Pedestrians are the most vulnerable to motor vehicle accidents. The damage from a vehicle striking a pedestrian can be devastating.
However, the driver is not always at fault during pedestrian accidents. You should avoid a car accident with a pedestrian at all costs, but certain factors lower your liability.
When a pedestrian is at fault
If a pedestrian causes the accident, you may have a claim against them even if they suffered an injury. At the very least, you may not have to pay for their medical bills. Pedestrians may be liable if they do not follow a traffic signal, cross the street outside of a crosswalk, test positive for drugs or alcohol, walk in a prohibited area or show a reckless disregard for safety.
How to prove liability
According to the National Safety Council, most pedestrian fatalities occur at non-intersections in dark conditions. If a pedestrian walks out in front of your vehicle, they likely broke a traffic law. This does not mean you avoid liability based on this fact alone. You must demonstrate a reasonable effort to avoid the pedestrian and be able to prove that in your case. If evidence shows you drove above the speed limit or looked at your phone, then the likelihood of proving pedestrian liability lowers considerably. In some instances, the driver and pedestrian share liability and the driver must pay a reduced amount in damages.
In most cases, the driver shares more responsibility after a pedestrian accident. However, pedestrians do not have the right to endanger their safety or the safety of motorists. If you drive responsibly, you have a much better chance of avoiding a lawsuit, even in the worst-case scenario.