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If a Car Hits a Pedestrian Who is at Fault?

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Pedestrian accident settlements can be complicated affairs, especially when it is not entirely clear who is at fault for the accident. Was the pedestrian jaywalking? Was the driver or the pedestrian intoxicated? Were any of the parties involved distracted at the time of the accident? Perhaps they were texting or interacting with their phone, or the driver of the car was dealing with one of the many common causes of distracted driving. If you’ve been hit by a car and you’re wondering, “if a car hits a pedestrian, who is at fault in the state of California,” you may wish to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the issue of pedestrian safety is becoming a crisis as both drivers and pedestrians feel an increasing sense of entitlement on the road. In 2018, there were more than 14,000 reported injuries, and between 2014 and 2018, pedestrian deaths increased by 26% in the state of California alone — the highest in the U.S.

There are many potential factors that will ultimately influence pedestrian injury compensation, but as long as some of the fault lies with the driver, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other reasonable costs.

Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way When Jaywalking?

Children crossing the street - if a car hits a pedestrian who is at fault?

If a pedestrian is hit by a car while jaywalking, the pedestrian might not be at fault. However, before determining who is at fault and the potential pedestrian car accident compensation, it’s important to understand the pretext that caused the accident. For instance, drivers can be at fault if they were speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, driving while distracted, or without paying adequate attention to the road. Pedestrians only have the right of way when crossing at marked crosswalks or unmarked crosswalks at an intersection. Of course, drivers are still expected to make a reasonable effort to slow down and avoid hitting pedestrians even if they are jaywalking.

As pedestrian accidents in California become more common, the reasons behind this type of accident are always changing. Some of the most common causes include time of day (pedestrians are harder to see at night or dusk and dawn), age of the driver (young and inexperienced or very old drivers), age of the pedestrian (children are harder to see and may be more inclined to jaywalk), weather conditions (roads may be icy or visibility may be reduced), or pedestrians walking in inappropriate areas.

Pedestrians do have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road to protect themselves by only crossing streets when the crosswalk signal allows, and to not leave the safety of a curb or sidewalk when traffic is approaching. Regardless of whether a pedestrian was jaywalking or following all applicable crosswalk laws, if struck by a vehicle while walking, there are things people can do to protect themselves and their potential legal claim.

If a Car Hits a Pedestrian Who is at Fault, and How Do I Get Pedestrian Injury Compensation?

As cities across California are becoming more walkable, roadways and crosswalks are still high-risk points for pedestrian accidents. It’s important to always be aware of vehicles on the road and remain alert to ensure your safety. This includes not wearing headphones or texting while walking in high traffic areas. Despite your best efforts to keep yourself safe and alert while walking anywhere with traffic, accidents can happen anytime. If I was hit by a car as a pedestrian what do I do?

The first and most important step is always to seek medical assistance, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. Be sure to report any and all injuries you are aware of to paramedics as soon as possible, and then file a police report. Then, start writing down as much of the information that you can on your phone, including the driver’s name and license number, make and model of the vehicle, time of day and location, weather conditions, and the contact information of any witnesses along with a statement of what they saw.

It’s a good idea to not discuss fault at the scene of the accident, and only describe your version of events to medical personnel, your attorney or your insurance company so you can get the appropriate pedestrian car accident compensation.

Who is a Reputable Pedestrian Accident Attorney in California?

Finally, if you have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, it is an excellent idea to contact an attorney, and you won’t find a pedestrian accident law firm more qualified to help you than Avrek Law. With more than 50 years of combined experience, they will help you understand your legal options and ensure that you receive the full compensation that you are entitled to.

Get expert advice from a law firm with more than $1 billion recovered in over 25,000 cases. View one of our locations and contact Avrek Law for a free consultation.

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