the court may charge additional fees.
For example, you were driving while drunk or addicted and hit someone. In this scenario, The charges will be a more extensive amount of fees (starting from $5000), and if the pedestrian dies, the defendant can get a jail term by the court.
Wrongful Death lawsuit
According to an estimation, around 10% of pedestrian death occurs due to traffic-related flaws. If you accidentally hit a pedestrian following the wrong traffic signals or other traffic-related errors, the police or relevant authority will file a civil case against you. There are other actions for disobeying traffic signals willingly.
Losing loved ones is a tragedic experience. Therefore, the surviving members of the victim would file a lawsuit. This lawsuit addresses you as the driver of the ill-fated vehicle. It seeks to compensate the opposite party for losses incurred by the accident and the victim’s eventual death.
The compensation includes loss of wages, accident-related expenditures, and most importantly, the real-life earnings of the pedestrian depending on his age.
This wrongful death lawsuit will attempt to establish your negligence of the rules and traffic violation. Any inappropriate action from you, for example, to try to avoid the compensation, will strictly be handled by the attorney of the opposite party.
You can be charged as a criminal if you hit and run.
If you mistakenly hit a pedestrian, don’t be dishonest. Just stop, and follow the required protocol. Being loyal to the laws might let you get a lenient sentence. In most cases, you will only face just a personal injury lawsuit.
But things will get a worse picture if you dare to run away after hitting the pedestrian. If the accident happens due to negligence on your part and you flee away, you could end up serving a jail term.
Leaving an injured person in their state is a great disrespect for life. Therefore, the government laws treat these cases with most of the priority to the injured person.
Criminal charges for driving under the inappropriate influence (DUI)
Suppose you hit a pedestrian while drunk or under the influence of other drugs is aggravating. This scenario leads the driver to arrest and conviction.
So, if you knock down and injure a pedestrian with drug influence, you might get charged with heavy fines or a jail term. Additionally, your driver’s license may get suspended more often.
The maximum punishment for driving under drugs influence is up to 20 years of jail time and a $100,000 fine. It depends widely from state to state.
Criminal charges of vehicular manslaughter
Some vehicular mistakes, otherwise known as auto-pedestrian accidents, lead to the death of the pedestrian. You will be charged with highly negligent criminal activity if your fault gets proven.
However, you won’t be charged unless proving that you were driving recklessly. For instance, a motorcyclist or a car driver has run over a stop sign or was driving while intoxicated. This example is a seriously seen case where the driver is beyond negligence.
Therefore, you may have to serve jail for a decent period as an accused person of vehicular manslaughter. If it is proved that the mistake was not yours later, the previously taken action will get closed, and you will be discharged from the acquisition of criminal activity.
Check More: What Type of Motorcycle Has The Most Accidents?
Which is Worse – Vehicular Homicide or Manslaughter?
Okay, so I’m making a separate section for the manslaughter case with the word “worse” because it’s one of the most harshly treated cases when it comes to What happens if you accidentally run over someone?
The perspective of vehicle manslaughter varies from state to state. But the concept of vehicular homicide may apply in all cases. If you committed an accident in a state where vehicular homicide is a criminal case, then the lawsuit will likely depend on the circumstance surrounding the accident.
Vehicular homicide is applicable even when you have caused death as the driver, even if it resulted from reckless driving or higher negligence.
Ohio is such a state where you have caused the death of a third party as a driver but are charged with vehicular homicide unless the death is caused due to minor traffic infringement.
Vehicular homicide is a way more severe matter than vehicular manslaughter. It does not matter whether you have intended to lead the pedestrian to death. That’s why this case is still not as severe as vehicular manslaughter.
Jaywalking accident case (What happens if you accidentally run someone over)
Suppose a pedestrian decides to walk through a non-designated road, leaving you in an uncontrollable circumstance and hitting the pedestrian. In that case, you will not be liable for the accident.
Notably, the pedestrian will need to compensate the driver if they are reckless or violating rules. The pedestrian will need to prove sufficient to make a personal injury claim.
What should you do after an accident?
This instruction is for everyone, whether you’re a pedestrian or a driver. This short guide will help you avoid wrongdoings and take the necessary steps.
First of all, It’s crucial to stay calm after the accident. Don’t get panicked, even by mistake. Striking the pedestrian can later cause an overwhelming reality for you. You must not neglect the fact of the accident, even if it is night. Try moving the unconscious pedestrian you just hit, and call the police, medical emergency, and other departments according to necessity.
