Part 1: Car vs. Jaywalker – I Just Hit A Pedestrian!
You were driving, and you hit a pedestrian. The pedestrian was jaywalking, but you don’t know how fast you were going. The police came and asked lots of questions. The pedestrian was taken away by an ambulance, and you were left on the side of the road feeling very guilty and holding a pile of papers.
The first thing to do is call a lawyer. While you may not have been charged with a crime (like driving drunk), you may be assigned blame for the accident. To make it more complicated, the police and the insurance companies may assign blame differently.
Blame is particularly important because, depending on the injuries, you could see your home, your savings, and your future earnings taken away if you don’t carry enough insurance. (Don’t be fooled by thinking that because you have “full coverage” so are totally protected.)
The insurance companies have teams of lawyers working to save them money on settlements. The pedestrian you hit will likely call a lawyer as soon as he can pick up a phone. The US legal system is fair, but complicated. Unless you have a law degree (and even if you do), you need a lawyer to ensure your rights (and assets) are protected.