Pedestrian Accidents: Is the Driver Always at Fault?

Posted on: 16 March 2020

Pedestrians have the right-of-way. Therefore, in most cases where a pedestrian is injured in a car accident, the driver is considered to be at fault for the accident. However, if pedestrians still have a duty of care, then you may be considered partially or fully at fault for an accident if you are hit by a car.

Duty of Care

In most states, you are considered to have duty of care if you are the one who has the power and ability to prevent an accident. If you are crossing the street, the motorist has more power to control whether or not he or she collides with you since the motorist can step on the brakes. Also, the motorist is responsible for paying attention to the road at all times.

Reckless Behavior

However, there are some cases where reckless behavior by a pedestrian can make it impossible for the motorist to avoid the accident. You might position yourself in a location where it might be impossible for a motorist to see you. For instance, you might walk from behind a building onto the road and into traffic, not giving the driver enough time to respond.

Common Pedestrian Crimes

Jaywalking is a common way that pedestrians cause accidents. Typically, a pedestrian must cross the street in a designated crossing zone when they are given the signal to cross. When there is no designated crossing zone, you may be allowed to cross the street as long as you don't impede traffic. However, if it's a road with a lot of traffic, you might be hidden behind another car and other motorists might not see you. Also, trying to run across the street with traffic moving at a high speed can lead to an incident where you are partially at fault.

Nighttime Visibility

At nighttime, you should be concerned with your visibility. If you wear dark clothing, especially when it's foggy out, other motorists may not see you. Instead, wear bright or reflective clothing to protect you. Try to walk in well-illuminated areas as well.

Pedestrian Accidents and Personal Injury Law Services

Because there might be a dispute over whether you're responsible for the accident as a pedestrian, it's essential that you speak with a personal injury lawyer. With the help of a lawyer, you can tell your side of the story and demonstrate that you did exercise duty of care and were not at fault for the accident.

Contact a law firm like Snyder & Wenner, P.C. for more details. 


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No one wants to consider that they may be in an accident that requires a personal injury claim, but it can happen to anyone. Our blog is here to break down the most common questions and concerns about personal injury cases so that you're prepared if the time ever comes. If you are dealing with medical expenses and lost income, you likely won't have time to research personal injury law in detail. Here we will explain some of the intricacies of accident and personal injury law in common language. We hope that our posts will help you get the best outcome possible for your personal injury claim!


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