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When a pedestrian causes a car accident

During the winter season, when snow makes driving conditions difficult and the holidays bring out the revelers in full force, there are many more car accidents in Denver involving pedestrians. Legally, pedestrians have a lot of protection. This is due to the fact that pedestrians who are hit by a motor vehicle are far more likely to suffer from an injury or a fatality than the driver or passengers within the vehicle. There are many circumstances in which pedestrians have the right of way, such as crossing the street at an identified cross walk. However, there are also situations in which a pedestrian may be considered at-fault in an accident. 

Pedestrians do not have the right to cross the street or walk on the roadways at any place or time they choose. Pedestrians who are acting negligently may be held responsible in the event of a motor vehicle accident, but it's important that the driver has secured the help of a qualified attorney who can prove this negligence.

Pedestrians and negligence

Situations in which a pedestrian may be considered negligent and thus at fault in an accident include:

  • Pedestrians who are crossing roadways or walking along roadways where there is not a clear crosswalk or pedestrian path. Pedestrians must be responsible for their own choices, and need to recognize the risks of crossing a roadway prior to doing so.
  • Pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol and therefore are not making sound, clear decisions. A pedestrian who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is more likely to inadvertently walk into traffic or to fall into the roadway, which may cause an accident with an unsuspecting driver.
  • Pedestrians who do not follow the traffic rules or the traffic lights, and cross when it is not their turn to do so. Drivers are not anticipating that pedestrians will be crossing at this time, and the pedestrian can be held liable in the event of an accident. 
  • Pedestrians who generally act recklessly or carelessly while crossing the roadways. Running across the roads or wandering in and out of traffic can be stressful and frustrating for drivers, and can lead to a motor vehicle accident that results in injuries or fatalities.

Unfortunately, pedestrians are rarely fined or cited for disregarding traffic laws. Due to this fact, many pedestrians operate under the assumption that they always have the right of way. It is important for drivers to use caution when driving in an area with pedestrians, as an accident involving a pedestrian can quickly become catastrophic.

What to do if you are involved in a car accident with a negligent pedestrian

In the event that you hit a pedestrian who is ignoring traffic laws, crossing inappropriately or generally acting recklessly, it's important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after the police report has been filed. A qualified personal injury attorney will be able to collect the evidence necessary to prove that the pedestrian was being negligent at the time of the accident and was therefore at fault. This can be a difficult legal situation to navigate, so it's critical to work with an attorney who is going to advocate for you throughout the entire process.

For more information on motor vehicle accidents and personal injury law in Colorado, contact our Denver law firm today. 

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