Who Is at Fault When a Car Hits a Pedestrian?

April 27, 2022
Who Is at Fault When a Car Hits a Pedestrian?

No one wants to think about it, but pedestrian accidents involving automobile collisions do occur often. It's a terrible event to experience as both the initial trauma, as well as the succeeding issues are not pleasant. 

However, if you are dealing with the situation now, whether as a driver or as a pedestrian, it's important to understand your options, if you are liable, and how legal advice may be able to help you in your case. 

Issues with a Pedestrian-Driver Automobile Accident

When pedestrian-driver automobile accidents occur, it's often possible that the pedestrian will suffer more bodily damage compared to the driver and/or their occupants. This is because cars offer various safety measures to mitigate injuries, such as seatbelts and airbags. Yet, that does not mean the driver is the at-fault party. It's a bit more complex to properly create distinctions on who is properly at fault with pedestrian-driver accidents. 

Many rules of the roads outline strict driving policies for those operating automobiles, with certain special regulations in place for special class vehicles like trucks and larger transport vehicles. Nevertheless, road rules apply to pedestrians as well, with many state laws including provisions that both driver and pedestrian must exercise a duty of care with how they traverse the roads. 

For this reason, proving who is at fault will likely depend on the details of your case, as well as your state's specific negligence laws. For example, Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that the negligence of both the driver and the pedestrian will be considered to determine fault.

When Is the Driver at Fault?

It is often a popular belief that the driver is likely to be at fault in most pedestrian-driver automobile accidents. Indeed, since the pedestrian is more likely to be injured as a result of the accident, some people may instantly believe the driver is the at-fault party.

However, you must investigate the cause of the accident and collect sufficient evidence to help build a case of negligence against the driver. Issues such as distracted driving, speeding, and driving without proper licenses can all help build a case of negligent behavior against the driver. 

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to properly investigate your case alone. As such, some people opt to look for legal advice to help them manage their case against who they believe the offending party is. 

When Is the Pedestrian at Fault?

Furthermore, there are also times to consider the possibility of pedestrians being at partial or full fault for the accident. It may seem counterintuitive to think the pedestrian is ever at fault when it comes to pedestrian-driver automobile accidents, but these events do occur. 

In many situations, vehicles must yield the right of way to pedestrians. Most instances involve marked crosswalks and intersections. However, at times pedestrians do not have the right of way, such as when the pedestrian signal is red.

As a pedestrian, you can mitigate the possibility of a car-pedestrian accident by:

  • Utilizing sidewalks when available or walking on the shoulder of the road if sidewalks are unavailable.
  • Maintaining alertness.
  • Crossing at marked crosswalks.
  • Wearing bright clothing or reflective materials.

As we mentioned previously, the establishment of negligence is a difficult task to undertake alone. You might need access to further traffic camera footage, eyewitness testimonies, police reports, and more to properly establish your case against the offending party. A car accident lawyer can aid in compiling the necessary evidence needed for your case.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

Working with a car accident lawyer can help you alleviate some of the stress that comes with managing cases like this that tend to be long and drawn out. 

We at the Dolman Law Group are committed to working closely with each of our clients in developing cases properly in line with each area's legislation. We work with you to receive fair compensation for the accident.

The Dolman Law Group has a combined 100 years of experience in handling accident claims involving automobiles. Contact us today for a free initial consultation!