If a pedestrian is at fault for a car accident, they will be liable for injuries and damages that other parties (like a driver) suffered from the accident. However, in order for a pedestrian to be found “at fault,” they must have behaved in a way that put the safety of the other party or parties at risk by acting negligently (carelessly). When that negligence leads to an accident, the pedestrian is financial liable for the damages suffered by the victim(s) of that accident.
Common actions of pedestrians that lead to accidents include:
- Talking on their cellphone
- Texting while walking
- Walking around while under the influence
- Running out into the road
- Not paying attention to or ignoring road signs and signals
- Crossing the street at a place other than an intersection
In many pedestrian-related accidents, both parties are found to share some of the fault—but there are certainly instances where the pedestrian is fully at fault.
What happens if a pedestrian is 100% at fault?
If the pedestrian is found to be fully at fault, they will need to turn to their insurance for recovery. If the pedestrian has car insurance, it may include personal injury protection (PIP), which they can use to cover their medical bills. This is not always possible, thought, since PIP is an optional coverage some people may not carry. If the pedestrian doesn’t carry auto insurance, which is very possible if they don’t own a car, they will need to turn to their health insurance and disability insurance for recovery.
If any drivers in the pedestrian accident suffered injuries or damage to property, they can seek financial recovery from the at-fault pedestrian by either:
- Filing an insurance claim against the pedestrian, or
- Suing the pedestrian to seek recovery for their losses
In this case, a pedestrian found to be 100 percent at fault could pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.
If the courts or insurer finds the pedestrian to be less than 50 percent at fault—for example, if the motorist was also distracted while driving on the road—it falls under Georgia law’s modified comparative negligence rule, which says any injured parties in an accident can still recover money if they were at-fault. In this situation, the pedestrian can file a claim against the driver in the accident to recover for their own losses. However, the greater amount of fault the pedestrian carries, the less their potential settlement value will be.
How can I limit how much I’m liable in a pedestrian car accident case?
Since how much you’re able to recover in damages depends on how much each party was at fault for the car accident, deliberation from the courts or insurers matters most. They will be the ones to ultimately assign liability after the accident, so it’s important to be sure they do so fairly. Remember that insurance companies are for-profit and will do whatever they can to limit their policyholder’s liability—so you’ll want to do what you can to prove the other party’s liability while limiting your own. This is where an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer is so needed.
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, our attorneys at John Foy & Associates are here to help. We’ll offer you a FREE consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you have about how to move forward. Give us a call at (404)-400-4000 or complete the form to your right for your free consultation today.