Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault if They Were Hit by a Car?

In pedestrian accident cases, proving negligence on the part of the driver may seem like a simple task: Pedestrians often sustain the worst (if not only) injuries in these situations, and road safety is more the responsibility of the driver, right? Not necessarily.

While the majority of pedestrian accidents do result in much greater injury for the person walking, it is the responsibility of everyone — drivers, bikers, and yes, even pedestrians — to be safe on the road. Plus, even if the pedestrian was severely injured, they can still be found liable in an accident case.

Situations of Pedestrian Fault

Most often, the determining factor in identifying if a pedestrian can be found liable is if they were permitted to be walking in the area where they were hit. Is it reasonable to expect that the driver should have known passengers would be present in that area, and therefore, should they have been watching for people out walking?

Jaywalking is one of the most common examples of pedestrian neglect. Drivers are not expected to know there could be people wandering into the middle of the road. If someone was hit by a car while jaywalking, they could be found more at fault than the driver in a pedestrian accident case.

Other examples of walking in prohibited areas that could prove pedestrian fault in an accident case include:

  • Walking in a crosswalk during a “Do Not Walk” signal
  • Walking on roads where pedestrians are not allowed (such as freeways)
  • Pedestrian intoxication

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Laws

California state law follows the pure comparative negligence system of determining fault in accident cases. In California, every person involved in an accident can receive compensation if they were injured, but the amount of damages will be reduced based on their liability. Even if a pedestrian is found more at fault for a pedestrian accident than the driver, they can still secure payment for their injuries under California law.

Schedule a free consultation with B&D Law Group to discover your options following an injury. Contact us online or call (888) 977-2238 to speak with our legal team.