Is a Pedestrian Ever at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident?

Is a Pedestrian Ever at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident?

While pedestrian accidents often lead to significant injuries for the pedestrian, car accidents involving pedestrians aren’t always due to the driver’s actions. A negligent pedestrian can experience serious injuries in an accident and still be at fault for the accident.

Both drivers and pedestrians need to follow all traffic laws, including when to yield the right of way to the other. In Southern California, the number of pedestrians walking near or crossing busy streets increases the risk of car accidents with pedestrians.

Is Determining Fault the Same in a Pedestrian Accident as in a Car Accident?

For the most part, a car accident and a pedestrian accident would use the same methods to determine fault. Your attorney would gather evidence and have an expert reconstruct the events of the accident to help prove fault in your personal injury case.

Evidence that your pedestrian accident lawyer would use for your claim could include:

  • Security camera footage from nearby businesses
  • Dashcam footage
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Witness statements
  • Injuries and medical records

When Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Case?

Pedestrian negligence leading to a car accident, either by striking the pedestrian or another vehicle, often leads to the pedestrian having the largest share of fault for the accident. A pedestrian’s negligence can include:

  • Crossing against the traffic signal
  • Failing to use a designated crosswalk
  • Jaywalking
  • Walking while distracted
  • Failing to yield the right of way to a driver

If a pedestrian fails to follow the appropriate traffic laws and causes an accident, the at-fault pedestrian will likely have the larger share of contributory negligence.

For example, if a pedestrian steps out into oncoming traffic from a curb that is not a legal crosswalk, and an oncoming vehicle swerves to miss them, colliding with a parked car nearby, the pedestrian would likely be at fault for the driver’s injuries, even if the pedestrian doesn’t suffer any injuries in the accident.

When Is It the Driver’s Fault in Traffic Accidents with Pedestrians?

Drivers may still face the larger share of comparative negligence for injuring a pedestrian in a car accident if a court determines that they contributed more to the pedestrian car accident. Instances when the driver may have a larger share of fault include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding or reckless driving
  • Failing to obey traffic signals
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian
  • Failing to stop at a roundabout (traffic circle) when pedestrians are in the crosswalk
  • Failing to stop for a pedestrian jaywalking when they had enough time to do so

High speeds contribute to a number of fatal pedestrian accidents each year in Southern California. Because the impact is greater in a high-speed pedestrian car accident, the injuries are often worse for the pedestrian.

Can a Pedestrian Recover Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim if At-Fault?

Compensation depends on the share of fault that both the pedestrian and the driver have in a hit-by-car pedestrian accident. In a claim with an insurance company, the pedestrian would only be able to recover economic damages for medical bills, lost wages, ongoing treatment, and travel costs to and from appointments.

In a personal injury lawsuit, either the pedestrian or the driver may be able to recover economic and noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages could include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Disfigurement or scarring

California Is a Pure Comparative Negligence State

In California, if you and another party share liability for injuries, the court would reduce your compensation award by your percentage of negligence. For example, if the court determined that you as the pedestrian were 15% liable for your injuries in a pedestrian car accident, you would receive 85% of the compensation awarded.

This also means the driver could pursue 15% of the compensation for their injuries in a legal claim against you.

How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help You Build Your Case?

Pedestrian accident lawyers can access nearby security footage and hire an accident reconstruction professional to use all available evidence to recreate the events of the accident for your claim. When choosing a law firm to represent you, it’s essential that you know which legal services could improve your case. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can:

  • Locate witnesses
  • Request medical records from before and after the accident
  • Get photos of the scene of the accident
  • Request evidence from the other side during discovery

Contact an Experienced Attorney for Pedestrian Accidents in Southern California

Whether you were the pedestrian or the driver in a pedestrian car accident, you need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to help you build your case. Call us at Khalil Law Group at (714) 613-8386 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an accident lawyer in Orange County, CA.