Can A Pedestrian Be Named Liable For Car Accident Damage?

Posted on: 5 December 2018

If you recently struck a pedestrian with your car, your first concern was probably for their well-being. That's only natural and a sign of your humanity. The pedestrian did not have a car around them for protection, so they're more likely to be seriously injured in the crash than you. You should not, however, confuse your compassion for this person with their potential fault in the accident. The driver is not always at fault when they strike a pedestrian -- at least not in the eyes of the law. If you've suffered injuries and have related medical bills and lost wages due to the accident with the pedestrian, it's worth your while to look into suing them for the damages.

Here's a closer look at some of the circumstances in which the pedestrian might be at fault and how you can go about filing a lawsuit against them.

When Is the Pedestrian At Fault?

The pedestrian can be named liable (or at fault) for the accident if they were not following relevant laws at the time of the crash. Some example of this include:

Failing to Use the Crosswalk

When there are crosswalks at an intersection, pedestrians are obligated to use them when crossing the road. If the pedestrian crossed a few feet outside the crosswalk and you were unable to stop in time to avoid hitting them, they could be at fault. Had they been a few feet farther down the road in the crosswalk, you could have probably stopped in time to avoid the crash!

Crossing Under a "Do Not Walk" Symbol

Pedestrians are expected to obey the "walk" and "do not walk" signals at intersections. If the pedestrian had the red/orange "Do Not Walk" hand and crossed anyways, the ensuing accident may be at least partially their fault.

Stepping Into the Road Due to a Distraction

This is a type of accident that's becoming more and more common, thanks to the prevalence of smartphones. A pedestrian who is distracted -- such as someone who is reading on their phone while walking -- may accidentally step down into the street as they are walking, causing you to hit them. As a driver, you are expected to be vigilant and watch so you can avoid hitting such people, but avoidance is not always possible. At worst, you and the pedestrian could be found to both be half-liable for this accident, in which case the pedestrian may be ordered to pay for half your bills. 

Filing a Lawsuit

If you suspect a pedestrian might be at fault for an accident you were involved in, reach out to an auto accident attorney at a firm such as Labine Law Firm as soon as possible. Cases such as this can be complicated because the public has a tendency to side with the pedestrian, as they're often the one to suffer greater injuries. But if their actions caused the accident, they deserve to be held liable.

Your attorney will help collect evidence related to your case, which will help demonstrate the pedestrian's guilt. This evidence may include footage from traffic cameras and dash cameras. It could also include witness statements, reports from your doctor (and the pedestrian's doctor), and photos of your car after the crash.

Unlike in other types of auto injury cases, in which you can go after the other driver's insurance company, you will be suing the pedestrian themselves during such a case. (Their car insurance does not cover them when they are out walking.) Talk to your lawyer about this intricacy. In the case that the pedestrian has limited funds, you may not be able to recover money to cover your damages anyways, so suing may not be worth it.

Suing a pedestrian following a car accident is difficult, but with a good lawyer on your side, you can proceed with confidence. 


Preventing Accidents Every Day

After struggling significantly with injuries that I sustained in an accident, I started thinking about various ways that I could improve the future. I began talking with different people about how to recover some losses, and they recommended looking for legal counsel. I began working hard to look for a lawyer, and a friend of mine mentioned that the attorney I was interested in was taking new clients. I met with them to work out how to handle the case, and we started working together to remedy things. With the lawyer's help, I was able to completely overhaul my lifestyle, and I have been able to recover those losses. Check out this blog for more information.


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