Can Pedestrians Be at Fault for Auto Accidents?

While you may have heard the familiar adage “pedestrians have the right of way,” this is only true in some circumstances. Pennsylvania does have right-of-way laws that protect people at crosswalks and if they follow traffic signals. They are also protected in driveways, alleyways, and any sidewalks that cross roads or other vehicle-accessible avenues. These laws, however, do not protect pedestrians in the following situations:

  • When they jaywalk
  • When they use crosswalks and ignore traffic lights or signals

Drivers will always have the right of way if someone is crossing anywhere that isn’t designated as a safety zone, such as a crosswalk. Even if a pedestrian needs to walk on the side of the road (after their car breaks down, for example), he or she needs to be as far away from traffic as possible and must walk on the left side (facing traffic).

In cases where a car has collided with a pedestrian, insurance companies will look at both parties involved to determine liability. If a person was violating traffic laws and was injured by a car, the driver’s insurance might not have to pay the injured individual’s medical bills. Additionally, if the car or driver was hurt as a result of the pedestrian’s negligence, the driver could sue the pedestrian for damages.

Pennsylvania also has a modified comparative fault rule, which allows liability to be split. If both pedestrian and driver were not paying attention, their claims against each other could be halved as a result of their part in the accident.

If you were a pedestrian injured by a car or you incurred damages to your vehicle because of a pedestrian, contact one of our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys. We’ve been helping people with their cases since 1922. Trust us to assist with your situation, and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

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