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Is a driver always at fault when hitting a pedestrian?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Pedestrian Accidents

girl in crosswalk

Pedestrian crashes are among the most severe and dangerous collisions that occur on the modern roads. When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the vehicle may suffer merely cosmetic damage, if there is any sign that the crash occurred at all, while the pedestrian might have life-altering or even deadly injuries.

Frequently, crashes between vehicles and pedestrians occur because drivers don’t pay attention to their surroundings and speed into a crosswalk, but sometimes pedestrians make unsafe choices too. Is the driver of the vehicle always to blame after a pedestrian crash?

There are scenarios in which pedestrians are at fault

There are a handful of different situations in which a pedestrian crash might actually be the fault of the person walking or jogging and not the driver. Frequently, such situations involve chemical impairment or distraction.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that a significant portion of pedestrian collisions involve intoxication on the part of the pedestrian involved. They might step out into the street not realizing that there is oncoming traffic. Distraction causes similar issues, and many people think that it is safe to walk in close proximity to vehicles in crosswalks or parking lots with their eyes and mind completely focused on a phone.

If a driver could show that a pedestrian did something obviously negligent or illegal in the moments right before a crash, then the police report may indicate that the driver was not to blame. However, in most cases, the driver is the one with the responsibility to watch for pedestrian traffic and actively avoid causing a collision.

What protects the pedestrian after a crash?

If a driver is to blame for a pedestrian accident, then their liability insurance will apply. The person hurt in the crash or their surviving family members could file a claim for injury-related losses and any property damage expenses the collision causes.

If the pedestrian has their own motor vehicle insurance and carries extra coverage on their policy, like underinsured motorist coverage, their own policy could help them cover the costs a pedestrian crash could generate. When insurance won’t be sufficient given the extent of the injuries caused in the crash, civil lawsuits may be necessary. Pedestrians hurt in a wreck could file a personal injury lawsuit, while grieving family members of a pedestrian struck in a crash could finally wrongful death lawsuit.

Making sense of car crash liability and compensation options will help those hurt due to a recent wreck.