Shoe on the Other Foot: Distracted Pedestrians

Distracted driving accounts for approximately 10 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents and thousands of serious injuries annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While distracted drivers can be a menace to pedestrians, distracted pedestrians are not helping their own cause … and can be held liable for vehicle occupants’ injuries. 

What Causes Pedestrian / Car Accidents?

Pedestrian distractions include the usual suspects: multipurpose cell-phone usage, listening to music or audiobooks, or gabbing with a friend, among others. Stepping into the path of a vehicle sometimes accompanies these distractions and can cause injuries to vehicle occupants (and the pedestrian!). In trying to avoid a pedestrian, a driver may slam on the brakes and cause a rear-end collision, or veer and get slammed by another vehicle. 

Pedestrians may also be found at fault for pedestrian-vehicle accidents if they cross the street outside a crosswalk; disobey pedestrian traffic signals; walk along highways or bridges where pedestrian access is prohibited; or enter a roadway while intoxicated.

Pedestrians and motorists frequently share the blame for pedestrian-vehicle accidents (e.g., pedestrian was crossing the street illegally, driver was speeding). In these situations, most states utilize a “modified comparative negligence” rule — the percentage of blame an injured party is assigned gets deducted from their damages award. A person typically cannot receive damages from the other party if they were more than 50 percent at fault. 

Some states follow a “pure comparative negligence” rule, for which there is no above-50-percent disqualifier. A few use a “contributory negligence” rule. If someone is assigned any fault, they’re ineligible to receive damages.

If a distracted/negligent pedestrian causes you harm, contact an auto accident attorney to protect your rights.

Contact an Alaska Auto Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck, an experienced attorney can provide guidance on on how to pursue your claim and analyze ALL the potential damages, which may be considerably hire than initially thought.  Alaska attorney Ben Crittenden can help you get the compensation you deserve.  Sign up for his free newsletter where Alaska dog victims, vehicle accident victims, and other personal injuries can learn more about their options.

Ben Crittenden
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Devoted to advancing his trial techniques and communication skills on behalf of injured victims in Anchorage.
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