Can A Pedestrian Be At-Fault for an Accident?

December 15, 2020 | Blog,Pedestrian Accidents,Personal Injury

Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable when they are in or around the roadways. Unfortunately, there are times when pedestrian versus vehicle crashes occur and cause severe injuries. Pedestrians are much more vulnerable to sustaining significant injuries in the event an accident occurs. Unfortunately, the information provided by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute (IUPPI) shows us that pedestrian crashes are not uncommon throughout the state of Indiana. Here, we want to discuss whether or not pedestrians can be at-fault for an accident and how this may affect the outcome of an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit.

How Often do Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Indiana?

According to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, there were 1,650 total pedestrian collisions reported during the latest year across the state. The data also shows us that 6.5% of all people involved in pedestrian collisions were killed as a result of the impact. Pedestrians do not have much protection against the force of a vehicle slamming into their bodies. For those that do survive these incidents, it is not uncommon for them to sustain severe injuries, including the following:

  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Amputations or crush injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Open head wounds
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Other severe back and neck injury
  • Lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Internal organ damage or internal bleeding

How Would a Pedestrian Be at Fault?

There are plenty of scenarios in which a vehicle driver is at-fault in the aftermath of a pedestrian crash. There is a reason why pedestrians are granted the right of way in many situations, particularly in areas around traffic signals and where there are designated crosswalks. However, pedestrians also generally have a better chance of avoiding collisions. Pedestrian versus vehicle crashes do not regularly occur away from the roadway, and pedestrians are generally the ones who determine when they leave a sidewalk or roadway shoulder to enter the roadway.

All pedestrians are expected to exercise a reasonable level of care given their circumstances around the roadway. If a pedestrian fails to do so, and that failure leads to a traffic collision, they could be considered to be at-fault. Some of the most common scenarios under which a pedestrian may be found completely or partially at-fault following a collision include the following:

  • Jaywalking (crossing outside of a crosswalk or in the middle of the street)
  • Crossing the road against the traffic signal (i.e. in a crosswalk but crossing when there is a “Do Not Walk” sign lit up)
  • Entering a highway or street while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
  • Walking along bridges, highways, or causeways where pedestrians are not allowed

What is Shared Fault in a Pedestrian Crash?

It could be the case that and driver and a pedestrian share fault for a collision. Indiana operates under a modified comparative negligence system, which means that a person can recover compensation after a collision even if they are partially at-fault. If a pedestrian is less than 51% at-fault for a collision, they may still be able to secure compensation from another party involved. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. Contact a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer to learn more.