Determining Liability When a Pedestrian is Injured in a Crash
While everyone who is sharing the road needs to cautious, pedestrians need to be particularly careful because they have no seat belts, airbags or other safety measures to protect them in a crash. Pedestrians should not assume drivers see them and should stay hyperaware of traffic around them.
If pedestrians are not careful, they could not only get seriously injured, but also be found partially at fault for the crash. Below, learn more about liability in pedestrian crashes and why it may not always be so simple to determine who is at fault.
Responsibilities of Drivers and Pedestrians
As a pedestrian, state law requires you to take certain steps when you do things like cross the street. These measures are meant to reduce the risk of a dangerous crash.
For example, just like drivers, you are subject to the traffic-control signals at all intersections. If there is no signal at your intersection, drivers are required to yield to you when you cross the street in a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.
When a pedestrian is crossing, the driver is required to remain stopped until the pedestrian has crossed the lane where the vehicle is stopped. No cars behind the lead car can pull out and attempt to overtake the lead car while a pedestrian is crossing.
It is illegal for you as a pedestrian to suddenly step off the curb or another area of safety and walk or run into a vehicle’s path when it is impossible for the driver to yield.
If you cross the road outside of an intersection, you must yield the right-of-way to all approaching vehicles. However, it is illegal to cross between adjacent intersections that both have working traffic-control signals.
If you are walking along a roadway, or in a wheelchair along a roadway, you must, when it is practical, move on the left side of the roadway or shoulder giving way to oncoming traffic. However, it is illegal to walk along the road when a sidewalk is accessible.
Fault When a Crash Occurs
Pedestrian crashes are often caused by negligent drivers. For example, they may run a red light and hit a pedestrian crossing the street. Drivers could also hit pedestrians while making a right turn on a red light and failing to yield. This scenario occurs often because drivers look left for oncoming traffic as they turn right. The drivers fail to also look to the right before they proceed.
However, there are times when pedestrians could be to blame. Jaywalking, which refers to crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, could result in the pedestrian being found partially at fault. When crosswalks are available, pedestrians need to use them, as they are designed to get the attention of motorists to help prevent crashes.
Pedestrians should also avoid running out into the street, particularly from between two parked cars. It can be very difficult for drivers to see pedestrians and they may not have enough time to slow down or swerve to avoid a collision.
Even if you are not hit by a car, if the driver is forced to take evasive action to avoid a crash and he or she hits other vehicles or a fixed object, you could potentially be found partially liable for the driver’s damages.
Can At-Fault Pedestrians Seek Compensation?
It is very important to note you can still seek compensation if you are partially at fault for a crash. At the scene, be careful not to admit fault. If the insurance company calls you, avoid admitting fault. The Minnesota rule is if you are less than %50 at fault you can be compensated for the injuries you receive.
Even though you may be somewhat to blame for the crash, it is better to let the investigation play out. If you say it was your fault from the start, it may be more difficult to refute this later.
The attorneys at TSR Injury Law are prepared to review your situation in a free consultation to determine if you may have been at fault and if you may still be eligible to seek compensation. Even if you have some fault, we are committed to building a strong case to try to prevent the insurance company from assigning you more fault than you deserve.
Injured in a Pedestrian Crash? Call TSR Injury Law for a Free Consultation
Your injuries could affect you for a long time – potentially the rest of your life. That is why talking to an experienced attorney is so important during this difficult time. He or she may be able to secure compensation for your medical treatment and other damages.
Our Bloomington auto accident lawyers offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation. That means there is no risk to you in reaching out to find out how we may be able to help. Our firm has recovered $300 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
We are not paid unless you get paid. Call (612) TSR-TIME today.