Contrary to a common misconception, not all pedestrian accident cases are simple and straightforward.
Whether a car hits a pedestrian or a pedestrian bumps into a car, both parties have the right to claim compensation for any injuries they suffered. However, each party must present sufficient evidence in support of their claim. The court determines who was at fault for a pedestrian accident based on the evidence presented by each party. A number of factors are taken into consideration when determining fault. If both parties are partially at fault for the accident, the court determines each party’s share of negligence and decides who should be given the compensation and who would be liable to pay compensation.
How a Pedestrian Can Cause an Accident
In general, a vehicle driver has the responsibility to yield to a pedestrian on the road. This means that the pedestrian has the right of way. This also means that a vehicle driver must be able to notice a pedestrian from a distance and take the necessary steps to make sure accidents do not occur. However, this does not mean that pedestrians have no responsibility. There are rules about how and when a pedestrian should cross a road. In some car accident cases, a pedestrian may be completely or partially negligent for the accident.
Who Broke the Law?
The first thing that is taken into consideration is who broke the law. Was the driver:
- running a red light or stop sign?
- fail to notice the pedestrian?
- fail to yield to the pedestrian?
Or perhaps the pedestrian was at fault. Did the pedestrian:
- follow traffic rules when crossing the road?
- cross the street away from crosswalks?
The Scene of the Accident
Whether the accident occurred at a place where pedestrians are not allowed to enter is another important factor to be considered. For instance, pedestrians are not allowed to enter some bridges, roads under construction, or highways. Just because pedestrians have the right of way does not mean they can behave irresponsibly on the roads. They are expected to take precautions on the road.
Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases
In some car accident cases involving a pedestrian, both the motorist and the pedestrian could be partially at fault for the accident. In such cases, comparative negligence laws of the state are implemented. Typically, each negligent person’s share of fault is determined. One party gets compensation if his share of negligence is less than 50 percent. Also, if a person was partially at fault for the accident, his compensation is reduced by the percentage of negligence.
Discuss your case with a Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166.