Accidents involving pedestrians can be some of the most costly, and emotionally taxing. If you operate a motor vehicle, or find yourself regularly walking near roads or highways, then these are three essential things you need to know to stay safe.
Is It Always the Driver’s Fault?
The reason why the driver is held responsible in most cases of pedestrian related accidents is because they are held to the standard of being cautious when a pedestrian is near or could potentially be near. If you’re going thirty miles in a school zone and happen to get into an accident, then it’s your fault because you were not driving in a normal and cautious manner. But if the pedestrian is acting in way in which it would be impossible for a normal, cautious person to avoid hitting them, then they might be at fault. Here are a few examples: If a driver is going the speed limit in a parking lot, and the pedestrian runs out from behind a parked car, then the pedestrian will most likely be at fault. If a pedestrian wearing dark clothing at night is attempting to cross the freeway, and one driver swerves into another to avoid them, the pedestrian may be liable for the damages.
There Can Be Shared Liability
Within the legality of a pedestrian-related accidents, there is such thing as shared liability, which occurs when both the driver and pedestrian are acting irresponsibly. In many cases, the jury will split the liability into percentages. Let’s say, for example, that someone was jaywalking, and ended up getting hit by someone running a stop sign. The jury might say that the driver was 40% responsible, while the pedestrian was 60 % responsible. This is important because in many states, that verdict would mean that the driver is entitled to pay 40% of the injury associated damages.
How to Avoid Them
Although it may not always be your fault as a driver, there are certain precautions you can take to ensure the likeliness that you will never be in the position to hit a pedestrian. Always come to full stop and give pedestrians the complete right of way. When approaching a turn, always be attentive and be prepared to slow down just in case. Never drink and drive, for more reasons than to just avoid pedestrians Involved in a pedestrian related accident? An experienced Washington DUI Lawyer can help you fight for your right to a liability. Call Murphy’s Law Offices today at (253) 312-6122 to get a free consultation.