Is the Driver Always at Fault in a Pedestrian v Car Accident?
All drivers are held to the standard of what a normal and prudent person would do in any circumstance. Drivers are responsible for driving carefully, especially when a pedestrian is present. This responsibility is known as a duty of reasonable care in the realm of personal injury law. The law holds that a normally vigilant person is extra cautious and maintains full control of their car when they know a pedestrian is present or might be nearby.
A normal, prudent driver would take steps to avoid hitting a pedestrian in any situation if possible. Usually the driver is held liable in a pedestrian-auto accident due to the expected responsibility of due care. However, if the pedestrian behaves in such a way that makes it impossible for the driver to avoid colliding with them, the pedestrian will be found to be at fault.
For example, if a driver is going the speed limit in a commercial zone and a pedestrian jumps out from behind a parked car or other obstruction when the driver is only a few feet away, the driver will not be held responsible. Due to the pedestrian’s unpredictable presence and erratic behavior, the driver cannot be held responsible for the accident.
If a pedestrian behaves in a manner that forces someone driving in a normal, cautious way to take evasive maneuvers to avoid injury to the pedestrian, the pedestrian will be held liable to any damages incurred by said evasive maneuvers.
As a driver, it is prudent to remain cautious and aware when driving, especially around pedestrians. So long as all possible steps are taken to avoid injury to the pedestrian, the driver will not be found at fault. If a driver happens to sustain injuries when trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian, the driver can make personal injury claims against the reckless pedestrian. A personal injury lawyer should be contacted immediately to provide claims guidance and help secure the fairest compensation for the injured party.