Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault in an Auto Accident?

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PedestriansCar accidents involving pedestrians often result in serious injury, but contrary to what you might think, the driver is not automatically responsible. Liability for an accident is determined by each party’s conduct, not their mode of transportation.  It does not happen often but it does happen that Pedestrians are held responsible for damages or injuries in a collision.  Certainly, they are unable to recover for their own injuries when they are at fault.

A pedestrian often has the right of way. However, like motorists, pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care while traveling to and from their destination. They must obey the rules of the road and all applicable traffic laws, just as they would if they were driving a motor vehicle. Pedestrians who fail to live up to their duties can be found negligent if their actions cause injury or property damage.  Idaho law has a number of rules applicable to pedestrians.  And, some of the same rules, and other special statues, apply to bicyclists.

Here are some examples of behavior that could result in an Idaho pedestrian being found responsible for an injury accident:

  • Leaving a place of safety to enter the roadway
  • Crossing highways or other busy roads without traffic controls
  • Walking along bridges, highways, or other areas where pedestrians have no legal access (unless it is an emergency situation)
  • Crossing outside of the crosswalk
  • Crossing against traffic control signals
  • Failing to look before crossing the street and running into the path of oncoming vehicles

Pedestrians often have more opportunity than drivers to avoid accident-causing situations. Pedestrian accidents seldom occur outside the roadway and pedestrians are in full control of when and where they enter areas that may present a danger.

Comparative Responsibility and Pedestrian Fault

Sometimes, law enforcement officials will find that both the driver and the pedestrian were partially responsible for the accident. For example, the driver of the car may have run a red light and the pedestrian may have been crossing in an inappropriate location. In cases like this, a percentage of fault is applied to each party.

Idaho is one of the states with a modified comparative fault system with regard to personal injury lawsuits. This means that each party is held liable for damages in accordance with their own percentage of fault. However, plaintiffs can’t recover any damages if they are 50% or more at fault.

Holzer Edwards Can Help

If you or someone you love is injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for medical care and other expenses. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligent actions of others.

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