Austin Personal Injury Blog

Are Pedestrians Ever Responsible for their Injuries?

Posted By The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC || 7-Mar-2017

Pedestrian accidents are some of the most devastating traffic accidents on our roads. Because pedestrians have virtually no protection against motor vehicles, victims commonly suffer severe injuries, especially when high speeds are involved. Fortunately, personal injury law affords victims the right to hold the party responsible for causing their accident liable for their damages, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. But what happens when a pedestrian played a role in causing or contributing to the crash?

Personal injury claims are hinged on proving negligence. This means that in order for a victim to recover their damages, they will need to show that another party – commonly a driver in pedestrian accidents, but not always – committed an act of negligence that “more likely than not” caused the accident and injuries. Examples of negligence in a pedestrian accident can include a driver who fails to yield at a right turn, runs a red light, or fails to scan their surroundings when backing up. These are all forms of negligence where drivers fail in their legal obligation to drive safely.

Negligence is not a one-way road, and pedestrians can certainly be responsible for causing or contributing to an accident. This can happen when a pedestrian fails in their legal duty to conduct themselves in a manner that does not create unreasonable risks, and to follow the rules of the road. If a pedestrian tries to cross a busy street outside of a crosswalk, for example, they are committing a traffic violation and can be at risk of being struck by a vehicle. A pedestrian may also contribute to an accident through their own negligence by disobeying walk signals, darting in front of vehicles, and entering and disrupting the flow of traffic.

When a pedestrian’s negligence contributes to a crash, it becomes essential to work with experienced lawyers who can fully investigate the situation and determine if an injured pedestrian still has the legal right to pursue compensation for their damages. This is because Texas uses a modified comparative negligence rule in which fault for causing an accident can be split among the parties involved.

When modified comparative negligence applies in a pedestrian accident case, it becomes essential to determine to what extent a pedestrian contributed to an accident. Here are some details:

  • If another party, for example a driver, is found to be more at fault than a pedestrian for causing a crash, then the pedestrian can still recover compensation.
  • If a pedestrian victim is found to be more than 50% at fault for causing a wreck, they will not be able to recover any compensation from the other party involved.
  • When pedestrian victims and another at-fault party share blame, victims will be eligible to recover compensation that is reduced by their percentage of fault. If a pedestrian victim has $100,000 in damages, for instance, but is found to be 20% at fault, while the other party is 80% at fault, the pedestrian will only be eligible to recover $80,000 in damages. This is the full amount of their damages reduced by their percentage of fault (20%).

Establishing fault and liability is a critical task that demands the attention of a proven personal injury lawyer. At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, our Austin attorneys devote the time and resources to fully investigate an accident and help pedestrians preserve their right to recover the financial compensation they often desperately need. When handling issues of fault and liability, we leverage decades of combined experience and a passion for helping victims through these difficult times.

If you or a loved one have questions about your rights and who can be held at fault for causing a pedestrian accident, contact us for a free consultation.

Categories: Personal Injury
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