Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? If you were committing any of the following negligent actions at the time of the accident, there’s a good chance you’ll be held at least partly responsible for what occurred:
- Jaywalking, or crossing the street outside of a crosswalk
- Crossing against a “Do Not Walk” signal
- Walking while heavily intoxicated or drugged
- Walking where pedestrians are not allowed
Of course, none of these behaviors gives a motorist a free pass to run you over. Even if you are partially at fault for causing the accident, the driver who hit you is likely also partially at fault. For instance, he or she may have been speeding or driving distracted and therefore unable to stop in time. If the accident happened in broad daylight, there’s definitely a strong case for negligence on the motorist’s part, since he or she should’ve been able to see you and prevent the collision.
So, let’s say both the pedestrian and the motorist share blame. How does this affect everything? In California, damages are awarded based on a “pure comparative fault” rule. Under this legal doctrine, a claimant’s damages award, or compensation, is reduced by his or her percentage of fault.
As an example, imagine a pedestrian crossing an intersection while texting. Because he has his head down, he does not see an oncoming vehicle, the driver of which is intoxicated. The driver hits the pedestrian, causing injuries. The pedestrian sues the driver, and the jury determines that the driver was 75 percent at fault for the accident while the pedestrian was 25 percent at fault (if only he were paying attention, he might’ve taken evasive action). Total damages amount to $10,000. In the end, the pedestrian is granted $7,500 ($10,000 – 25 percent).
What happens when a pedestrian is mostly at fault (larger than 50 percent)? Thanks to the pure comparative fault rule, a party can collect for damages even if they are 99 percent at fault. It’s just that the amount of damages awarded to the party is limited by his or her actual degree of fault. If, in the above scenario, the jury determines the pedestrian to be 75 percent at fault, he or she would still receive $2,500 in compensation ($10,000 – 75 percent).
Pedestrian Accident Law Firm Serving All of California
Do you have any questions about your particular injury claim or suit? If so, please feel free to contact the experienced pedestrian injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm for assistance. We are more than happy to provide you with the legal guidance you need to obtain maximum recovery for your losses. To find out more about what our firm can do for you, call us today at (800) 522-7274. Our consultations are FREE.