When one thinks of pedestrian accidents, they may automatically assume that a driver is to blame. Most have heard that pedestrians always have the right of way, even though it isn’t true from a legal perspective. In pedestrian accidents, the victim can be partially or completely responsible.
Assessing Fault for Car-Pedestrian Accidents
In many cases, fault is clear cut because of the circumstances of the case. As helpful as it may be, however, witness testimony doesn’t always determine who’s to blame. Insurance adjusters and jurors typically must evaluate a variety of information from the driver, the pedestrian, the law, the police report and witnesses.
If the driver is to blame, the victim can usually recover damages with little resistance from the insurer. However, if a pedestrian is partly or completely responsible, they may not be eligible for compensation. In fact, the driver may be able to hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer and sue for property damage and personal injury.
Even in cases where the pedestrian bears some responsibility for the accident, it’s likely that the driver is partially to blame as well. For instance, a pedestrian may jaywalk, but the driver may be speeding or distracted. Jurisdictions follow different rules in these situations, but the rules are based on contributory or comparative negligence.
- Most areas follow the comparative negligence rule. Here, an injured party may receive compensation, but the award will be reduced according to the victim’s share of fault.
- A few jurisdictions still follow the contributory negligence rule. It’s essentially an “all or nothing” arrangement; if the victim is at all to blame for an accident, they cannot file a liability claim.
If a person has an accident in such an area, and both parties are responsible, both would pay for their own damages and injuries. In such a situation an injured party could file a claim against their own insurer, but they could not hire an attorney and sue the driver.
Pedestrian-related auto accidents are often very serious and the injuries can last a lifetime. Whether one is the driver or the victim, a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer with Edwards & Bullard Law can offer assistance and protect the client’s rights. You can also watch video on YouTube chanel for more information.