In an accident involving a car and a pedestrian, assigning fault can sometimes be difficult. Some people automatically assume that the driver of the car is responsible, but this is not always the case. If you were the pedestrian in the accident, it is important that you understand how fault is determined and how it can impact your case.
Is the Driver Liable?
In some situations, it is very clear whether or not the driver was at fault. For instance, if a driver goes around a school bus that is stopped and flashing the "Stop" warning light and hits a child, most state laws would agree that the driver is at fault for the accident. The same would apply if a driver's attention was taken from the road momentarily and he or she drove onto a sidewalk and hit a pedestrian.
However, not all situations are cut and dry.
When Is the Pedestrian Responsible?
Even though the pedestrian is on foot, there are some situations in which he or she could be responsible for his or her own injuries. For instance, if a pedestrian walked off the sidewalk without looking and walked in front of a car, the pedestrian could be at fault because he or she did not conduct a safety check and did not allow enough time for the driver to stop.
Other situations in which the pedestrian might be at fault is in instances of jaywalking, walking into the street while intoxicated, and walking where there are signs that strictly prohibit foot traffic. Even if a pedestrian is considered to be atfault, there is a possibility that he or she can share some of the blame with the driver of the car though.
When Are Both Parties Responsible?
Even if the pedestrian is engaged in dangerous or prohibited behavior that led to him or her being hit, there is a chance that the driver could be held partially responsible. For instance, if a pedestrian is walking in an area that is prohibited by signs and is hit by a driver that is speeding, there is a possibility that a judge would rule that both parties are responsible for the accident. Depending on the state's laws, the judgment could be split according to the percentage of blame assigned to both parties.
If you were the pedestrian in an accident, it is important to seek legal counseling as soon as possible. An attorney can help you make the case for why you deserve to receive compensation for the injuries you received and also help point out who was responsible.
For professional assistance, contact an auto accident lawyer.