Who Is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
When a pedestrian accident occurs, it seems easy to determine whose fault it is. Most people assume that the pedestrian has the right of way, meaning it’s always the driver’s fault. Although this is the case in the majority of pedestrian accident cases, it’s not always true.
Before you call a pedestrian accidents attorney, you might want to make sure you’re not at fault.
Taking a Closer Look
Before you start worrying about how much a car accident attorney costs and whether you’ll be able to afford one, let’s focus on both the driver and the pedestrian.
Driver’s Actions at the Time of the Accident
Prior to determining anyone’s liability, we have to take a closer look at the driver’s actions during the time of the accident. Some of the things you should note are:
- Was the driver going at a safe speed for the given circumstances?
- Was the driver paying attention to the road and the surroundings?
- Was the driver obeying the laws while driving?
- Was the driver going where driving is legally allowed?
Pedestrian’s Actions at the Time of the Accident
Next, we have to look at what the pedestrian was doing at the time of the accident. The questions that a pedestrian-car accident lawyer may ask are:
- Was the pedestrian breaking any laws at the time of the accident?
- Did the pedestrian have the right of way?
If the answers favor the pedestrian, it’s highly unlikely they had anything to do with being hit by a moving car. If not, the pedestrian may be to blame.
How the Driver Might Be at Fault
Now, let’s take an even closer look at the driver and the possible scenarios where they might be at fault for the accident.
- Driving under the influence
- Going over the speed limit
- Failing to yield a pedestrian
- Failing to stop at a crosswalk
- Failing to slow down at intersections
- Failing to look for pedestrians at intersections
- Failing to give a cyclist the right of way
Personally, I have witnessed many of these scenarios. In these cases, the driver typically takes all of the responsibility for the pedestrian accident. However, in some cases, they might share the liability with the pedestrian or other parties involved.
How the Pedestrian Might Be at Fault
Pedestrians could contribute to the accident in a number of ways, such as:
- Walking in a crosswalk when they don’t have the right of way
- Walking on the street, highway, or roadway while under the influence
- Walking in prohibited areas (bridges, causeways, other roads)
- Failing to look both ways before crossing
- Looking at a mobile device while walking
- Chasing after an object that fell onto the road
- Negligently throwing items onto the road
- Intentionally trying to distract a driver
- Wearing dark clothes at night, i.e., not distinguishing themselves
How Both Parties Might Be at Fault
Naturally, both parties might be at fault as well. A common example is when a driver fails to slow down near a busy intersection and the pedestrian jaywalks at the same time. Both parties are at fault in this case. Similarly, people think that the driver cannot be at fault if the pedestrian is under the influence. However, if the driver is not paying attention to the road, they will hold some blame.
Therefore, if you plan on pressing charges against the driver, it’s better to call a pedestrian accidents attorney to make sure your case is solid. Don’t take matters into your own hands before consulting a professional.