It’s commonly believed that when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the person driving the car will always be found liable for the accident. However, this is not true. Pedestrians can also be held responsible in pedestrian/ Automobile Accidents in Phillipsburg NJ. Proving the pedestrian was at fault, though, can be challenging.
Road Rules for Pedestrians
While drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to using the roadways, pedestrians must also obey certain rules when walking on sidewalks or roads. Some common traffic laws that apply to pedestrians include:
1. Looking both ways before crossing the street to ensure it’s safe to do so
2. Using sidewalks when available
3. If sidewalks aren’t available, walking on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic
4. Making an effort to remain visible to drivers at all times, especially during times when there isn’t a lot of lights
5. Not running into traffic without warning
Pedestrians who fail to adhere to the relevant traffic laws and cause accidents with vehicles can be held liable for any damages caused by their actions. While proving the pedestrian was at fault can be challenging, it is not impossible. There are several things a plaintiff can do to show a pedestrian was negligent and, therefore, responsible for the accident.
For instance, the plaintiff can provide evidence the person was walking while texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted. Drivers who suspect the pedestrian was intoxicated can request the police give the person a breathalyzer test and produce the results in court to show the person’s impairment affected his or her ability to use the roadways in a safe manner.
Driver and Pedestrian Liable
Many times both the driver and the pedestrian will be held liable for the accident. As such, the court will assign a percentage of liability to both parties. New Jersey is a comparative fault state, meaning the plaintiff’s award will be reduced by the amount he or she is found liable for the accident. For instance, if the plaintiff is found 20 percent responsible, then the defendant would only have to pay 80 percent of the court award (e.g. $800 of a $1,000 award).
It’s important that plaintiffs involved in accidents with pedestrians contact an attorney with experience litigating pedestrian/ Automobile Accidents in Phillipsburg NJ for assistance with litigating their cases. Get additional info here.