Can I Sue a Pedestrian Who Caused a Car Accident?
When people think of an accident involving a pedestrian and an automobile, many simply assume the driver of the automobile must be at fault. This is not always the case. There are accidents where a pedestrian, either intentionally or negligently, causes the collision. If this happens to you, can you sue the pedestrian for the injuries you suffered? The answer is, generally, yes (depending on the specific facts of your case, of course).
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Car Accident
In case of pedestrian car accident, assessing fault is extremely important because most auto insurance companies in Texas are reluctant to settle a claim unless there is evidence that their insured was at fault for causing the accident. To assess fault, there needs to be sufficient evidence to assert that the pedestrian was liable.
Standard of Negligence
Negligence is used to determine liability when it comes to pedestrian car accidents. Due to the fact that pedestrians are more vulnerable in traffic, drivers typically need to yield to pedestrians crossing the paths of vehicles or crossing the street, but pedestrians also have certain obligations and responsibilities when crossing busy roads. For example, simply running across the street outside the parameter of a marked crosswalk could constitute negligence on the part of the pedestrian.
This means that drivers need to obey pedestrian controls and traffic signs. Pedestrians need to stay within the crosswalks created for them. When a pedestrian does not act reasonably and causes damage to you, it creates a situation in which you could file a claim against the pedestrian to pursue economic and non-economic damages.
What happens in a situation in which both the pedestrian and the motorist share blame for the accident? In this situation, Texas courts use the principles of comparative negligence to determine liability.
Comparative negligence reduces a person’s demand for damages according to the percentage of his or her fault in an accident. For instance, if a pedestrian has a blame of 80% as a result of walking to the side of a vehicle, any damages awarded will be reduced by 80% (meaning they only recover 20% of the claimed damages). The same principle would apply to you, the driver. If a jury determines you were 40% contributorily negligent, then your request for financial restitution will be correspondingly reduced by 40%.
The amount of damages that can be recovered will also hinge on the amount of available insurance coverage. This is where having the guidance of an attorney can prove invaluable.
Have Questions About What to do After an Accident Caused by a Pedestrian?
Schedule a Consultation with a Houston Car Accident Lawyer
Trying to negotiate and haggle with an auto insurance company on your own can be extremely frustrating and overwhelming. This is why it makes sense to retain the services of an experienced and skilled Houston personal injury attorney. Take action now and contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free, confidential consultation 713-221-6800.