Posted in General
If you have ever been in an automobile accident where a pedestrian was involved, chances are the pedestrian fared a lot worse than your car. It is likely that you and the occupants of your car incurred little or no injuries and damage to your car was slight or nothing at all. Cars are equipped with so much safety equipment inside the vehicle that it would seem that the pedestrian would be defenseless in the event of a confrontation with a vehicle.
Because of this reasoning, and the assumption that the right away always belongs to the pedestrian, you probably assume that there is no way a pedestrian can be at fault when involved with a car accident. That is not always true. A conversation with the team of experienced attorneys at Hickey & Turim can help determine if the circumstances of your case put the pedestrian involved partially or even fully at fault for causing the accident.
Cases where it is obviously the driver’s fault for hitting a pedestrian include:
- Failing to stop at a marked crosswalk
- Running a red light
- Turning right on red while a pedestrian is crossing
Realistically, the pedestrian is in a better position to avoid accidents with automobiles because it is rare that a pedestrian/car accident happens off the road. It is the pedestrian who decides when they will leave the sidewalk or side of the road to walk in the path of the roadway.
Legally, negligence in the situation will determine fault in accidents between pedestrians and cars. According to the law, everyone is assumed to utilize a reasonable amount of care under certain circumstances. Pedestrians and drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road and traffic laws when using crosswalks, streets and highways. If one of the parties involved does not perform with reasonable care and injures another party, the law says that first party is negligent and it matters not who was walking and who was driving.
Another example is if a pedestrian runs into the street between two parked cars into oncoming traffic and is hit by a car, the pedestrian will likely be found at fault because the driver could not avoid hitting the pedestrian. Additionally, if the driver has time to take evasive action and in lieu of hitting the pedestrian, crashes into parked cars, the pedestrian can be held liable for any damages to all vehicles involved and for any injuries to the driver.
Sometimes, circumstances will show that both the driver and the pedestrian share fault in the accident. Perhaps the pedestrian did jaywalk; however, the driver was speeding. The result of a personal injury lawsuit where both the pedestrian and driver shared fault can vary from state to state.
Contributory Negligence is only practiced in a few states. If the defendant can illustrate that the negligence of the contributed to the accident — even the slightest bit — the plaintiff cannot recover anything from the defendant.
Most state practice Comparative Negligence where the fault and recovery is allocated between parties. The two types of comparative negligence are pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence, where the damages are split according to the percentage of fault each party is deemed to be responsible for.