Updated: Feb 23
Given our vast experience regarding fatal pedestrian wrecks, we are use to seeing the police department draw up a wreck report, blaming the pedestrian for being in the roadway in the slightest way, as the driver slammed into them.
It is quite normal for a police officer to simply write on a police report "dark clothing" or "not visible." Even more, it is very normal for cops to blame the pedestrian if they were not in the crosswalk at the time of the wreck.
Many times, it takes a thorough investigation to get the justice a pedestrian-victim deserves. At the Bryant Law Firm, we have obtained key evidence that helped alter our clients' cases for maximum results.
What if the police officer blames the pedestrian for the crash? Ways to Investigate a Pedestrian Impact Wreck
Initially, several key types of evidence will be necessary to make a conclusion of the driver and pedestrian's liability or fault.
- Evidence from the road, shoes, car parts, and debris.
- Business camera video footage within the vicinity
- Witness Statements
- Factors such as the driver's obscured vision, medication use, sleep deprivation.
- Road hazards and weather condition circumstances
Important Details to Decide the Exact Point of Impact
Analyze the location of the pedestrian's landing and how far they were propelled. We can often hire an expert to calculate the striking speed of the vehicle.
Were there any objects in the driver's way just before the impact and where is the car's location?
It is very important to look for skid or yaw marks to decide speed, direction, braking, and any evasive steering. Determining perception-reaction times, along with a calculation of the pedestrian's visibility during lighting conditions, are crucial as well.
What is the location of every person at the time of impact? Many pedestrians are impacted at the front of a vehicle 85% of the time. As stated before, it is important to use the scene location to determine any last moment braking and/or steering leading to the impact of the pedestrian.
The scene examination usually results in broken pieces of headlights, vehicle parts, along with evidence from the pedestrian. Such evidence does not land at the impact site and are not always absolute in proving where all parties were on the road. However, this uncertainty can be avoided since such evidence is usually propelled to the front of the impact and do not drop straight downward.
Another important piece of evidence that tends to arise is whether the driver was speeding. Perception-reaction time is key to proving this dilemma. Experts tend to state the industry standard is 1.5 to 2 seconds to see and react to an obstruction in the road. Such numbers are too low and do not take into account several factors, i.e., visibility, fatigue, and/or medication use. Moreover, most pedestrian impacts happen at nighttime. Focusing on how long the driver had been driving, the degree of fatigue, and visible lighting at the point of the impact are of grave importance. It is crucial to use the aforementioned facts to fully know what caused a driver to impact a pedestrian.
In the end...
Pedestrian impact cases are complex and starting quickly in the early stages is important to preserving witness testimony and other key evidence.