When we think about accidents involving both cars and pedestrians, we are quick to make the assumption that the driver of the vehicle is probably at fault. While people often say “the pedestrian has the right of way,” that is not always the case. In a pedestrian-vehicle accident, the pedestrian can actually be to blame, completely or partially.
The following are several common situations where a pedestrian may be found at least partially at fault for an accident involving a vehicle:
- Crossing against the traffic signal
- Entering a road while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Walking along highways, bridges, or other roadways where pedestrian access is prohibited
In most cases, chances are that the driver of the vehicle is also partially to blame, even when a pedestrian has some level of fault for causing the accident. For instance, a pedestrian may be jaywalking, while the motorist may be driving a few miles over the posted speed limit and unable to stop in time.
So what happens when both the pedestrian and the driver are at fault? California follows the legal doctrine of “comparative negligence,” which means an injured person shares some of the blame for causing or contributing to the underlying accident. While the injured person can still receive compensation from any other at-fault party, his or her own compensation will be reduced by a percentage that is equal to their share of the fault.
If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent party in Southern California, schedule a free consultation with our Pasadena personal injury attorneys at Tedford & Associates today.