It is traditionally assumed that whenever there is an accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle, that the driver of the vehicle is somehow at fault. There is another assumption that whenever a pedestrian is crossing the street, that they have “the right of way,” but this is not true in every circumstance. There are circumstances where a pedestrian can be the one at fault in a car-pedestrian collision, but these circumstances are very limited.
Cases involving car-pedestrian collisions can become very muddled as they are very fact intensive. For this reason, an attorney specializing in personal injury law should always be consulted when you are involved in a collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle.
A pedestrian can become liable for an accident in the same manner that a driver can become liable. The following are a few ways in which a pedestrian can be at fault for a collision:
- If a pedestrian is jaywalking or crossing the street in a place not designated as a crosswalk. When pedestrians cross the street at non-crosswalk areas, it becomes very dangerous as many drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross at those spots and may have trouble stopping their vehicle in time.
- Crossing a crosswalk when the crosswalk signal says to not cross.
- Crossing the street while intoxicated. Public intoxication can be very dangerous when trying to cross the street. Normal movements become exceedingly difficult and decision-making skills become compromised when under the influence.
- A pedestrian walks onto a highway or highly traversed roadway.
A reasonable, cautious driver will take active steps to avoid hitting a pedestrian whenever they can. But when a pedestrian acts in a way that makes avoidance of an accident almost impossible, part of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the pedestrian.
North Carolina is a comparative negligence state, the least favorable standard for victim recovery. By the doctrine of comparative negligence, if you are found to be even minimally responsible for your injuries by any negligence of your own, you will not be able to recovery even one dollar in damages from another individual. This is why it is so important to obey the law and cross the street in a cautious, safe and legal manner.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian-car collision, you may be entitled to compensation, but you are going to need the assistance of a competent auto accident lawyer. Contact Campbell & Associates today for a free consultation with one of our expert North Carolina auto accident lawyers.