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Can Pedestrians Be At Fault In Accidents?


Avrek Law Firm’s expert Phoenix pedestrian accident attorneys explain how pedestrians can be at fault in accidents and how comparative negligence applies to pedestrian accidents in Phoenix, AZ.

Key Takeaways

– Pedestrians can be at fault in accidents.

– Jaywalking, disobeying signals, and intoxication can make pedestrians liable.

– Darting into traffic or disregarding crosswalks are common pedestrian errors.

– Comparative negligence may apply, reducing compensation based on fault.

– Both pedestrians and drivers can share fault in accidents.

Pedestrian accidents occur frequently, with varying degrees of severity. Common assumptions place the blame solely on drivers, but pedestrians can also contribute to or cause these accidents. Jaywalking, crossing against traffic signals, and distracted walking (e.g., using a smartphone) are examples of behaviors that might lead to a pedestrian being found at fault. Recognizing these situations helps in understanding liability and legal outcomes.

Avrek Law Firm has experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident attorneys specializing in these cases. With more than five decades of combined experience, we ensure that victims receive the legal support they need to pursue rightful compensation. Whether dealing with pedestrian injury accidents or complex liability issues, our team is equipped to handle every aspect of your case. Our qualified pedestrian accident attorneys at Avrek Law Firm represent victims and consistently obtain the highest amount of compensation for their damages.

The question of whether pedestrians can be at fault in accidents is complex and debated. While pedestrians are commonly seen as vulnerable road users deserving of protection, instances exist where their actions may contribute to collisions. Avrek Law Firm helps our clients recognize these situations and understand the liability and legal outcomes of pedestrian accidents.

How Drivers Cause Pedestrian Accidents

While pedestrians can sometimes be at fault in accidents, it’s important to recognize how drivers contribute to these incidents. Understanding driver-related causes helps paint a comprehensive picture of pedestrian accidents.

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. When drivers are focused on their phones, GPS devices, or other distractions, their attention to the road diminishes significantly. This lack of attention can result in drivers failing to notice pedestrians crossing streets, leading to serious accidents.


Speeding is another significant factor. Drivers who exceed speed limits have less time to react to pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of an accident. High-speed impacts also result in more severe injuries for pedestrians. Phoenix, with its busy streets, sees numerous accidents due to drivers not adhering to speed limits.

Failure to Yield

Many pedestrian accidents occur when drivers fail to yield the right of way. This is particularly common at crosswalks and intersections. Drivers may be in a rush or simply unaware of pedestrians, leading to dangerous encounters.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times and poor judgment, which can lead to accidents involving pedestrians.

At Avrek Law Firm, our Phoenix pedestrian accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of these unfortunate incidents. We help victims hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions and pursue the compensation they deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. 

Where Are Pedestrian Accidents Likely To Occur?

Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere, but certain locations are particularly prone to these incidents. Understanding these high-risk areas can help both pedestrians and drivers exercise extra caution.

Urban Areas

Urban areas, like downtown Phoenix, see a high frequency of pedestrian accidents. These areas are hubs of activity, with people constantly crossing streets and navigating through traffic. Heavy congestion and numerous distractions increase the risk of accidents.


Intersections are common sites for pedestrian accidents. Many incidents occur when drivers fail to yield the right of way, or pedestrians cross against traffic signals. Intersections are particularly dangerous due to the convergence of multiple traffic directions and the complexity of pedestrian crossings.


Although crosswalks are designed to enhance pedestrian safety, they are often hotspots for accidents. Drivers might not always stop or might misjudge the pedestrian’s speed, leading to collisions. Even marked crosswalks can be hazardous if drivers are not attentive.

School Zones

School zones, with their high concentration of young pedestrians, are another critical area. Drivers must be vigilant and adhere to lower speed limits and crossing guards’ instructions to prevent accidents.

Parking Lots

Parking lots are surprisingly common locations for pedestrian accidents. With vehicles constantly moving in and out of spaces and pedestrians walking between cars, the risk of accidents is significant.

Areas With Inadequate Pedestrian Infrastructure

These include poorly marked crosswalks, lack of sidewalks, or insufficient lighting, which increases the risk of accidents.

Residential Neighborhoods

While these areas may have lower vehicle speeds compared to urban areas, they can still pose risks to pedestrians, especially children and older adults. Residential streets with limited traffic control measures and where drivers may be less vigilant can increase the chances of accidents involving pedestrians.

An expert pedestrian accident attorney at Avrek Law Firm is well-versed in handling cases from these high-risk areas and can assist you. 

Rights and Responsibilities Of Pedestrians In Arizona

Understanding the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians in Arizona is crucial for preventing accidents and determining fault in the event of one. As a pedestrian, you have specific rights, but you also carry significant responsibilities to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Arizona Revised Statutes outline the regulations that pedestrians must follow to guarantee their safety and that of others sharing the road.

Pedestrian Rights

Pedestrians in Arizona have the right of way at crosswalks and intersections, whether marked or unmarked. This means that drivers are legally required to yield to pedestrians crossing the street within these zones. Pedestrians also have the right to walk on sidewalks and use designated pedestrian pathways without interference from vehicles.

Pedestrian Responsibilities

Pedestrian Responsibilities - Jaywalking

However, with these rights come important responsibilities. Pedestrians must adhere to traffic signals and use crosswalks whenever available. Crossing streets outside of these designated areas, known as jaywalking, can be dangerous and lead to legal consequences if an accident occurs. Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and signs, including ‘Walk’ and ‘Don’t Walk’ signals, to ensure safe crossings. Pedestrians in Arizona must use the sidewalk when available. 

