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Who is Liable If a Pedestrian is Injured?

Many people will tell you that walking on a busy road will eventually lead to someone getting hit and they are right. Others will tell you that a pedestrian always has the right of way and this is not true. Pedestrians must obey the same traffic laws, and possibly more, than that of a motorist to avoid accidents. They do have the right of way in the crosswalk area, on sidewalks, and public roadways. However, they must also pay attention to the traffic lights and safety signals that are given specifically to help pedestrians stay safe.

The Liability Possibilities

There are two people who could be found at fault during a pedestrian/vehicle accident. These people are the pedestrian themselves and the person driving the vehicle that struck the pedestrian. Each person may have their own actions for causing the accident, and are possibly liable for the damages and injuries sustained.

Motorists: The motorist is normally the person who is at fault when a pedestrian is hit. However, they are not always at fault. Failure in yielding to a pedestrian in the crosswalk or one that can be visibly seen could result in criminal charges. Speeding or failure in the vehicle equipment could also be reasons why the motorist is at fault. Intoxication or other distractions, such as eating, applying makeup, changing the radio station or music player, and using the cell phone.

Pedestrians: The pedestrians are going to experience the most injuries during an impact because they are not protected by the shell of a car, or even a helmet. However, they can also be at fault in an accident if they were cutting across the road, jaywalking, not paying attention to the markings for the crosswalk, or traveling on the designated sidewalk. An intoxicated pedestrian can also be to blame for an accident.

Unless obvious, finding fault in a pedestrian accident can be difficult. Most people believe that if a person is hit while walking, jogging, running, or traveling along the roadways that it is the motorists fault. While that may be true in a majority of these accidents, there are some accidents that pedestrians could avoid if they obey the street signs and use common sense.

Filing a claim or trying to identify fault can be difficult for someone who has never dealt with court proceedings or legal matters. Therefore, to streamline your claim and help to determine who was at fault, contact a lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accidents. They will be able to handle all of the paperwork and help work through the entire process with you.