Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: '01-E320 & 02-ST2
Location: John 15:18-19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
RE: how bad is it if one runs over a pedestrian?!?
Okay...generally speaking, if you hit a pedestrian you will be cited for failing to yield.
Whether you will be liable for his damages will depend on a number of factors, including whether he was jaywalking. Another factor will be the area; if it's a place -- such as near a university -- where jaywalking is common and you therefore have to be on extra alert for the idiots, then it's still going to be more your fault than the jaywalker.
Oftentimes if the injuries are not too severe, your insurance will simply pay for the victim's injuries rather than face a potential lawsuit, even if liability is highly questionable (such as the person darting out from between two delivery vans when only Superman would have seen him!). However, if the victim's injuries exceed your coverage, you will be personally liable for the excess. Typically if you are sued your insurer will defend the action, but you have to put up with their defense and their lawyers. Of course, their interests are not always 100% aligned with those of the insured.
Liability insurance covers pedestrian injuries, which is why it's worthwhile to carry more than the minimums. Most states allow 15/30, which is only $15,000 per person. If you think about it you'll realize it's really very easy to do that much damage to someone should you hit them; flesh, sinew and bone are no match for steel, rubber, aluminum, glass and plastic. And in the legal damages sense, it's not just the expense of repairing the physical injury, it's also time lost from work, day care for their kids if you hit a parent, lifetime value of a partial loss of mobility or earning ability, pain and suffering, wrongful death, etc., etc.
That's enough for an overview. Bottom line? Drive slower in those areas and do your best to avoid the idiots. And if you can, take a different route and avoid congested areas where jaywalkers are more common. After all, even if you're in the right and aren't held liable, it would take most normal people a long, long time and lots of therapy to get over killing or seriously maiming someone they hit with their car.