In the event of a pedestrian accident, many people wonder: is the driver always at fault? In most cases, yes, the driver is at fault. However, there are specific situations in which the pedestrian could be at fault. Keep reading to learn more about these situations, and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you require a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Situations in Which the Pedestrian is at Fault
When a pedestrian is walking on a street that does not have sidewalks, they are required by law to walk facing the traffic. If they are walking at night, they are wise to wear light clothing to increase their visibility. If a pedestrian crosses the street outside of a crosswalk and darts out in front of a car, then the pedestrian can be found wholly or partially at fault for not legally crossing the street.
However, if the driver was speeding, was drinking while driving, was texting while driving, or was otherwise breaking the law, then they can be found wholly or partially at fault.
It Can Be Partially the Fault of the Driver and Partially the Fault of the Pedestrian
In some cases, the pedestrian might not have been following the law and, therefore, might have had some fault in the accident, and the driver might have had some fault as well. In this case, comparative negligence comes into play. This allows for California insurance companies to apportion the blame based on how negligent each party was.
For example, if both parties are found to be 50% at fault, then they could each be able to recover compensation for 50% of their damages. If one party was 40% at fault, then they could recover 60% of their damages.
Proving Fault in a Pedestrian accident
In most cases, if a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle, there will be a police report. This police report will indicate where the accident occurred, who was involved, and other factors. The police might also site an at-fault party if they broke the law, and the report could indicate whom the officer believed was at fault. However, note that this is just a preliminary decision.
It is up to the personal injury attorney to prove fault for their client. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we can do this with a combination of eyewitness testimony, evidence at the scene, and the expert opinion of an accident reconstruction specialist. To get started and find out what your legal options are, contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.