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Pedestrian Accidents: Can the Pedestrian be Held Liable?
One of our biggest fears as drivers is hitting a pedestrian, especially a child who may run out of the street, and one of a pedestrian’s greatest concerns is getting hit by a motorist. There is no doubt that some pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence; for example, when a driver is texting while driving or drunk driving and hits someone walking in a crosswalk.
What if the pedestrian is at fault? While this seem more rare, there are definitely occurrences where pedestrians will jaywalk, or run across the street illegally, making it impossible for motorists to stop in time.
When a driver hits a pedestrian, the first question is: Who is at fault? It comes down to who was negligent. A driver can be entirely responsible for the accident, the pedestrian can be responsible for the accident, or they can both be at fault. Each state handles fault differently.
Connecticut is a “fault” insurance state, this means Connecticut follows a fault-based insurance system when it comes to who is on the financial hook for a car accident. In fault states such as Connecticut, drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians involved in a car accident may:
- File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- File a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver
- File a claim with their own insurance company
Most normal, cautious drivers will take steps to avoid hitting pedestrians in any situation. But, when a pedestrian runs out in the street in a way that it is impossible for a cautious driver to avoid a collision, a judge or jury may decide that the pedestrian is at fault and caused the accident.
If a pedestrian jumps out and forces a driver to perform evasive maneuvers who misses the pedestrian, the pedestrian can be held liable for any damages those maneuvers cause, including property damage, and injuries to any drivers or passengers involved.
It is not unheard of for a pedestrian accident to have not one, but two guilty parties. For example, a jury may find that the pedestrian who was jaywalking was 60% responsible, and the speeding driver who hit the pedestrian (who the pedestrian sued) 40% responsible.
In such an example, the speeding driver would be required to pay the pedestrian (plaintiff) 40% of the pedestrian’s losses arising from the accident.
Were you injured in a pedestrian accident? Contact McCoy & McCoy to discuss the details of your case in a free, no-obligation consultation.