When Are Pedestrians Liable in Pedestrian Accidents?

You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident. However, you will need to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. Whether you are pursuing compensation through an insurance settlement against the at-fault driver who struck you or you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, proving liability is a crucial step in the process. You may wonder if a pedestrian can be held liable in a motor vehicle accident. In many cases, drivers are responsible for violating a pedestrian's right-of-way and striking them. However, there are cases in which pedestrians are liable.

Examples of Pedestrian Liability

Drivers should always remain vigilant, but pedestrians also have a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances. They should keep safety at the forefront of their priorities. When pedestrians cross the street at legal intersections and crosswalks, they have the right of way. Drivers who violate their right of way and cause injuries can be held liable. However, pedestrians can be liable if they bolt from the crosswalk into the road. If a driver strikes them when the driver has the right of way, the pedestrian may be at fault for causing the accident and liable for the driver's injuries. Other scenarios in which pedestrians may be at fault and liable include the following:

  • Not following traffic signals
  • The pedestrian was crossing a street in an area other than a designated crosswalk
  • Walking on roadways in areas in which pedestrians are prohibited from walking
  • A pedestrian unlawfully crossing a street while under the influence of alcohol and drugs
  • A pedestrian darting or running out into the street without regard for drivers safety

In these situations, it is possible for the driver to hold the pedestrian liable for causing the accident. The driver must prove that the pedestrian's negligence caused the accident and that the driver could not avoid hitting the pedestrian or getting into a collision. When drivers can prove these elements, they can recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance settlement.

Unmarked Crosswalks and Hidden Signs

In other situations, drivers may not recognize legal crosswalks because yield signs are stop signs that need to be clearly visible. In these situations, pedestrians who become injured may be able to hold the town, city, or municipality responsible for ensuring the signs are visibly liable for an accident that occurs.

How to Prove Liability in a Pedestrian Accident

If you are a driver injured due to a pedestrian accident, you may wonder how you can establish liability. Proving that the driver is innocent and the pedestrian is at fault can be challenging. The first step is to work with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can investigate your case and collect evidence showing the pedestrian was responsible for causing the accident. Photos or video footage can be beneficial in showing that the pedestrian's negligence caused the accident. Many crosswalks have surveillance cameras that can help you prove what happened and who is at fault. If you can safely do so, you should take photos and video footage of the scene that may be useful and show the conditions that led to the accident.

Eyewitness statements are essential when proving a pedestrian's negligence. Witnesses can provide verbal or written testimony that the pedestrian was at fault. Write down the contact information for witnesses. The sooner your attorney can interview witnesses, the better because people's memories can fade. Expert testimony could help you prove the pedestrian’s negligence or recklessness.

Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in an accident involving a pedestrian and a driver, it is crucial that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. Regardless of the facts that led to the accident, an attorney can help you understand your rights. An attorney can also help you understand how liability factors will contribute to the possible outcome of your case. Suppose you believe you have a case against a negligent driver as a pedestrian. In that case, your return can give you the resources you need to make informed decisions about your legal strategy to recover compensation.

The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are ready to stand with you and fight for your right to obtain the total and fair compensation you deserve. Contact the North Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation and learn more about your rights.

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