pedestrian crosses during green light and is hit by car

Is The Driver Always At Fault In A Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrian car accidents usually end with substantial, but not to the vehicle.

Pedestrians are left with significant injuries while little or no damage is done to the vehicle or injuries to its occupants.

Pedestrians are indeed in a highly vulnerable position on the road.

But is the fault for a car-pedestrian always clear-cut?

When an auto accident occurs, your lawyer must examine many factors to determine responsibility.

The responsibility often falls on the driver, but the pedestrian, and at times potentially a third person or entity, could also be negligent. 

In the article below, we will discuss if the driver is always at fault in a pedestrian accident.

The Duty Of Care

A crucial part of personal injury law is the duty of care.

Duty of care says that everyone is expected to exercise a reasonable level of care under a given set of circumstances.

So, drivers and pedestrians are always expected to obey posted traffic laws and follow the rules of the road when they’re driving or using a marked crosswalk.

If one person fails to act with reasonable care and ends up causing harm to another, the law considers the first person negligent, regardless of who was driving and who was walking.

So, if a pedestrian jaywalks and fails to exercise reasonable care and that failure causes a car accident, the pedestrian will be considered at fault.

If you are hit while jaywalking because the driver of the vehicle couldn’t avoid hitting you, you will probably be considered at fault for the accident.

But suppose the driver had sufficient time to take evasive measures, and they ended up crashing into parked cars instead of hitting you.

In that case, you will likely be liable for damage to the vehicles and any injuries to the driver.

When Is A Pedestrian Is Responsible for the Accident?

More often than not, people take steps to avoid hitting a pedestrian, and pedestrians will take steps to avoid being hit.

But sometimes, pedestrians act in ways that make it impossible for someone driving in a normal, cautious manner to avoid a collision.

In those instances, the insurance companies, judge, or jury will find that the pedestrian caused the accident.

Even if a driver was going five or ten miles over the speed limit, but the pedestrian acts in a way that the driver could not have used evasive maneuvers to avoid the collision at any speed, the pedestrian will likely be found at fault.

However, they may be partially at fault for the accident.

Can the Driver and Pedestrian Share Responsibility?

Drivers and pedestrians often share responsibility for an accident.

For example, a driver may be found 60 percent responsible for the accident, while the pedestrian is 40 percent responsible.

Some states are referred to as pure comparative negligence states.

This means that even if the pedestrian or driver is more than 50% at fault, they can still recover damages.

Damages are reduced by the percentage of negligence.

So if his damages are $100,000 and he is 40% negligent, he will receive $60,000.

Some states have negligence laws that say that you receive nothing if you are even 1% negligent.

Others say that you receive nothing if you are 50% or more negligent. 

Can a Third Party Be Responsible?

Your personal injury lawyer will examine the facts surrounding your case to see if a third party could be liable.

If the driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a claim could be made against the person that served the alcohol to the driver.

A property owner could be negligent in maintaining their property if they have something blocking the view of drivers.

A vehicle manufacturer may also be responsible if a faulty part causes the wreck.

Your attorney will look for these other theories of liability and insurance coverage.

The Accident Investigation

Following a pedestrian-driver accident, lawyers and insurance companies will look at the facts of the accident.

If the insurance company can find evidence that the pedestrian was at fault for the accident, they will try to deny the pedestrian’s claim.

If the driver suffers injuries due to negligence by the pedestrian, the driver can receive damages for the accident.

The insurance companies, as well as your pedestrian accident lawyer, will review the following evidence:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Skid marks
  • Traffic signals
  • Visual obstructions
  • Road conditions
  • Weather conditions
  • Driver statements
  • Witness statements
  • Driver and pedestrian phone records
  • Toxicology reports
  • Police report
  • Surveillance footage

What Kinds of Damages Are Available After a Pedestrian-Car Accident?

In the legal process, damages are compensable losses.

After a pedestrian accident, the pedestrian and the driver can claim damages against one another.

But if the driver was uninjured and there’s no real damage to the driver’s vehicle, the driver won’t have any compensable damages.

An injured pedestrian able to pursue a claim against the driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit can usually recover for a wide variety of damages.

An injured pedestrian may receive compensation for:

  • Medical bills, including the cost of necessary future treatment
  • Lost wages as a result of the accident
  • The economic impact on the pedestrian’s ability to earn a living in the future
  • Pain and suffering resulting from the accident, the injuries, and necessary medical procedures,
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and other non-economic losses.

Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you need to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Being a victim of a pedestrian accident is challenging in many ways.

Navigating the recovery and legal landscapes is a chore.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone.

Contact the pedestrian injury attorneys at Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a free consultation today.

Let a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer perform a free case evaluation and help you plan the next steps.

car hits pedestrian as they cross the road
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