She was jay walking!
He was speeding!
When it comes to accidents in which a pedestrian and a car are involved, there's usually a lot of finger pointing going on in trying to place blame on the other party. These accidents are almost always dealing with going after the car insurance of the driver with each side trying to get out of responsibility by shifting blame to the other party. When it comes to car versus pedestrian accidents, the injuries are almost always exclusively and seriously sustained by the individual on foot. Even a very slow moving car can do some major damage and the state of California leads the nation in pedestrian accidents.
Back to the original question posed in this blog: is the driver always at fault when it comes to a pedestrian car accident? No. There are many circumstances in which a driver may not be responsible for an accident and ones in which a pedestrian would actually be found liable for the damage they caused to the car or driver. Determining liability in a pedestrian car accident is much the same as determining liability if there were two cars involved. Here's a look at some scenarios that would have diifferent levels of accountability:
- Joint Responsibility A lot of pedestrian accidents don't happen in a crosswalk meaning that the driver still has a duty to lookout and act accordingly but the pedestrian has a duty to follow the rules of the road too. A lot of jaywalk cases involve the driver breaking the law too (distracted driving, speeding) in which case the analysis may dilute the pedestrians recovery by his or her % of responsibility for the accident.
- Driver Responsibility: a driver can be found completely responsible for the injuries or death that a pedestrian sustains in an accident. Many of these instances involve a driver speeding, being distracted by a cellphone or something else or breaking some other traffic law.
- Pedestrian Responsibility: And finally a pedestrian can also be found completely responsible for an accident and owe money to the driver of the car for all the physical and vehicle damage their behavior causes.
We handle all types of pedestrian accidents, including those that involve a death. If you are dealing with a pedestrian accident, the sooner you get in touch with us the sooner we can begin working on your recovery. At Walch Law, we are passionate about helping people in your very situation and have the success record you want on your side. We look forward to hearing from you.