When is a Pedestrian at Fault for a Car Accident?
Car accidents are dreadful. It can lead to fatalities, serious injuries or heavy damages. Accidents can be more stressful when it involves pedestrians.
It is a common misconception that it is always the driver’s mistake when an accident involves a pedestrian. This may not be true. Although in such types of accidents the pedestrian is most susceptible to injuries, the driver may not always be at fault.
When on the road, the driver and the pedestrian both are required to be alert and follow the “duty of care.” Pedestrian may not always have the right of way. If they neglect this, they may be at fault. In some situations, both driver and pedestrian may be considered for a “shared fault.” How much each party owes depends on the rules stated by the state’s personal injury law.
How to check who is at fault?
In some cases, it is clear when the driver is at fault. For instance, the driver fails to stop at the stoplight or neglects to yield to a pedestrian on a crosswalk. However, pedestrians have more control over avoiding a car accident. Most car accidents happen on the road. Pedestrians can decide when to leave a sidewalk or when to step out of a shoulder line.
Let’s analyze what is each party’s responsibility from a legal standpoint. The law of negligence plays an important role in determining which party is at fault.
According to the personal injury law, everyone is required to be responsible and do their due diligence. The law expects each person to obey the traffic laws and abide by its rules, whether they are on the sidewalk, highways or parking lots. In any situation, the negligent one is at fault.
For example, if the driver makes a right turn at a red light while a pedestrian is crossing the road, the driver is at fault. They are responsible for the injuries caused to the pedestrian. On the other hand, if the pedestrian is jaywalking, and the driver hits the pedestrian, the pedestrian is at fault. Similarly, when a pedestrian suddenly decides to step on the road and the driver hits another car while trying to save the pedestrian, the pedestrian is responsible for the damage.
When are both parties at fault?
There are times when both the pedestrian and the driver are at “shared fault.” Consider the above example of jaywalking. We established that the pedestrian is at fault while jaywalking. However, if the driver is over speeding at the time, both are considered to be at fault. State laws on personal injury differ in determining the role of each party in “shared fault.” An expert pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles will be the best person to assess each party’s fault.
How does the law assess fault?
There are two main negligence systems — contributory and comparative. Comparative is further categorized into pure and modified. Let’s understand each of them.
The states of Maryland, Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina follow the contributory negligence system for a car accident involving a pedestrian. The contributory negligence is a bit harsh on the plaintiff. If there is even slight negligence by the plaintiff, the defendant is free from owing any damages to the plaintiff.
If there is minor fault of the plaintiff, they may owe some damages to the defendant in the comparative negligence system. This system may help the defendant get rid of some burden. In pure comparative negligence, the percentage of fault is evaluated, and the damages are divided proportionately. For instance, if the driver’s fault is assessed to be at 60 percent and the pedestrian’s fault is at 40 percent, the driver owes 60 percent of the damages. Let’s say the total loss of the pedestrian amounts to $5,000. The driver pays $3,000.
The modified comparative negligence is similar to pure comparative negligence but with a contingency. Both parties owe according to their percentages of fault to a limited level. Once the limit is reached or crossed, the defendant no longer owes anything to the plaintiff. In most cases, the limit is set at 50 percent. Let’s take the same example as the above. When the plaintiff’s fault is 40 percent, the above calculation stands true. However, if the plaintiff’s fault is 60 percent, the defendant owes $0.
What are the limitations?
There is some time limit for filing a lawsuit after an accident. This is known as the statute of limitations and differs based on state laws. When a pedestrian is hurt, they have limited time to file a lawsuit against the driver based on personal injury law. When the vehicle is damaged, the driver has a limited time to file a lawsuit against the pedestrian based on property damage law.
How to seek help from a pedestrian accident attorney in Los Angeles?
If you have been in a car-pedestrian accident and do not know where to seek help, you need to find a trusted attorney. When looking for a pedestrian accident lawyer Los Angeles, look no further than Point Law Group, LLP. It is tough to have the other party accept their fault. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney will help you throughout the process and ensure that you recover all the damages you deserve. Act before it’s too late and register for a case evaluation today!
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