child-car pedestrian accident
I entered a 25 mph ''child at play'' area. I saw a child and a women walking on the same side of the road as I was traveling. I noticed they were horseplaying on the sidewalk. I was traveling at 15 mph. As I was coming toward them I was moving to to the left side of the road away from the pedestrians. Trying to stay as far away from them as I could. As my car moved left and forward I saw the woman reach out with her left hand to hit the child. The child ran out of the way of the womans hand. She leaned left toward the road and then took a big step and jumped into the street. She hit the side of my car. I was traveling about 10 mph. She right where my door meets the front fender.
The police did not find me at fault and I did not recieve a ticket. Do I still need to get a lawyer and what might happen from this point on?? The police asked me to take a breathalizer, two in fact, just so the parents could not come back later and say they smelled something. And the child told the police that the woman was trying to hit her and she ran into my car.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: child-car pedestrian accident
Your question was do you still need an attorney from this point on? The fact that you were not given a ticket has no bearing on a potential civil claim which can be brought against you by the child (through its parent or guardian). In a civil case, the child would seek damages for any injuries sustained due to your negligence. Questions of negligence are generally for a jury to decide. Based upon your facts, it is not clear whether there is any negligence on your part. It appears that you proceeded reasonably and with caution and not negligently. However, I should warn you (as a Plaintiff's attorney who has handled several child/pedestrian auto accident cases) that a claim may still be forthcoming. If a claim is filed, your insurance company should investigate and assess whether they feel you are or may be found liable. In taking into account the mere possibility of a jury verdict, your insurance company may decide to settle the case without litigation. If your insurance company agrees with you that there is no liability, they are required to defend you if a lawsuit is filed against you and that includes providing a lawyer for you. My advice would be to speak with your insurance company. Notify them of a potential claim. That will allow them to investigate early, JUST IN CASE.
Re: child-car pedestrian accident
You do not need to do anything until a claim is made against you (if one ever is). I would let your insurance company know about it now, so there will be no dispute over notice. If you are sued, your insurance company will provide an attorney.
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