Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault in a Car Accident?


Whenever you hear about a crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, the general assumption is that the driver was at fault.

The facts might be different, though, because some pedestrian actions are also responsible for car wrecks. If you are a driver, you might remember one time when you stopped short of hitting someone crossing the road while chatting or someone who darted out in front of the car without warning. If you can prove that the pedestrian was liable for the accident, you can sue them for the injuries you have sustained or the damage to the car.

Do Pedestrians Have a Duty of Care?

Joggers and walkers are prone to accidents and sustain serious injuries after being knocked by a vehicle. However, this doesn’t exclude them from playing their part in preventing accidents.

Pedestrians have to act responsibly when using highways and roads. They have been allocated sidewalks to use so that they aren’t exposed to dangers on the road. They have a duty of care to determine where and when to leave the sidewalk and use the highway.

Of course, motorists are also to blame for hitting pedestrians. This is why accidents involving pedestrians are complicated and require proper investigation to determine who is at fault.

Scenarios in Which the Pedestrian is at Fault

Here are a few scenarios where the pedestrian bears full or partial fault for an accident:

  • A pedestrian entering the highway when intoxicated
  • Crossing outside the designated crosswalk, in the middle of a busy street
  • Disregarding traffic signals
  • Crossing the road without looking left or right
  • Entering the road while chatting or being distracted in another way.

These and many other circumstances can lead to crashes that involve vehicles.

Who Is At Fault in Accidents Involving Vehicles and Pedestrians?

To determine who is at fault for an accident, it is necessary to gather evidence and present it to the insurer or the judge. Failure to do this means you won’t be able to obtain compensation for your injuries, loss of wages, and cost of medical bills.

You can prove fault in a pedestrian-vehicle accident when you provide the following pieces of evidence:

  • Statements from witnesses that saw the accident happen. These can be written or recorded
  • Pictures and videos from nearby surveillance cameras, dash cams, or mobile phones
  • Defendant’s cell phone records that prove that he was using the phone at the time of the accident

Having relevant evidence places you one step ahead of the defendant, giving you a basis for demanding compensation.

Steps to Take When You Are Involved in a Pedestrian-vehicle Accident

Any accident is stressful. It becomes more challenging when a pedestrian is involved because the injuries can be fatal. Knowing what to do after an accident helps calm your nerves.

Assess the scene to find out if anyone has been injured. Call 911 even when you realize that no one has been injured. If you can’t find your phone, tell a bystander to dial 911 and report the accident.

Through it all, remain truthful and state facts but avoid taking the blame. Exchange information with the police and the other motorist.

Finally, consult skilled car wreck lawyers to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Choose a lawyer that has handled such accidents before and has the experience to make your case successful. You can talk to your friends and colleagues to refer you to competent lawyers that they have worked with before, or do some research to find the best lawyer to handle your case.