Keep in mind, if you fail to call the medical emergency or move the unconscious person and the person dies, you could face skyscraping charges.
What happens if you accidentally run someone over? The consequences
Let’s assume you stopped immediately after the accident occurred with honesty, called the police, and medical emergency. The police will arrive and ask you the necessary questions.
Also Read: how many motorcycle deaths in 2022
The police will secure the venue and perform an investigation. In the meantime, if you saw anyone witnessing the scene, give your best efforts to contact them and bring them to the police as evidence.
If there is no fault of yours, meaning the injured person suddenly appeared in front of you without allowing you to attempt to avoid the accident, then the police will file a report and send you home. But you will be under surveillance if you’re suspected, and the matter is under further review, and you will be sent to the police station.
Fortunately, the scene will get recorded if you get a CCTV at the venue. It will be extraordinary evidence to prove your innocence.
Criminal penalty laws
The criminal court is designed to determine whether an accused person has violated any criminal law. If so happens, the court punishes the criminal. The prosecution from the criminal court must prove the charges against the defendant beyond just a doubt.
Most vehicle accident doesn’t result in criminal charges. Criminal files are filed when drivers disregard others’ safety. If no one gets hurt by a street accident, you won’t face any criminal charges.
For instance, if you hit a lamp or a roadside tree, the police will file a general diary against you, and as a result, you may need to pay off a fine.
Traffic infraction law
There are specific traffic violation rules and punishments accordingly. The local police will cite a ticket at the accident scene if a driver violates any traffic rules below.
- Disregarding road signs. E.g., stop or red light.
- Texting, adjusting any car elements while driving.
- Failing to yield.
- Making indirect lane changes and
- Not following vehicle signs.
In most states, traffic violations can cause you to end up serving jail time. With the acquisition of traffic infractions, drivers face fines, demerit points, and even driver’s license revoking. These charges get listed on their driving record.
Additionally, traffic infractions are used as admissible evidence in some states. Consequentially, if you have a worse traffic infraction record, the insurance provider can use it as evidence of your impaired driving when you seek compensation.
Car accidents without insurance
Driving without insurance is illegal in all US states; only a few states have different conditions. It is a way for drivers to show their financial capability if they were to cause an accident, and it’s also a requirement often on police check-posts.
The consequences can be even more dangerous if you hit and injure a pedestrian, yet you don’t have insurance. You could be charged a fine depending on the reality of the accident, evidence, and witnesses. Worse consequences include serving a jail term or getting your license revoked.
Moreover, if you were to hit someone and fail to compensate the injured party, you would end up in jail.
Comparative negligence case (What happens if you accidentally run someone over)
If the driver and pedestrian or vehicle were at fault, they would be held liable for the accident. The driver might not be solely responsible for the accident, meaning both the pedestrian and driver will be responsible.
This situation implies that suppose a pedestrian suddenly jumped onto the street, and you adjusted your radio as the driver.
It means both of the accident victims are negligent. In this case, you will cost-share the damages according to each one’s level of fault. The court will determine the level or degree.
Typically, the driver may become the more significant share of the compensation. Because drivers are protected inside the car, the pedestrian gets directly hit by the vehicle. As a result, the pedestrian’s injury is greater than the driver’s.
But the expenditures entirely depend on the circumstance. The pedestrian can also be more injured than the driver.
Check More: What to Expect After a Motorcycle Accident
When should you talk to a lawyer?
You must talk to a lawyer if you see things getting a worse scenario. If the insurance company doesn’t compensate you, or you have been filed by wrongful case, you have the right to take legal—steps with a lawyer.
A lawyer can always help increase the Settlement of a Motorcycle Accident Claim. They are experts at handling such cases. Don’t think much about What happens if you accidentally run someone over. Think about how to not fall into an accident.
Conclusion: Be aware of pedestrian accidents
Driving is a challenging experience if you are drunk or stressed. Plenty of car accidents occur every year because of drugs’ influence. An accident can be responsible for your waste of freedom, costs, time, and injury.
Be constantly aware of ensuring the security of random pedestrians. If you ever hit a pedestrian or other vehicle, don’t fail to get in touch with us through the “contact us” form.
We always try to assist you with our best and give you crucial advice if you have caused an accident; it’s free.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you find any errors within this article.