When you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you might assume that the motorist is at fault. However, this is not always the case, especially when you are hit by a car late at night. With poor visibility, you may find it difficult to prove that the motorist was negligent without the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Duty of Care
All drivers have a duty of care to be careful during situations where there might be a pedestrian. The driver is expected to do what would be considered reasonable and prudent for a normal driver to do. However, when it's dark out, the defense may argue that the pedestrian came out of nowhere and that the driver was not able to step on the brakes until it was too late.
The driver might argue that you were wearing dark clothing and that this prevented him or her from seeing you. However, you might argue that you were actually wearing reflective clothing. Fortunately, there are likely witnesses who can report on the clothing you were wearing, such as an EMT who treated you.
The Police Report
Make sure to contact the police shortly after the accident so they can write a report and interview all witnesses. The police officer might take the driver's word for it and include the driver's statement in the report. However, a personal injury attorney will dig deeper to find out what really happened.
Based on the police report and the facts of the case, your attorney and the courts will be able to calculate how much time the motorist had to react to you before the accident. Police reports are wrong more often than they are not so you do not have to worry about an inaccurate police report jeopardizing your case as long as you're working with a great personal injury lawyer.
The Location of the Accident
If you are walking along a freeway at night, you are more likely to be held responsible for your accident. However, if you were walking at a crosswalk in a well-lit area, the motorist may be considered more responsible for the accident, especially if he or she ran a stoplight. In some cases, the courts might decide that both you and the motorist are partially at fault for the accident. If the motorist is considered more than 50% at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.