Who is at Fault in Pedestrian Accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there is an average of 60,000 pedestrian-vehicle accidents every year. A pedestrian can be harmed by a vehicle that is going any speed—even as little as ten miles per hour. Sacramento pedestrian accidents can be devastating for all involved.
While the pedestrian is far more likely to be harmed in a pedestrian-car accident, he or she could also be at fault as well. The driver is not automatically at fault in California. A California pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to examine the facts of your situation and determine whether one person or both are at fault in the accident.
Fault and Negligence in Sacramento Pedestrian Accidents
Fault is usually based on the legal term of negligence. Negligence is often referred to as carelessness or recklessness. When you act negligently, you are not behaving as a reasonable person would in a similar situation.
Both the pedestrian and the driver and can be negligent in Sacramento pedestrian accidents. While pedestrians often have the right of way on the road, that does not give them the freedom to walk out in front of traffic whenever they would like. If a pedestrian is crossing a street illegally, he or she may be considered partially at fault for the accident. However, the blame will still generally rest on the driver’s shoulders as he or she is expected to keep a look out for pedestrians and have a good idea of where they are at all times. While pedestrians can be at fault, it is rare.
If you have a police report after the accident (and you should!) the officer on the scene will often set out who he or she thinks was at fault for the crash. They may issue a ticket for a traffic violation or jaywalking as well.
Comparative Negligence for Sacramento Pedestrian Accidents
When both parties are partially at fault in a pedestrian accident, a percentage of responsibility for each person will be assigned by the insurance company, judge, or jury. This percentage will affect the amount of damages that each party can receive at trial. It will also influence the settlement amount that an insurance company may be willing to give.
For example, if a pedestrian jumps out into traffic between parked cars, but the driver was also speeding and not paying attention at the time of the accident, the court will assign liability between the parties involved in the crash. In that situation, the pedestrian may be 60% at fault and the driver 40% at fault. That means that the pedestrian’s damages awarded at trial or through a settlement would be reduced by 40%–the percentage of error assigned to him.
You will note that the pedestrian can still recover damages even if he is over half at fault for the incident. That is why it is a good idea to talk to a California personal injury attorney even if you may have been partially in the wrong for the accident. You may still be able to recover some of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other related losses. Schedule a consult with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Deldar Legal today to discuss your legal options.
Posted in: Pedestrian Accidents