Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault in a Car- Pedestrian Accident?
When a car collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian is almost always worse off in the exchange, since human bodies are not meant to withstand the mass and speeds of motor vehicle impacts. Unfortunately, the issue of pedestrian accidents is still surprisingly high in the modern era, with the most current statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing that a pedestrian is killed every 88 minutes across the country. With such a mismatch between car and person, people often think that a motor vehicle is automatically responsible for a pedestrian accident. In reality, a pedestrian also can be partially or totally at fault.
The determination of fault is a very significant matter, as it affects the injured person’s ability to sue for compensation as well as the amount of compensation they can expect to recover if a lawsuit is applicable. At Pintas & Mullins, our pedestrian accident attorneys work diligently to collect and preserve evidence that can help our clients’ personal injury claims and secure the maximum possible compensation. We have years of experience working with clients who suffered a range of injuries, including the following.
- Lost limbs
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe abrasions (road rash)
If you are injured in a car-pedestrian collision, speak with our skilled lawyers today to begin building a strong case for the compensation you and your family need to rebuild your lives.
How a Pedestrian Can Be at Fault
In many cases, pedestrians have the right of way and the driver of the vehicle involved in a car-pedestrian collision is responsible for the accident. For example, vehicles that run red lights, ignore crosswalks right-of-way, roll through stop signs, or speed can be considered at fault for wrecks that occur due to these actions. However, there are some ways in which a pedestrian can be responsible for a pedestrian accident.
Commonly called “jaywalking,” one way that a pedestrian can be responsible for a collision with a vehicle is by crossing the street outside of a designated crosswalk. In these cases, Texas Transportation Code §552 states that the pedestrian yields the right of way to vehicles on the roadway. Though drivers have the responsibility to adapt to changing situations and drive in a safe and cautious manner, they are not expected to predict that pedestrians will cross the road at non-crosswalk points.
Similarly, a pedestrian can be responsible for a car-pedestrian accident if they are walking in an area that prohibits pedestrians. If you are hit by a car while you are in an area that is designated as off-limits to you, courts may rule that the driver of the vehicle could not have reasonably expected you to be there, making you responsible for the event.
There are a number of other ways in which a pedestrian can cause a car wreck, and many are dependent upon the specific fact patterns of each case. The best way to determine whether or not you, as an injured pedestrian, are wholly or partially at fault for your injuries is to consult with a car-pedestrian accident attorney who has experience in these matters.
Why Fault Is Important
The determination of fault is a crucial part of any personal injury claim. In some states, having even one percent of the blame for an accident is enough to prevent an injured pedestrian from recovering any compensation at all from the driver of the vehicle that struck them. Luckily, that is not the case in Texas. By using a system of proportionate responsibility, the state allows for injured people to recoup their losses from the other party in certain circumstances.
When I Can Sue
First, the system of proportionate responsibility (also called modified comparative negligence) allows an injured person to recover compensation as long as they are no more than 50% responsible for their injuries. In other words, you will be barred from any recovery if you have 51% or more of the blame for a car-pedestrian collision.
How Fault Reduces My Compensation
The second impact of this system is that compensation is reduced in direct proportion to the amount of fault attributed to the injured party. If you are 10% responsible for your pedestrian accident, your total compensation will be reduced by 10% as well. This can be a significant amount, such as a reduction of $10,000 in a case that is worth $100,000.
A knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer will work to reduce their client’s fault as much as possible, safeguarding their ability to sue the other party for compensation and maximizing the eventual monetary recovery they can obtain.
Assistance Is FREE
Many injured people worry about the financial wisdom of seeking consultations with attorneys. However, the truth is that hiring a lawyer puts you in the best possible position to recover a significant compensation package either through negotiations or through a trial. At Pintas & Mullins, our attorneys will consult with you for FREE regarding the details of your claim, and we do not collect a fee unless we win you the compensation you deserve.
Start working toward the best possible outcome in your case today. Call our car-pedestrian accident lawyers at 214-305-8277 to schedule a meeting, or fill out the form on our contact page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.