When we think of car accidents that involve pedestrians and fault, we typically believe that the motorist is at fault since the pedestrian always has the right of way. However, there are certain situations that pedestrians can be liable for accidents, either partially or entirely.
What Happens If You Accidentally Strike a Jay Walking Pedestrian?
Accidents in which a pedestrian may be wholly at fault include jaywalking, crossing against a traffic light, walking along a highway, or walking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a pedestrian accident like this occurs, the driver could maintain that it was the pedestrian’s fault because he or she ran out in front of the car before the driver could react properly. There is little a motorist could do when a pedestrian runs out in front of traffic.
In the event that a pedestrian is entirely at fault, he or she likely will not receive compensation for their injuries. On the other hand, the driver may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if he or she was injured in the process of avoiding the pedestrian or if the insurance provider can’t cover the full cost of the damages.
How Comparative Negligence Can Be a Factor
Even in these situations, a driver may be partly at fault for the accident. For example, a driver can be partially at fault for a jaywalking collision if he or she was speeding a few miles above the posted speed limit or if he or she was texting while driving.
In California, comparative negligence is used to determine the proportion of fault in personal injury cases. Under this law, the victim can collect damages from another at-fault party, but the settlement will be reduced by his or her share of the blame for the accident.