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When is a Pedestrian At Fault for a Car Accident?

A pedestrian is defined as any person on foot running, walking, jogging, sitting, or lying down on or by a road. The NHTSA reports that pedestrians were among the few groups of road users who experienced an increase in traffic fatalities in 2016. While pedestrian-car accidents can be devastating, they may not always be caused by the driver but by the person on foot.

Drivers have a legal duty to avoid hitting pedestrians, but then buck doesn’t stop with them. This post investigates pedestrian at-fault car accidents. If you have been involved in such an accident, please contact the Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers.

Duty of Care

All road users, including pedestrians and drivers, have to exercise reasonable care while on the road for the safety of other persons and property around them. This means that both parties must act reasonably in whatever action they are engaging in, be it turning left or crossing the road. If one of them is negligent, it may lead to a car accident.

Duty of care in California requires that anyone with the ability to protect someone else from harm does so. However, it does not require that you intervene when someone else puts other people at risk.

If a pedestrian walks onto the road during a green light, you are legally obligated to avoid hitting them but not to step out of your car and make them go back.

How Might a Pedestrian Cause an Accident?

In a car accident case in Boulder, Colorado, a man was hit by a car in a jaywalking incident after walking into oncoming traffic in dark clothing. The investigators determined that the man was liable for the accident because the driver couldn’t have seen him in his dark clothes.

This is just one example of how a pedestrian may be found at fault for a car accident. Other instances where they may contribute to an accident include:

  • Jaywalking
  • Failing to look before they cross the road
  • Intentionally trying to distract a driver
  • Intentionally throwing items onto a road
  • Trying to cross a street while intoxicated
  • Darting into the street
  • Entering a crosswalk when the traffic signs indicate to wait

Comparative Fault

In some cases, both the driver and pedestrian may share liability for the accident, otherwise called comparative fault. When this happens, the person less to blame for the accident may recover compensation for their losses. This means that a driver could pursue damages if the accident were more the pedestrian’s fault.

During a comparative fault case, the jury may assign fault as a percentage. The party with the highest percentage receives compensation in that proportion.

How Can a Huntington Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

In a pedestrian car accident, the outcome of the case will usually depend on both attorneys’ ability to prove fault. An experienced attorney can help receive compensation by proving that the other party — in this case the pedestrian — was engaging in negligent acts.

Our Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can help you with every aspect of your case. We are experienced in handling all types of personal injury cases to get you the best outcome. If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers today at 888-540-0836.