Can I be sued if I accidentally hit a young girl who darted out in front of my car?

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Can I be sued if I accidentally hit a young girl who darted out in front of my car?

Yesterday I was pulling into a gas station and an 11 year old girl darted out in front of my vehicle. I didn’t think I hit her. I looked in my side mirror as putting the vehicle in park and she was on the ground. I got out and rushed to her as her mom was rushing to her. Mind you, the girl was in the gas station alone and ran out of the store crossing areas of traffic without looking. I called 911 and got the police ambulance there. Her leg got messed up; I’m not sure of the damage yet, as this happened yesterday. The cop checked the video surveillance and said I hit her accidentally. I was cited. I’m sorry for the girl but I feel like this was not my fault. Can I be sued? And, if so, why?

Asked on April 9, 2014 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since you were cited by the police, the police report will probably say that you were at fault because a pedestrian was struck by your vehicle.  Don't worry about being sued at this point.  When the girl completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor, a personal injury claim on her behalf will be filed with your auto insurance company.  The claim will include compensation for the medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If the case is settled with your auto insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  Most of these cases are settled without filing a lawsuit. 

If the case is NOT settled, a lawsuit will be filed against you for negligence.  If that occurs, refer the matter to your auto insurance company and your auto insurance company will provide you with an attorney at no cost to you.  That attorney will handle the entire matter for you.

Again, don't worry about the lawsuit because most of these cases are settled without filing a lawsuit.  If a lawsuit is filed, it may be a year or more before that occurs.


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