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Do pedestrians ever hold liability in car accidents?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2018 | Auto Accident Injuries |

Car accidents involving pedestrians have a far greater likelihood of ending in a fatality due to the pedestrian lacking any significant protection. Take the recent case of a California woman in her 70s who died in a Long Beach hospital following a collision.

In the event that a pedestrian sustains a few injuries or none at all, that person will most likely want to file a lawsuit against the driver. In a majority of circumstances, the driver holds most of the liability. When a driver gets behind the wheel, he or she assumes a certain level of duty of care. This means the driver will not go over the speed limit and will remain extra vigilant when a cyclist is nearby. However, there are circumstances where a pedestrian will hold some liability for his or her own injuries.

When the pedestrian acts in a dangerous manner

Although a driver should normally take every step possible to avoid an accident involving a pedestrian, there have been cases where a pedestrian acted in a manner that prevented even the safest driver to react accordingly. For example, if a car goes the speed limit and a pedestrian unexpectedly runs out from behind a parked car directly in front of the vehicle in motion, then the pedestrian will hold liability. In this instance, the driver acted safely and followed all traffic laws, but the pedestrian’s actions led to the collision.

When both parties hold liability

When it comes to liability, it is not always 100% one person’s fault. For instance, a judge may determine both parties hold liability because a pedestrian jaywalked in the street, but the driver traveled 10 miles over the speed limit. In this scenario, both parties could have taken actions to prevent a collision. Additionally, if a pedestrian’s actions cause a driver to behave dangerously, such as jumping out in front of traffic, which causes the driver to swerve into another vehicle, then the pedestrian will hold liability in that collision.

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