Although drivers are usually held responsible for many forms of auto accidents, a pedestrian can also be liable for an auto accident. In such a case, the victims of the auto accident can claim damages from the pedestrian just as they would from the driver if the driver was liable for the accident.
Every road user has the responsibility of taking precautions when using the road so that they don't endanger others. In many auto-accidents involving pedestrians, you find that the pedestrian could have done something to avoid the accident. With that in mind, here are some pedestrian actions that can lead to auto accidents.
Pedestrians should cross the road in designated places, pay great care to oncoming traffic, and generally avoid sharing the street with traffic. A pedestrian who doesn't do any of these things is guilty of jaywalking, and they can be held liable if their actions cause an accident. An example is if a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street without warning, causing a car to hit them because the driver didn't have time to react.
Crossing Against Traffic Signals
Traffic signals control all road users, including pedestrians. Therefore, a pedestrian who doesn't obey traffic laws will be liable for the accident their disobedience might cause. An example is a pedestrian crossing when the lights give the drivers the right of way.
Using the road while intoxicated is dangerous whether one is a driver or pedestrian. This is because intoxication impairs judgment and interferes with vision, among other effects. Thus, if a pedestrian misjudges the distance of an oncoming car, and the misjudgment causes an accident, then the pedestrian needs to pay for the accident.
Ignoring Pedestrian Restrictions
There are some sections of the road clearly marked as 'No Pedestrian.' A pedestrian who ignores such clear instructions should pay for the damages their actions might cause via an accident.
Shared Liability is Likely
Although a pedestrian might be liable for an auto accident, liability is not always that automatic and clear. In many cases, you find that both the pedestrian and the driver did some things that contributed to the accident. Maybe the driver was speeding or the driver was distracted, and they couldn't react to the emergency in time. In such a case, the respective contributions of the two parties to the accident will determine whether either of them can collect any damages. State laws, either comparative or contributory negligence laws, will also come into play. If you are the victim of such an accident, consult a lawyer to advise you on the way forward.
For mroe information, contact an auto accident attorney like David Helfand PA.