Car-Pedestrian Accident: Could The Pedestrian Be At Fault?


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Think about an accident between a pedestrian and a car and chances are you think the driver of the car is at fault for the pedestrian injury. But from a legal standpoint, the old adage of the pedestrian having right of way isn't necessarily right.

Who's Fault Is It?

Let's say you see a car hit a pedestrian. You then tell a relative about it and she asks, "Whose fault was it?" You say it was "absolutely the person walking' fault. He saw the ice cream truck across the road and ran out into the middle of traffic to get to it!" Sometimes it is that simple. If the driver is at fault, the pedestrian is usually able to recover compensation from the driver and his or her insurance company for any pedestrian injury caused. Typically the initial settlement offer won't be particularly high, so you might need to make a counter-offer. But, if the pedestrian bears the blame for the accident, he or she won't likely recover compensation for pedestrian injury and the drive could sue for compensation for any damage to the car or injuries to the driver.

When a Pedestrian Is At Fault

Here are a few scenarios under which the pedestrian can be found at fault, even partially:

  • Walking across bridges or highways where pedestrians should not be walking.
  • Jaywalking outside of a cross walk.
  • Entering a highway or street under the influence of alcohol.

Shared Fault

Even when the pedestrian bears a degree of blame for causing an accident, the driver will also be partially at fault for causing pedestrian injury. For example, if the pedestrian is jaywalking and the driver is driving at high speeds or is distracted and unable to stop in time. As for when both driver and pedestrian are at fault, there are different rules in different states for share fault situations. But the rules are based on two basic concept:

  1. Comparative Negligence

Under this rule, the injured person can receive compensation from the at-fault party. However, the injured party's amount of compensation they can receive will be reduced to a percentage equal to their share of fault.

  1. Contributory Negligence

This is a pretty old-school system, but still used today in some states. It's an all-or-nothing deal so if you bear any degree of fault for the accident, you cannot file a liability claim against the other party at-fault. For example, if a car-pedestrian accident takes place and both parties are at fault, both are responsible for their own injuries and any damages resulting from the crash. So they could file a first-party claim via their own insurance company. However, even if pedestrian injury is incurred, one party cannot pursue a lawsuit against the other.

Charleston Pedestrian Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt because a driver failed to stop in time or was distracted, you could be entitled to compensation. If you've had to take time off work to recover, the medical bills can pile up quickly and pain and financial suffering could be unbearable. Protect yourself by seeking help from one of our attorney. Fill out our quick online form or call us today at 1(800)610-2546.

Contact Us

Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.