Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault for a Car Accident?

Although any traffic accident has the potential to result in serious injuries, crashes involving pedestrians are especially dangerous. Even a slowly moving vehicle can be fatal when it strikes a person.

Although neglectful drivers are often to blame for pedestrian injuries, in some instances, pedestrians may be at fault or share responsibility for an accident. When pedestrians engage in neglectful behavior, they can be liable for traffic accidents and collisions.

Pedestrian Negligence in Washington

Contrary to popular opinion, pedestrians don’t always have the right of way. Just as traffic laws exist to keep motorists safe, Washington enforces several “duty of care” laws that require pedestrians to act reasonably on public roadways.

Some common examples of pedestrian roadway negligence include:

  • Unexpectedly walking into a road or oncoming traffic
  • Walking in areas where pedestrians are prohibited
  • Jaywalking
  • Walking on a highway while intoxicated
  • Crossing outside of a crosswalk
  • Disobeying a traffic sign or traffic light

Whenever pedestrians fail to abide by Washington’s road rules, their actions can have catastrophic consequences. Whenever there’s evidence that pedestrians disobeyed traffic laws, they can be held liable for causing a crash or share partial responsibility with the other parties involved.

Claims Involving Negligent Pedestrians

Washington personal injury cases, including car accidents, apply “comparative negligence” to determine compensation for damages.

“Comparative negligence” is a tort law principle determining how much fault each party shares in an accident. Courts will use this percentage of responsibility when making judgments on compensation. Each party involved will be assigned up to 100% of the fault.

Proving fault in a car crash requires evidence to support your claim. In most cases, an attorney will rely on the following elements to build a strong case in your favor:

  • Police reports
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Videos and photos of the crash
  • Accident reconstruction experts

Whenever a pedestrian’s neglectful actions contribute to your injuries or property damage, you should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney can represent you during negotiations with insurance providers or prepare a lawsuit to file in state court.

Recovering Losses After a Pedestrian Accident

If a pedestrian’s negligence caused your crash, you might be able to receive financial compensation for damages, including:

  • Hospital bills and medical expenses
  • Property damage to your vehicle
  • Lost wages due to injury
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Wrongful death

We at Harlan Law are dedicated to representing personal injury claims throughout Vancouver. We proudly served as a voice for injury victims since 2006.

If you were involved in an accident with a pedestrian, contact us today for a free consultation.