It may be easy to assume that the driver is at fault in an accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian. However, a negligent pedestrian who steps into the road can make it difficult for a driver to avoid an accident. As a result, the driver may hit the pedestrian, veer off the road, or hit an oncoming driver in another car.
If a pedestrian caused a car accident, several things might happen. First, the pedestrian may be responsible for damages incurred by the driver, and the driver will need to get a pedestrian accident lawyer to pursue these damages. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage to the vehicle. Even if the pedestrian is injured, they may still be liable for damages to the driver.
Examples of Pedestrian Liability
If a pedestrian is at fault for an accident, the driver may be able to file a claim against the pedestrian for any injuries they suffered with the help of a pedestrian accident attorney.
Some scenarios under which a pedestrian may be at fault in an accident include:
- Crossing the street in an area other than the designated crosswalk
- Not following a traffic signal
- Crossing the street while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Walking on roadways where pedestrians are prohibited
- Darting or running out in the street without regard for drivers
In these scenarios, the pedestrian may be at fault for the accident. To recover compensation for an accident, the driver may have to prove that the pedestrian caused the accident and that they could not avoid hitting the pedestrian or getting into a wreck.
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Proving Liability in an Accident Caused by a Pedestrian
Following a pedestrian accident, proving that the driver was innocent may be difficult. To establish liability, a pedestrian accident attorney may need to collect evidence of how the pedestrian was responsible for the accident. Evidence in a pedestrian accident case may include:
Photos or Video Footage
Crosswalk areas often contain surveillance cameras in cities. Cameras can help you see the accident more clearly to establish what happened and who was at fault. Furthermore, any photos or videos taken at the accident scene may be used as evidence.
Eyewitnesses can be valuable to a driver’s case. Witnesses at the scene may provide written or verbal testimony that the pedestrian was at fault, and the driver could not have avoided hitting them or getting in an accident. If possible, the driver should try to get contact information from any witnesses.
Proving pedestrian negligence or careless actions can be challenging after an accident. Sometimes, pedestrian accident attorneys defending victims in these cases hire accident reconstruction experts to testify in their client’s defense.
Comparative Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident
The driver may share some responsibility for the accident. For example, a pedestrian may have been jaywalking. However, the driver may have been speeding or looking at their phone and failed to see the pedestrian. In cases where both parties are to blame, the pedestrian and the driver may enter into a comparative negligence case.
Civil Code § 2323 states that a plaintiff’s compensation may be reduced in proportion to the amount of responsibility they have for the accident in Louisiana. Accordingly, if a plaintiff is deemed 25% at fault for an accident and owed $100,000 in damages, those damages may be reduced by 25% to $75,000.
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Recoverable Damages in a Pedestrian-Caused Accident
Like any other personal injury case in Louisiana, victims are entitled to file a claim for economic and non-economic damages. A victim may be eligible to claim the following losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost pay, benefits, bonuses, or tips
- Physical suffering
- Emotional or mental distress
- Property damage
How much a claim is worth depends on several factors, such as how the accident occurred, who was involved, the extent of the losses, and comparative negligence. The best way to learn an appropriate settlement value for your case is to work with a personal injury law firm. Attorneys who regularly navigate traffic accident claims will know how to tabulate the value of your case, including possible future expenses and intangible losses.
You do not want to settle with an insurance company or law firm representing an at-fault pedestrian until you speak with a lawyer about your case. You could miss out on thousands of dollars in damages if you opt to accept a payout without legal advice about the value of your case.
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When Is a Pedestrian at Fault for a Car Accident?
Just as drivers have a duty to keep other people who use the roads safe, pedestrians also have a duty of care toward drivers. If a pedestrian fails to live up to that duty of care and their negligence causes an accident, the pedestrian is at fault. Even if the pedestrian is more seriously injured than the driver, they may still be responsible for the damages.
However, it is important to remember that this is not the most common outcome in these cases. Because of how traffic laws are structured, drivers typically have a higher duty of care to pedestrians than those on foot do to motorists. This makes it challenging to show a pedestrian is the primarily liable party in these accidents.
In most cases, the pedestrian struck by the car files a claim based on the driver’s auto liability policy or sues the at-fault motorist. While there may be comparative negligence, the role attributed to the pedestrian is generally fairly minor.
When Is It Considered the Driver’s Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
When a driver fails to follow the rules of the road, their negligence can cause an accident. This can be caused by distracted driving, drunk driving, or even road rage. It can also occur because of a careless mistake on the part of the driver, such as mindlessly running a red light or failing to see a pedestrian in the crosswalk while turning left.
Pedestrians have a right to use the roads safely as long as they are following the laws, and they also have the right to expect drivers to obey the laws. When they don’t, the driver is at fault.
Drivers also have a responsibility to take certain precautions when they see a pedestrian, even if that pedestrian is breaking the law. For example, a driver must still try to stop when someone crosses the street in front of them between crosswalks or crosses against the traffic light.
Get Help from Our Lawyers for Pedestrian Accidents
If you were injured when a pedestrian caused an accident, you may need to hire pedestrian accident attorneys to represent you throughout the claims and settlement process. When a car accident lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accidents represents you, they can:
- Handle all communications, deadlines, and paperwork on your behalf
- Conduct your case in accordance with Louisiana law
- Investigate your case to prove negligence and liability
- Identify the liable party
- Gather evidence of their liability and the extent of your injuries
- Negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company for a settlement
- Take your case to trial, if necessary
When a pedestrian causes an accident, any other party injured by the pedestrian’s negligence has the legal right to seek compensation. However, if a pedestrian caused your accident, your rights will depend on your state’s laws. An attorney can tell you more about the laws where you live and how they apply to your claim.
Many pedestrian accident lawyers offer complimentary case reviews. They can assess your case to determine your rights and what steps you need to take. Then, they will explain how they can help. They may offer to represent you based on contingency fees. This means your family will not need to pay anything upfront to get started with your claim.
Contact Our Office to Discuss Your Case with a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers has three offices to serve clients hurt in pedestrian accidents in Louisiana. We will review your case for free today. You can call (337) 777-7777 to learn more.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form