Pedestrian Accidents: Is the Driver Always At Fault?

Jul 1, 2015 | WC & Other Laws

Imagine you tell a friend about an accident of a car hitting a pedestrian. Without a word you say, “The accident was terrible and it was all because of the driver! How reckless!”

This is the common scenario. When we think about an accident between a car and a pedestrian, our initial reaction is to point the driver of the vehicle as the one who caused the misfortune. As a witness, we often assess a situation based only on what we see and judge people accordingly. Instead of putting the claim of justice on our hands, let us rely more on authorities or an insurance adjuster who usually have valid information to come up with a legal claim.

Even though pedestrians are known to have the right of way, there are cases where they can be liable for a car accident. They are not always right or faultless from a legal standpoint, especially when you start digging in the stories of both the pedestrian and the driver, and the official police report.

If the driver is proven by the law to be at fault for the accident, the pedestrian usually recovers compensation from the driver. Sometimes, the driver’s insurance carrier also grants compensation to the pedestrian for the harm caused without putting up much of a fight.

Unknown to many of us, the pedestrian can actually be to blame, wholly or partially in a car-pedestrian accident. In fact, he might even be accountable for the incurred damages of the driver.

What happens if the pedestrian carry all the blame?

If such situation occurs, it is possible for the pedestrian to not be able to recover compensation for injuries. Worse, the driver may even have the rights to sue the pedestrian and ask compensation for any harm or injuries.

When is a pedestrian liable for the accident?

It is relatively normal for a person to avoid hitting a pedestrian in any way and situation possible. However, no matter how careful you are, if the pedestrian acts recklessly, it will still be impossible to avoid a collision.

Below are a few common situations which can lead a pedestrian to be found at fault for a vehicle accident:

  • Crossing the crosswalk but against a red signal of the traffic lights.
  • Jaywalking, or crossing in the middle of the street outside of a pedestrian crosswalk.
  • Walking on a street or crossing a highway in an intoxicated state.
  • Crossing the street, walking along main roads, bridges, or walkways where pedestrian access is not allowed.

Related: Roadside Accident Had Worker Suffering for 5 years and Counting

In reality, it is unusual for a pedestrian to carry the burden wholly or alone. The driver still bear some amount of blame for causing a vehicle accident. So the safety net is still to drive with care and your full attention on the road.

Kaplan Morrell is a one-stop law firm that serves as resource specially designed to deliver workers compensation and social security benefits. Our Denver workers’ compensation attorneys work hard to lend service to injured workers and families. Starting with a free consultation, rest assured our Denver disability lawyer and Denver workers’ compensation lawyer will exhaust all their expertise to get you what you deserve. Call us for a FREE CONSULTATION today at 303-780-7329.