Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents are often very serious. Most people think that the pedestrian has the right of way, so it’s usually thought that the driver of the vehicle is responsible for the pedestrian’s medical bills. Legally, it’s a little more complicated than that. Determining fault for an accident isn’t always cut and dried. The insurance adjuster will look at every detail of the accident to determine which person was at fault for the accident and who should pay for the damages. If the pedestrian is found to be at fault, the driver might actually be able to sue the person who was walking.
How Could a Pedestrian Cause an Accident?
Drivers are responsible for watching out for hazards. A pedestrian is a hazard on the road, but sometimes pedestrians put themselves in bad positions. Pedestrians who jaywalk or cross outside of a crosswalk and get hit by a car could be partially responsible for the accident. Many times, pedestrians are held partially at fault when they walk along a street or highway while intoxicated. If you walk where pedestrian access is prohibited, the insurance company may find you partially at fault for an accident.
In some places, even if the pedestrian bears some blame in the accident, it’s likely that the driver also was to blame. If both parties share liability, state law determines how medical bills are paid. If your state has a comparative negligence law, the injured person can receive compensation from the other party. The injured person’s damages are reduced by a percentage that is equal to the amount of fault that is their share. For example, you, the pedestrian, was found to be 25% at fault for the accident and were awarded $10,000 in damages. Your settlement would be reduced by 25% or 42,500. You would only receive $7,500. In some jurisdictions, the person recovering damages must be less than 50% at fault for the accident.
In a handful of jurisdictions, they go by contributory negligence. If you are found to be at fault for any of the accident, you cannot collect any damages in court. Only a few states use this rule, Alabama, Maryland and Virginia are three that do.
Personal Injury Cases Are Complex
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may want to contact a lawyer who can help you assess your situation based on the negligence laws in your state. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation. Call an experienced car accident lawyer in Tarzana, CA to get more information.
Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury cases and pedestrian accidents.