Who's to Blame for a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrian accidents are scary events for both the pedestrian and the driver. They are also every parent’s worst nightmare. Striking a pedestrian with a vehicle is very upsetting, and unfortunately, it’s not uncommon, especially in urban areas.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest data, in 2014, 4,884 pedestrians were killed, and about 65,000 more were injured in traffic-related crashes in the United States. On average, one pedestrian was injured every 8 minutes and one pedestrian was killed every 2 hours, the NHTSA reports.

How ‘Pedestrians’ Are Defined

The NHTSA defines pedestrians as, “any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash.” Traffic crashes simply refer to incidents involving at least one motor vehicle; however, crashes that occur in parking lots, driveways, and on private party are excluded from NHTSA’s pedestrian accident statistics.

2014 facts about pedestrian accidents as reported by the NHTSA:

  • 78% occurred in urban areas
  • 71% occurred at non-intersections
  • 72% of the accidents occurred in the dark
  • 24% occurred during the daytime hours
  • In 2014, 47 was the average age of pedestrians killed
  • 19% of children under the age of 14 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians

Now that we’ve gone over the latest statistics for pedestrian accidents in the United States, let’s discuss fault. Who is at-fault in a pedestrian accident? Generally, fault is determined under the traditional theory of negligence.

The question is, what would any other prudent person do under the same set of circumstances? Sometimes, the driver is 100% responsible, for example, when a driver runs a red light and strikes a pedestrian walking legally in a crosswalk. Sometimes, the pedestrian and the driver are both to blame.

Usually, injured pedestrians are able to file claims against drivers’ auto liability insurance. The recovery amount comes down to fault and the state’s statutes. To learn more about South Carolina’s automobile insurance laws, click here.

Injured in a pedestrian accident? Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a Columbia personal injury lawyer!

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