Who Is at Fault in a Car-Pedestrian Accident?

car accident

Who do you think is at fault?

Most people assume that the driver is at fault because the pedestrian has the right of way.

However, it isn’t always correct because there are situations where the pedestrian can be the person who is at fault.


Read on to learn how.

How to Determine Fault in a Pedestrian-Car Accident

An example of an accident where the pedestrian was at fault is when the pedestrian suddenly dashes across the street. An auto accident occurs because the driver didn’t have the time or thought to avoid it.

A person who has seen the accident is the best person to determine who’s at fault.

But they won’t always be the decider.

It’s the juror or insurance adjuster who decides based on available information. It’s usually the driver’s and pedestrian’s stories, any applicable laws like speed limits, and perhaps an expert testimony.

The pedestrian usually recovers compensation from the driver or the driver’s insurance company if the driver is clearly at fault. They are first offered a low settlement amount for the injuries and harm sustained.
They will have to make a counteroffer.

However, if the pedestrian is to blame, then they may not receive any compensation for injuries. On the contrary, the driver can sue the pedestrian for compensation for damage and injuries caused.

Some everyday situations where the pedestrian will be at fault for the accident:

  • Entering the road when intoxicated
  • Jaywalking or crossing the road outside a crosswalk
  • Walking on places where pedestrians aren’t allowed like along highways, bridges, or causeways
  • Crossing against the traffic signal

Shared Fault Situations

There are situations where both the driver and pedestrian may be partially at fault for the accident.

An example is where the pedestrian is at-fault for jaywalking. Besides, the driver may also be driving too fast or was distracted, and couldn’t stop in time.

Supposing this happens, different states have different applicable rules. Generally, all laws follow two basics legal concepts, which are comparative negligence and contributor negligence.

  • Comparative Negligence


Most states follow a form of comparative negligence rule when the injured person shares the fault for contributing or causing an accident.

The pure comparative negligence rule states that the injured person receives compensation from any other at-fault party. However, whatever compensation received will be reduced by a percentage equaling their share of the fault.

For example, imagine an intoxicated driver and a pedestrian who texts while crossing a ‘Walk’ signal.

The driver hits and injures the pedestrian, and the pedestrian files a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

However, the jury ascertains that while the driver was 75% responsible for the accident, the pedestrian was also 25% responsible. It’s because the pedestrian could have avoided the accident if they were alert and not texting.

So if the pedestrian’s total damage was $16,000, they receive just $12,000 in states following a pure comparative negligence rule. It’s the total amount minus 25% of the pedestrian’s share of the fault.

There’s also a modified variation called ‘modified comparative negligence.’

According to the law, the injured person can collect compensation from anyone else at fault person as long as they bear 50% or less of the blame.

  • Contributory negligence

This is an old all or nothing rule still followed in some states like Alabama, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

According to the rule, you can’t collect damage in court from any at-fault party if you are even partly responsible for the accident.

Don’t worry if you are confused about these rules.
Your Glendale personal injury attorney will assist if you or your loved one were involved in a car-pedestrian accident.

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