Liability for a Pedestrian Accident

If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, and it is clearly the vehicle driver’s fault, the pedestrian will be able to recover damages from the driver and/or the driver’s insurance. If a driver can avoid hitting a pedestrian, it is the driver’s responsibility to do so even if the circumstance would make the pedestrian partially at fault.

It is incorrect to assume that if a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, it is always the fault of the vehicle’s driver. Some circumstances cause an accident, where the pedestrian may be partially or fully at fault. If the pedestrian causes the accident, the pedestrian may not recover compensation for any injuries. Additionally, if the accident is the pedestrian’s fault, the vehicle’s driver might be able to get compensation from the pedestrian for any damages to their vehicle or injuries to the driver.

The fault of who caused an accident is determined by the insurance adjuster(s) and, if disputed, may eventually be determined by the jurors in a lawsuit.

Here are a few circumstances where a pedestrian may be at least partially at fault:

Crossing a Road Illegally

A pedestrian may be partially at fault when crossing a road illegally by jaywalking, crossing in the wrong place, not using the proper crosswalk, or not following a traffic signal.

When Pedestrian Access is Restricted

Some freeways, causeways, and bridges do not allow pedestrian traffic. A pedestrian may be partially at fault if walking in an area where pedestrian traffic is prohibited.


A pedestrian who stumbles into a street or highway while intoxicated may be partially at fault for causing an accident. However, if the vehicle’s driver is violating traffic laws, such as speeding, then the fault may be shared.

Darting into Traffic

A pedestrian, who suddenly runs into traffic intentionally due to foolishness or suicidal intent, may be at fault for causing an accident.

Shared Fault

In many accidents, the fault is shared between the pedestrian and the vehicle’s driver. There is the concept of shared negligence used to determine the percentage fault of each person involved in an accident. This can be very arbitrary. It is best to be represented by competent legal counsel if there is a dispute over who is at fault.

In an accident where a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, take the following steps:

  1. CALL 9-1-1
  2. Do not move a person who is unconscious or who might have suffered a spinal injury.
  3. Use safety markers and flares, if you have them, to direct traffic around the accident to prevent further injuries.
  4. If the injured person can get up on their own, help them move out of danger, and stay calm.
  5. Keep the vehicle driver(s) at the scene.
  6. Wait for the police to arrive.
  7. Collect the driver’s and injured person’s information.
  8. Take many photos of the scene and the vehicle(s) involved.
  9. Do not tweet about the accident, and do not discuss it with anyone.
  10. Do not say that you are sorry.
  11. Make sure your account of the accident is noted in the police report.
  12. Seek immediate medical attention even if the injuries seem to be minor at first.
  13. Call a lawyer at (281) 475-4535.
  14. Help your attorney to start an insurance claim.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney today call (281) 475-4535 

Getting the right attorney could make the difference of a few thousand dollars on your settlement. Our services will take away the headache of finding the right attorney. We have handpicked each attorney in our network. They are some of the top trial attorneys in California, each with years of experience and a long track record of successful cases. Additionally, the other advantage of using our network is that you never have to pay money out of your pocket. Our network of personal injury and labor law attorneys work for you on a contingency basis. You will only pay a percentage if you win a settlement. Furthermore, our attorneys will vigorously fight for you to get everything you are owed. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us today. CALL US ANYTIME (281) 475-4535 or fill out a consultation form here to start the process.