Car accidents can range in severity and some of the most severe are those that involve pedestrians. Pedestrians have no protection from the elements around them, even if they are walking in a crosswalk with the green light. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, even one traveling at 25 MPH, he or she can suffer tragic injuries and even death. But, there begs one question: is the driver of the vehicle always at-fault in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident? For most of these accidents, yes, the fault is placed on the driver. But, there are some accidents in which the pedestrian will take the blame and we will explore that in today’s post.
Duty of Care from the Driver
Every single driver in New Jersey is responsible for driving with care under the circumstances presented to them. This is known as a duty of care and the driver is held to this standard based on what a normal, understanding, responsible person would do under the exact same circumstances. When it comes to driving, it’s difficult to find the same circumstances. A person could be held liable for striking a pedestrian even when traveling at the posted speed limit because a reasonable person would have slowed down even more upon spotting the pedestrian.
Situations in Which the Pedestrian is Fully Responsible
In most scenarios a driver will do everything possible to act cautiously when they know pedestrians might be present or when they actually see pedestrians. But, under even normal circumstances a driver might not be considered responsible for an accident involving a pedestrian if the pedestrian acts in such a way that a person driving in a cautious manner still cannot avoid hitting the pedestrian. This will lead to the pedestrian being found at-fault for the crash.
Some of the common instances in which the pedestrian is held responsible for a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident include the following:
- Pedestrian jumps out in front of a moving car from in between cars (could not be seen)
- Pedestrian jumps out and causes vehicle to make evasive maneuvers that leads to other damage
- Pedestrian walks along a highway at night in dark clothing
- Pedestrian jaywalks on a crowded street
- Pedestrian crosses against the light right in front of traffic
- Pedestrian ignores commands from police officer directing traffic
- Pedestrian willfully ignores street signs and traffic lights
Not every single car accident in New Jersey has just one party that is at-fault. More often than not there are at least two parties at-fault in an accident and this can even occur in pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents. It’s quite possible that both parties could have acted in ways that were not normal or safe under normal circumstances.
If an accident involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle leads to both parties being blamed for the crash the court will need to determine the percentage of fault for each party. This is important for filing a lawsuit for damages suffered in the crash. The party that is assigned the lower percentage of fault in the accident will be able to file a lawsuit against the party with the higher percentage of fault.
Contact a Clifton Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party, or their insurance company, to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side and fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Silverman & Roedel, LLC represent clients injured in Clifton and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 772-6411or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1187 Main Avenue Suite 2C Clifton, NJ 07011.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.