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Pedestrian Accidents: How Liability Can Impact Your Compensation

Pedestrian Accidents: How Liability Can Impact Your Compensation

Everyone has their ways of getting to and from wherever they’re going. Whether you’re driving, biking, scootering, or walking, there’s the potential for an accident. While no one wakes up in the morning expecting to get into an accident, they happen. 

Pedestrian accidents are awful, especially in the busy streets of cities like New York. Even though most people expect the vehicle’s driver to be liable, it doesn’t always happen that way. Attorneys like the Bronx pedestrian accident lawyers at Diamond Injury Law can help you navigate the muddy waters of liability in pedestrian accidents and help you understand how liability can impact your compensation. 

What Determines Liability in a Pedestrian Accident?

Most people assume the vehicle’s driver is always at fault or liable in a pedestrian accident, but there are times when they’re not. So, what exactly determines liability in a pedestrian accident? There are a few things. 

Statutes

There are national statutes, but every state has its laws or statutes regarding liability in pedestrian accidents. These statutes outline the standards that drivers must maintain when behind the wheel.

When drivers abide by the statutes and accidents happen, they might still be liable, but they might not be if pedestrians are not abiding by the statutes. Pedestrians must comply with all crosswalk signs, and accidents can happen when they don’t. 

Fault

By definition, a fault is the degree to which someone was responsible for an accident. Depending on where you live or where the accident occurs, fault is divided equally. In most cases, drivers are more or entirely at fault in pedestrian accidents. 

While that’s true in many cases, the comparative fault rule comes into play wherever the accident happens. Some courts might assign most of the fault to the driver and some to the pedestrian. It just depends on the laws and what the courts decide. 

Negligence

Negligence helps the courts determine liability in any accident, especially pedestrian accidents. When a driver or pedestrian doesn’t exercise the level of care they should when driving or walking near vehicles, they are potentially being negligent. 

For example, if the driver were being negligent, the driver would be liable in a pedestrian accident. Sometimes, pedestrians are careless and look at their phones, which could make them somewhat accountable in a pedestrian accident.

Who’s Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?

The driver is usually liable in a pedestrian accident, but there are cases where the pedestrian is 100% liable or partially. It’s all determined by the negligence of both parties, statutes in the state where the accident happened, and who is at fault for the accident. 

Attorneys can help determine the liable party in a pedestrian accident and help you fight for compensation. 

How Liability Affects Compensation

Liability significantly affects your compensation in a pedestrian accident. Let’s say you’re a pedestrian hit by a driver who is 100% liable for the accident. Your lawyer will be able to make a much stronger case for all the compensation you’re seeking. 

Now, if you’re hit by a car, but the courts find you partially liable, you might still be able to get some compensation. But, since you’re legally liable in some capacity, the payment you’re seeking will be substantially lower than if you weren’t liable at all. 

The same goes if the courts determine the driver isn’t liable or that the pedestrian is primarily liable. Compensation will be far lower than you’re probably expecting. It doesn’t mean that the pedestrian still can’t get compensation for the accident, but the courts and insurance companies might not be as willing to pay due to negligence. 

Final Thoughts

No one wakes up one day expecting to get into a pedestrian accident. If you find yourself in that situation, seeking compensation is helpful to handle medical bills and other expenses. However, liability will significantly affect your compensation. 

When the driver is liable, your compensation will likely be higher than if you, the pedestrian, are at fault. No matter what, it’s best to hire a lawyer to help you navigate liability and compensation.

Pedestrian Accidents: How Liability Can Impact Your Compensation