Pedestrians have the right away in most situations as long as they are obeying the law. What if a car hits a pedestrian, who is walking or running across the street? Who is at fault?
Determining who is at fault at the scene of an accident is a matter of figuring out which person was careless, negligent or disobeyed a common traffic law.
Some situations are obvious making it easy to determine who is at fault while other situations need more information to determine if there was any negligence or thoughtless carelessness.
Each state has a written rulebook of traffic laws that each person who passes a driver’s test must learn, understand and know.
Scenario 1: you are driving in the city obeying the speed limit, a pedestrian runs out from between two parked cars in front of you, and you hit them. Who is at fault?
Answer: the pedestrian is at fault. In most states, it is against the law to cross the street between two controlled intersections so the pedestrian is in violation of “jay-walking or pedestrian walking in the roadway”.
Scenario 2: you are driving on the street and come to a stop sign. As you stop, your car’s front tire enters the crosswalk. A pedestrian is jogging on the sidewalk and steps off the curb and into the cross walk as your car is coming to a stop and your car’s front tire runs over the joggers foot. Who is at fault?
Answer: you are at fault for “failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign”. You may have stopped, but the law states that you must stop behind the stop sign and then proceed forward with caution. The same would apply if instead of the running over the jogger’s foot, the jogger runs into your bumper.
Scenario 3: you are making a right or left turnat an intersection where there are no marked crosswalks. As you make your turn, a pedestrian is crossing the street and is hit. Who is at fault?
Answer: you are at fault for “failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian”.Whether or not there is a marked crosswalk, pedestrians must cross at the nearest corners and in most states, pedestrians have the right of way.
Scenario 4: a pedestrian is walking on the side of the roadway because there is no sidewalk and gets hit by a car. Who is at fault?
Answer: it would have to be determined how far into the roadway the pedestrian was walking. If the point of impact shows that the pedestrian was, too far into the street then the pedestrian is in violation of “pedestrian walking in the roadway”.
It isthe pedestrian responsibility to walk on the road as far to the left as is possible
Regardless of fault, a pedestrian will always lose against a three thousand pound automobile. For this reason, it should be pedestrian’s responsibility not to assume that a car will see them when crossing the street and the responsibility of all drivers to slow down and be watchful.