Who is Responsible for Pedestrian Accidents That Occur at Night?

Pedestrian accidents can be some of the most devastating types of personal injury accidents. Pedestrians have zero protection other than barriers on the sidewalk or roadway. Pedestrian accidents can be even more deadly at night because driver visibility is lower. Dangerous pedestrian accidents can occur at night, even on low-speed roads and well-lit pedestrian crosswalks. 

Drivers and pedestrians act in ways that are more unsafe at night as they rush home from work or after a night out drinking. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident at night, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, you must prove that another person or company is liable for your injuries. In other words, you will need to show that someone else was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries.

Investigating a Pedestrian Accident to Prove Fault

Proving responsibility in a pedestrian accident requires a thorough investigation. After the accident, law enforcement officers typically write an accident report after coming to the accident scene and taking witness statements. The officer will state their conclusions about who was at fault for the accident, but the accident report does not determine fault. Under North Carolina's contributory negligence rule, an accident victim who was found to be even 1% at fault for the accident cannot obtain a financial recovery. If you pursue damages for your injuries, you will need to show that the other party was totally at fault for the accident. 

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, We have the resources to thoroughly investigate your case and gather evidence proving liability. We will collect all CCTV footage, video footage, photos, witness statements, and any other evidence proving that the other party's negligence resulted in the accident that caused your injuries. It is always easier to gather evidence sooner rather than later in accident cases, so we recommend starting the process as soon as possible.

Examples of Pedestrian Fault in Nighttime Accidents

People may assume drivers are usually at fault in nighttime pedestrian accidents, but this is not always the case. Pedestrians can also act negligently or recklessly, causing accidents. This is not an exhaustive list, but the examples below are just a few examples of how pedestrians can be responsible for nighttime accidents involving motor vehicles:

  • Crossing the street when the "do not walk light" is illuminated
  • Crossing the street outside of designated walkways, also called jaywalking
  • Failing to wear reflective clothing
  • Walking on the right side of a highway
  • Stumbling and stepping off of the sidewalk into the roadway
What Drivers Can Do to Prevent Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents

Many nighttime pedestrian accidents are entirely preventable. Drivers and pedestrians can work together to prevent these types of accidents by using reasonable care at night time. Drivers should avoid drinking and driving. Even a single drink of alcohol can slow down your reaction time. 

Additionally, If a driver stops in front of you, adequately survey the road ahead before passing them. There could be a pedestrian in front of the driver. Slow down in pedestrian areas and be vigilant in looking for pedestrians. Do not rush when elderly individuals or people with disabilities cross the street at a crosswalk. They may not be able to cross quickly enough, but you can avoid causing them injuries by being patient. If you are driving and need to pull over while driving, make sure you turn on your emergency lights and pull over as far off the road as possible. 

What Pedestrians Can Do to Prevent Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians can also take steps to avoid nighttime accidents. If you are walking or jogging at night, wearing reflective clothing or carrying a flashlight can prevent vehicles from colliding with you. If you are walking your dog after the sun has set, you may want to purchase a reflective collar for your dog, as well. When crossing crosswalks, make eye contact with the stopped vehicles so they can see you. Finally, ensure that you are following all traffic laws when crossing roads. 

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident That Happened at Night? We Can Help

If you or your loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident at night, you need a skilled attorney on your side. Arnold & Smith, PLLC, is here to help. We have the resources and skills necessary to investigate your accident and gather evidence to prove liability. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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