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How Is Liability Determined In a Pedestrian Accident?

November 26, 2014 Scura Law Firm Personal Injury

Slip-and-fall-accidentEvery day, many residents of New Jersey head outdoors to take a simple walk. Whether it is in a residential area or in a city, walking could save time and money while also providing a form of exercise. Although there are many benefits to walking instead of driving, there is also the risk that a pedestrian could be struck by a motor vehicle traveling nearby.

When a pedestrian accident occurs, there is a high chance that the person struck will be seriously injured. This is why it is important to establish cause, so fault can be assigned. However, this leads some to question how liability is determined in an auto-pedestrian crash.

When Negligent Drivers are At Fault

With regards to negligent drivers, it is often due to the driver's lack of reasonable care. For example, the driver may have been distracted and inattentive. In other matters, the driver might have been speeding, disobeyed a traffic signal, failed to yield to the pedestrian or was intoxicated. Moreover, drivers are expected to take extra precaution when traveling in areas where children are present. If a driver does not uphold their duty of care, they could be liable for the accident.

When a Pedestrian Holds Partial Responsibility

In some scenarios, a pedestrian could be partially responsible for the accident. This occurs when they don't use a crosswalk to cross the street, cross the street during the "don't walk" signal or are walking into the flow of traffic. Pedestrians are expected to remain alert regarding traffic conditions, but this does not always guard them for being involved from an accident. However, in many states, a pedestrian may still be able to seek compensation even if they were partially at fault.

Once investigation is complete and liability was assigned, those injured in the crash could pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent party for the serious injuries they suffered and losses and damaged endured.

Determining fault in any type of accident can be difficult and complex. In these matters, it is important that those involved do their research to ascertain whether they have a legal claim. If you have been the victim in a pedestrian accident, contact our Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

Source: FindLaw, "Pedestrian Accidents Overview

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