Both car drivers and pedestrians tend to assume that the motorist is always responsible for a pedestrian accident. However, that is not always the case. In motor vehicle accidents involving a pedestrian, the person crossing the road may bear partial or total responsibility for the collision. Just because pedestrians are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries than car drivers, it does not necessarily mean that they cannot be at fault for being hit by a vehicle.
When are Pedestrians at Fault for Causing an Accident?
Under Kentucky’s traffic laws, both drivers and pedestrians have an obligation to exercise reasonable care to avoid hurting themselves and other people on the road. Both the motorist and the pedestrian have a duty to act reasonably at all times. If either party breaches that duty, they should be held liable for causing the accident, even if the negligent party was the only party who suffered harm. When are pedestrians responsible for causing an accident? There are many situations in which a pedestrian can be at fault for being hit by a motor vehicle. These include:
- Distracted walking. Much has been said about distracted driving, but what many do not realize is that walking while distracted is equally dangerous. Often, pedestrians fail to pay attention to their surroundings when crossing the road, especially when texting or talking on a cellphone.
- Jaywalking. Under Kentucky law, pedestrians are prohibited from crossing adjacent intersections with operational control signals at any place except in a marked crosswalk. Meanwhile, when crossing at a point other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk, the pedestrian must always yield the right-of-way to motor vehicles.
- Darting out into the road in front of vehicles.
- Crossing when drivers cannot see them. Crossing with an obstructed view is just as likely to cause a pedestrian accident. Thus, pedestrians should ensure that drivers can see them prior to entering the road.
- Wearing dark clothing while crossing at night. As mentioned above, pedestrians must make themselves visible.
- Walking on a street while impaired. When a pedestrian is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their ability to be vigilant and properly observe traffic laws is significantly diminished.
- Walking in restricted areas (e.g., interstates).
- Intentionally trying to distract a motorist.
- Negligently or intentionally throwing objects onto the road.
Determining Fault in Pedestrians Accidents in Kentucky
When you file a car accident claim with your auto insurance company, the insurer may put the blame solely on you, even if the pedestrian contributed to or caused the collision. For this purpose, it is vital to have a Lexington auto accident lawyer to help you determine fault in your pedestrian crash and gather evidence proving the other party’s fault. Keep in mind that Kentucky follows a choice no-fault policy, which means the question of fault in the accident generally does not matter when it comes to obtaining compensation. The choice no-fault system allows drivers to retain the right to file personal injury claims or lawsuits against at-fault parties. Contact our lawyer at Roberts Law Office to help you establish fault in your pedestrian accident in Lexington or elsewhere in Kentucky. Call at (859) 231-0202 to receive a consultation.