Frischman & Rizza

When Is A Pedestrian At Fault For A Car Accident?

Pedestrian accidents mainly occur due to either driver or pedestrian negligence. However, they may also result from other issues like poor road conditions, harsh climate, and vehicle malfunction. These accidents are usually fatal since pedestrians are often unprotected and vulnerable and cause serious injuries.

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A driver can be at fault for a pedestrian’s car due to distracted driving, ignoring traffic signs, or drunk driving. There are various laws against drunk and distracted driving, and such drivers should compensate pedestrians for their injuries.

Pedestrian Negligence

However, a pedestrian can also be at fault for an accident. Since car-pedestrian accidents mainly happen on busy streets, there are traffic laws that pedestrians must abide by to avoid these accidents. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the driver and pedestrian to act as per the ‘duty of care’ and exercise responsible care to avoid negligence.

Sidewalks, highway shoulders, and designated crosswalks are built to ensure that pedestrians can safely walk along roads and streets. Pedestrians can decide whether to step into roadways and are therefore in control of their safety most of the time.

Establishing Pedestrian Fault in an Accident

One must first prove fault to hold a pedestrian accountable for causing a car accident. The following are scenarios when a pedestrian is at fault for an accident;


Pedestrians are restricted to sidewalks, highway shoulders, and marked crosswalks to minimize and prevent traffic accidents. Crossing a road or walking outside these designated areas is considered jaywalking and is a form of pedestrian negligence. Jaywalking can also include crossing a street with oncoming traffic and ignoring a traffic signal or red lights. This careless act is dangerous and has led to thousands of pedestrian car accidents every year, some resulting in severe injury and death.

Jaywalking also causes traffic congestion and is against traffic laws. However, drivers are also responsible for stopping or taking necessary measures to avoid hitting pedestrians, including those who jaywalk.

Negligence In Parking Lots

While most car-pedestrian accidents occur on busy streets, roads, or highways, there are many reported incidents of such accidents in parking lots. Navigating a poorly designed parking lot can be risky and challenging, and drivers and pedestrians should stay vigilant to avoid accidents. In some cases, a driver’s view may be blocked by parked cars, and thus it is the pedestrian’s responsibility to stay alert and watch out for moving vehicles.

Also, people who avoid using walkways in parking lots are partly to blame for car-pedestrian accidents. Parking lot accidents can be catastrophic and may cause significant injuries.

Distracted And Intoxicated Pedestrians

Like drunk and distracted drivers, pedestrians can also cause accidents when intoxicated. Distracted walking involves texting while walking on a busy street or doing activities that make a pedestrian pay less attention to moving cars around them.

Distracted walking can lead a pedestrian into oncoming traffic or make them ignore crucial traffic signals, and they may get hit by a vehicle. Intoxication from drugs and alcohol also interferes with a pedestrian’s decision-making process and can make them walk into a busy street.

Intentionally Causing A Distraction On Roads

A pedestrian is at fault or responsible for an accident if they intentionally distract a driver, for instance, by throwing items onto an oncoming vehicle or a street. This distraction may steer a driver off the road and onto a sidewalk, causing an accident. As a driver in such a scenario, you should immediately seek legal services from a pedestrian accident attorney.

Shared Fault in Pedestrian Accident Cases

Shared fault refers to instances where drivers and pedestrians share blame in a pedestrian car accident case. Road users are required to exercise reasonable care; failure to do so may result in an accident and injury. Shared fault can be applied when both the driver and pedestrian act irresponsibly, like when a person driving at high speed hits a jaywalking pedestrian.

Suppose you are a driver involved in a pedestrian accident where the pedestrian is also at fault. In that case, you should find a personal injury lawyer to save you from catering to all the medical bills and damages. A comparative or contributory negligence system can be applied in a personal injury lawsuit with shared fault. The method utilized varies depending on the state.

Comparative Negligence System.

Comparative negligence assigns fault to both parties, and the driver and pedestrian share liability. In pure comparative negligence, the two parties share liability depending on their percentage of fault. For instance, if a driver is 60% at fault for the accident, they will pay for 60% of the pedestrian’s claim.

Modified comparative negligence also allocates liability according to the percentage of the fault but to a certain extent. For example, if the at-fault pedestrian is responsible for the accident and their injury by over 50%, they cannot seek a personal injury claim or compensation from the driver.

Contributory Negligence.

In contributory negligence, a plaintiff is not entitled to compensation from the defendant if it is established that they contributed to their injury to any extent. For example, in the case of a pedestrian accident, if the injured pedestrian is 1% at fault for the accident, they are not allowed to seek a pedestrian accident claim. The contributory negligence system, however, applies to a few states in the US.

Why Choose Our Legal Services In Your Personal Injury Case?

At Frischman & Rizza law firm, we have a team of efficient personal injury lawyers who are highly skilled at handling various lawsuits, including your pedestrian accident case. We have helped multiple pedestrians and drivers in Pittsburgh, PA settle for fair compensation and find justice.

We offer free consultations and have a close and professional attorney-client relationship with our clients. We also provide a free case evaluation and have no hourly charges. So if you need a personal injury or pedestrian accident lawyer, contact us today for help with your lawsuit.

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