Who Is At Fault In A Driver Vs Pedestrian Accident?

When a road accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle occurs, everyone’s initial assumption is that the vehicle driver is at fault. There is a famous phrase, “Pedestrians always have the right of way.” However, that is not the case. There are many cases where an accident can occur because of the pedestrian’s negligence. 

If you have got into an accident with a pedestrian, you must be worrying about the charges. However, you can prove your innocence with the help of injury attorneys Huntington Beach if you were not at fault.

Determining Fault 

There are situations where the vehicle driver is clearly at fault in an accident—for example, not stopping at a red light, failing to stop at crosswalks, and driving on the footpath. In such cases, the driver is negligent and responsible for injuring the pedestrian. 

However, there are also situations where drivers are not at fault. In general, pedestrians have a more clear view of the road than a driver inside a vehicle. Therefore, they have a higher chance of avoiding a collision. Most car accidents take place on the road. Typically, pedestrians decide when and whether they should leave the sidewalk. 

If a pedestrian crosses the road at the wrong time or walks in a way that makes it impossible for someone driving safely to avoid an accident, the pedestrian is at fault. Every person, driver or pedestrian, is required to obey the traffic laws or rules of the road when using the streets and highways. If pedestrians do not follow the rules needed to avoid accidents, they will be considered negligent regardless of who got hurt. 

Here are a few examples where the pedestrian may be considered at fault, wholly or partially. 

  1. Walking on the streets and roadways while intoxicated.
  2. Walking on routes where pedestrian access is not allowed.
  3. Jaywalking
  4. Not following the traffic signals, for example, crossing the road when there is a red light. 

Shared Fault

In some cases, the fault is shared by both the driver and the pedestrian. This is because many pedestrian-vehicle collisions can be avoided if the driver operates the vehicle safely. For example, a pedestrian may be crossing the road at a red signal. However, an accident can be avoided if the driver is driving safely and paying attention to the road. 

Comparative Negligence

California is a pure comparative negligence state. In this system, if both parties share fault, the liability is split between them. Suppose the pedestrian is 30% at fault and the vehicle driver is 70%, and the pedestrian’s total damages amount to $10,000. In this case, the pedestrian will collect 70% of $10,000, that is, $7000 from the driver. 

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