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Could the Pedestrian Be at Fault in Car-Pedestrian Accidents?

Could the Pedestrian Be at Fault in Car-Pedestrian Accidents?

Most people assume that, whenever there is an auto accident involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, the driver of the vehicle is generally at fault. In addition, it is also assumed that “pedestrians always have the right of way.” However, there are circumstances where a pedestrian can be the one at fault in a car-pedestrian accident.

The following are several examples of how a pedestrian can be at fault:

  1. If a pedestrian is jaywalking or crossing the street in a place not designated as a crosswalk. Many drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross at those spots and may experience difficulty stopping their vehicle in time.
  2. Crossing an intersection when the crosswalk signal says not to cross.
  3. Crossing the street while intoxicated. Normal decision-making skills become compromised and normal movements become exceedingly difficult when under the influence.
  4. Walking onto a highway or highly traversed roadway.

All drivers are responsible for driving carefully under the given circumstances, so any cautious individual would take steps to avoid striking a pedestrian if possible. However, if the pedestrian acts in a way that makes it impossible for someone operating a vehicle in a cautious manner to avoid a crash, a judge or jury will typically find that pedestrian at fault for the collision.

Alas, not all accidents—including car-pedestrian collisions—have one completely guilty party and one completely innocent one. In many cases, both parties may have failed to act in a normal and cautious manner under the circumstances.

New York has “no-fault” car insurance and accident compensation, meaning that if you are involved in a car accident in this state, rather than filing a claim with the other driver's insurance company, you file with our own--unless you suffer a severe and/or permanent injury. In that case, then you can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance and, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit. In regard to these additional claims, you may be able to obtain noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering.

If you have been injured in a car accident by a negligent party in Nassau County, NY, request a free consultation with our experienced personal injury attorney at Foley Griffin, LLP today.

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