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Can a Pedestrian Be Held Liable for a Car Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

When we think about accidents involving cars and pedestrians, we initially assume that the driver of the vehicle is most likely at fault. Although the pedestrian typically has the right of way, the pedestrian can actually be to blame in a pedestrian-car accident.

Pedestrian-car accident cases often hinge on the duty of care owed by those involved. Both motorists and pedestrians need to follow the rules of the road and exercise a reasonable duty of care. The care required for pedestrians needs to be proportionate to the danger to be avoided and reasonably anticipated consequences.

Several common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence include:

  • Ignore the “walk” signal at an intersection
  • Failure to use marked crosswalks
  • Enter traffic and disrupt the flow
  • Dart in front of a vehicle

Keep in mind, when a pedestrian is to blame for causing a crash, the driver of the vehicle is also partially at fault in most pedestrian-car accidents.For instance, a pedestrian may be jaywalking, but the driver may have been driving a few miles over the posted speed limit.

In New York, shared-fault cases follow a “pure comparative negligence”rule. Simply put, this means the amount of compensation a person is entitledto receive will be reduced by an amount that is equal to his or her percentage of fault for the accident.

Let’s say you might share 20% of the blame for the accident, while the other party is 80% at fault. Your damages add up to $20,000. Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, your compensation will be reduced to $16,000-or the $20,000 total minus the $4,000 that represents your share of fault for the accident.

For more information, contact our Greenwich personal injury attorney at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC today.

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