When pedestrians are involved in vehicle accidents, they usually suffer the brunt of the damage. However, that doesn’t mean that the driver is always to blame. Both pedestrians and drivers can act negligently—and be held liable for the injuries they cause.
How pedestrians can violate their duty of care
Negligence often plays a role in accident cases. Both drivers and pedestrians have a “duty of care,” which means they have a duty to follow traffic laws and avoid causing harm to others.
For example, pedestrians should cross roadways at crosswalks or intersections. When a pedestrian jaywalks across a busy roadway or against a light, they are putting themselves and drivers at risk: if a driver doesn’t see them or can’t stop in time, it could lead to an accident. The pedestrian is likely to be legally responsible for the collision, in whole or in part.
Drivers and pedestrians can share fault
Even when a pedestrian acts negligently, they may not be entirely responsible for an accident. In that event, they might share fault with the driver. This is called comparative negligence, and it reduces how much compensation a plaintiff can collect from the defendant.
Pedestrians can share fault with drivers in myriad scenarios. For instance, a pedestrian might choose to cross against the traffic signal at night on a dark road, when they are struck by an oncoming vehicle who didn’t see them. Normally, the pedestrian would bear fault for this poor choice. If, however, the driver was driving without headlights, or under the influence, they would also share responsibility—even though they have the right-of-way at the intersection.
Never assume that drivers are always at fault in pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents. Contact a trusted Bradenton, FL accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.