A car-pedestrian accident might result in criminal charges brought against the driver of the vehicle. The driver might also face civil liability for the pedestrian’s injuries. What is the difference between criminal liability and civil liability?
Pedestrian and car accidents are not uncommon. Every 1.6 hours, a pedestrian dies as a result of an accident with a vehicle. Thousands more face minor and major injuries as the result of an accident between a vehicle. The specific details of the case determine if the driver faces criminal and/or civil consequences.
Drivers responsible for pedestrian accidents could face any number of criminal charges in the case.
Hit and Run: When a driver strikes a pedestrian accidentally and stops at the scene and follows proper protocol for accidents, he may be charged with the criminal offense of hit and run. This usually will not result in jail time. Drivers who hit a pedestrian and fled the scene will likely face criminal prosecution for hit and run. This may result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge with potential prison time. A pedestrian hit and run accident lawyer fights for their client, although they are not involved in criminal prosecution.
DUI: Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs, or DUI, is a serious charge that a driver is likely to face if they strike a pedestrian while driving intoxicated. Diving while intoxicated is likely to enhance the severity of the sentence a judge imposes. Many people who drive drunk or intoxicated and cause an accident face stiff criminal charges and consequences. Do not expect leniency from a judge if you choose to get behind the wheel of a car and drive while you are impaired!
Vehicular Homicide/Manslaughter: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 11% of all traffic accident deaths involve pedestrian vs. car accidents. When a person dies as a result of an accident in which the driver caused the mishap, the driver may be charged with this very serious crime. Drivers usually face this charge only in the event they operated the vehicle in an extremely reckless manner before the accident. A driver must show “reckless disregard of the substantial risk” caused by his/her driving to face this criminal charge.
A driver guilty of hitting a pedestrian resulting in injuries may find themselves facing a civil lawsuit. Drivers may face civil lawsuits whether or not they faced criminal charges. Once an injured pedestrian speaks to a Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney and learns their rights, you should expect a lawsuit. A civil lawsuit is the injured victim’s way to recoup damages or compensation for the losses they incurred as a result of the accident. A civil lawsuit may be brought up only in situations where the driver is at-fault for the accident. Drivers are not always responsible for the accident. Sometimes, the pedestrian causes the accident or other factors to cause the accident.
In a civil lawsuit, the injury victim must prove fault. This can be done through expert witnesses, witness statements, photographs, police reports, and other similar information. Rest assured the lawyer for pedestrian-car accidents is working hard to prove the fault of their client.
The pedestrian will seek compensation for a variety of types of damages with the help of their legal counsel. This includes compensation for all injuries and medical bills, including future care. Payment for time missed from work is usually a part of a civil lawsuit. You are responsible to pay the costs of damages to personal property if the pedestrian wins a civil lawsuit. And, expect the pedestrian to seek compensation for pain and suffering and other punitive damages.
A lawyer seeks to settle as many cases as possible before they make it before a judge in a court of law. As a result, he’ll attempt to work out a settlement with the car insurance carrier and the driver. This may not always be successful, but often provides satisfactory results.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit is brought on by surviving family members of an individual killed in the pedestrian accident against the person responsible for the death. Like any other civil lawsuit, the driver or responsible party needn’t be charged criminally to face a wrongful death civil suit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members ask for survivor’s losses compensation, funeral and burial expenses, lost companionship expenses, and other similar compensation. Like other types of civil suits, most victim family members use the services provided by a legal professional to help with this type of lawsuit.
Fighting for Injury Victims: The Expert Pedestrian Injury Lawyer Sherman Oaks
A Sherman Oaks pedestrian accident attorney works on civil cases for injury victims. This attorney does not handle criminal cases. Almost every injury victim who chooses to pursue a lawsuit does so with the help offered from an experienced legal professional that understands the complex civil lawsuit process, giving victims peace of mind. They are familiar with laws and ensure victory where it is due. If you cause an accident that resulted in injury or death, expect to receive a phone call from a lawyer soon.