Although most pedestrians are victims of accidents, they do share responsibilities with drivers. When a pedestrian and a vehicle collide, the pedestrian almost always suffers more injuries. This information will help people understand when and why a pedestrian might become accountable for an accident. Learning these reasons will help both pedestrians and drivers understand how to protect their rights when a collision occurs.
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Pedestrians Share the Same Responsibilities As Drivers
Every driver holds the responsibility of driving safely and yielding to passengers. This driver care of duty does not negate the responsibilities held by pedestrians. Pedestrians are held with the responsibility of only crossing the street at legal locations. Even when they can cross the street legally, pedestrians must also do so with caution. When someone is involved in a car accident with a pedestrian, they should contact Perenich Law right away.
Pedestrians sometimes exhibit negligent behaviors, just like drivers. If a pedestrian commits one of the following, they could be held liable for an accident.
- Pedestrians commit jaywalking when they attempt to cross the street outside of the crosswalk zones.
- Pedestrians, by law, cannot cross the street when the walk signal is not lit.
- A pedestrian should not stand behind vehicles at any time.
- Pedestrians also should not stand in the middle of the street, even if the traffic levels are low.
- A pedestrian must also avoid crossing in front of cars unless they have the right of way with a signal.
What Are Comparative Negligence Laws?
Sometimes, both the driver and pedestrian have committed negligent actions. Some states are comparative negligence states for pedestrian accidents, which means both parties can be held liable in different percentages. In such a legal scenario, the court will compare the negligence of both parties and determine which one is more to blame for causing an accident. In these cases, injured victims can only recover compensation for the negligence they were not responsible for in the accident.
As an example, imagine a person crossing the street illegally and getting hit by a passing car. The driver of the car was speeding at the time of impact. The judge is likely to rule the jaywalker held a smaller percentage of negligence than the driver because the driver is still supposed to yield to pedestrians and should not have been speeding. Because the pedestrian was found partially at fault for the accident, they will not recover the full amount of compensation.
Schedule a Consultation With a Lawyer
Whether a pedestrian or driver, people involved in complicated accident scenarios often need to seek legal help to learn about their rights and the best form of legal recourse. Even if a person feels the process will proceed smoothly, they should still consider at least meeting with a lawyer in a consultation appointment. The lawyer will offer valuable advice that will help the victim make sound decisions in the process of seeking compensation.
Because the statute of limitations limits the time a person has to file a lawsuit, it is wise for victims to schedule a meeting with a lawyer as soon as possible. Once the lawyer takes on the case, they will start the process of investing the accident and working to find fault.
The goal of the lawyer is to protect the rights of their clients and work to get a fair outcome. While hiring a lawyer does not offer any specific outcome, the guidance received is priceless.