If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic. This practice enhances visibility and allows pedestrians to react to potential dangers promptly. 

Pedestrians are expected to avoid distractions, such as using smartphones while crossing streets, and to remain vigilant of their surroundings. They should not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close the driver can’t yield. Being aware of their surroundings and making eye contact with drivers can help pedestrians anticipate the actions of vehicles and avoid accidents.

Failure to comply with these responsibilities can result in pedestrians being found partially or wholly at fault in an accident. In Arizona, the concept of comparative negligence applies, meaning that if a pedestrian is found to be partially responsible for the accident, their compensation can be reduced proportionally.

When Are Pedestrians Liable For Accidents?

In cases where pedestrian actions contribute to accidents on roadways, determining liability for these incidents becomes a critical factor in legal proceedings. Pedestrians can be held liable for accidents if their actions or behavior directly cause or greatly contribute to the occurrence of the accident. Understanding these scenarios is essential to processing pedestrian accident claims in Phoenix.

Jaywalking and Disregarding Traffic Signals

One common situation where pedestrians can be found liable is jaywalking, which involves crossing the street outside of designated crosswalks or against traffic signals. In such cases, pedestrians are putting themselves at risk and creating dangerous conditions for drivers. Arizona law mandates that pedestrians yield the right of way to vehicles when crossing outside of crosswalks, making jaywalking a significant factor in determining liability.

Distracted Walking

Another instance of pedestrian liability is distracted walking. Pedestrians engrossed in their smartphones or other devices may fail to notice oncoming traffic, leading to accidents. In these cases, the pedestrian’s inattentiveness can be deemed a contributing factor to the incident, thus attributing partial or full liability to the pedestrian.


Pedestrians under the influence of alcohol or drugs may exhibit impaired judgment and coordination, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Intoxicated pedestrians who stumble onto the road or fail to follow traffic laws can be held liable for the resulting accidents.

To minimize the risk of accidents and prevent potential legal repercussions, pedestrians must adhere to traffic laws, use designated crosswalks, obey traffic signals, and stay vigilant while walking near or across roadways. By understanding when pedestrians can be held liable for accidents, individuals can take proactive measures to promote safety for themselves and others sharing the road. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, our team of pedestrian injury accident attorneys ensures you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. For a reliable pedestrian accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ, look no further than Avrek Law Firm.

Comparative Negligence In Pedestrian Accidents

The principle of comparative negligence is crucial in determining fault and compensation in pedestrian accidents. Arizona follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, which can significantly impact the outcome of these cases.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence allows for the apportionment of fault between parties involved in an accident. This means that both the driver and the pedestrian can share responsibility, and any compensation awarded will be adjusted based on their respective degrees of fault. For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 30% at fault for an accident, their compensation will be reduced by 30%.

Application in Pedestrian Accidents

In pedestrian accidents, comparative negligence examines the actions of both the driver and the pedestrian. If a pedestrian was jaywalking or distracted at the time of the accident, they might bear some responsibility. Conversely, if the driver were speeding or distracted, they would also share fault. The allocation of fault is critical as it directly affects the damages recoverable by the injured party.

Avrek Law Firm’s pedestrian accident attorneys in Phoenix are experts in handling these complex cases. We work diligently to ensure that our clients receive fair compensation, regardless of the nuances of shared fault. Our team at Avrek Law Firm will advocate for your rights and secure the justice you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can pedestrians be held responsible for accidents if they are jaywalking?

If pedestrians jaywalk and contribute to an accident, they can be held responsible. Adhering to traffic laws is essential for all road users’ safety.

Are there any age restrictions on pedestrian liability in accidents?

Age restrictions on pedestrian liability in accidents vary by jurisdiction. Minors may have limited liability. It’s important to consult experienced pedestrian injury accident attorneys for accurate information. Understanding local laws and regulations is essential in determining liability.

What if a pedestrian was distracted by their phone during the accident?

When a pedestrian is distracted by their phone during an accident, liability may be impacted. Contributory negligence laws may apply, considering the pedestrian’s actions and level of distraction in determining fault and responsibility.

Can pedestrians be at fault if they were under the influence of alcohol?

When pedestrians are under the influence of alcohol, their impaired judgment and coordination may lead to accidents. In such situations, legal responsibility can be attributed to the pedestrian if their intoxication directly contributed to the incident.

Are pedestrians always considered at fault in accidents involving children?

In accidents involving children, fault attribution is not automatically assigned to pedestrians. Factors such as negligence, traffic laws, and duty of care are considered. Each case is assessed based on individual circumstances to determine liability.

The Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Attorney You Need When In An Accident – Avrek Law Firm

Pedestrians can be at fault in accidents if they engage in risky behaviors such as jaywalking or crossing against traffic signals. Pedestrians need to follow traffic laws and exercise caution when walking near roadways. In cases of pedestrian accidents, the legal principle of comparative negligence is used to determine the degree of fault for both the pedestrian and the driver involved.

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial. Avrek Law Firm specializes in pedestrian accident cases and is here to provide expert legal advice. Our experienced team of pedestrian accident attorneys in Phoenix is dedicated to helping handle your case no matter how complex it seems. We ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. We are experts in getting our clients fair compensation. 

An example is a case of ours in which our client was struck by a vehicle, and the insurance company did not pay the $100,000 policy limits. Our pedestrian accident attorneys got our client a much higher settlement of $700,000. Contact Avrek Law Firm to speak with skilled pedestrian injury accident attorneys in Phoenix and learn more about how we can assist you with your pedestrian injury accident case. Call us at (602) 600-6085 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation. Let our team of experienced pedestrian accident attorneys fight for your rights and secure the justice you deserve. 

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