Is The Driver Always Liable for Hitting a Pedestrian?

driver liability pedestrian accidentsDrivers are expected to always watch for and be extra cautious around pedestrians. Because of this, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the general assumption is that the driver is to blame for the accident. That is not always true. Pedestrians should never assume that a driver sees them. There are some situations when the pedestrian involved could be found partially at fault for the accident. 

If you have been injured in a pedestrian-related accident, you may be wondering what your rights are. You could be eligible to file a claim to seek compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence. Below, our legal team further explains liability for these accidents and why it may not always be so clear.

Driver and Pedestrian Responsibilities

In Wisconsin, drivers and pedestrians must abide by certain safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries. The chances of being in an accident are greatly reduced when traffic rules are followed, and you are aware of your surroundings.

Drivers are responsible for yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk or when they are entering an alley or driveway. If a pedestrian has started crossing an intersection with a walk signal or green light, a driver must also yield. Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the highway within a marked crosswalk or when crossing an intersection where traffic lights or control signals are not present.

It is illegal for a driver to overtake and pass another vehicle that stops to allow a pedestrian to cross a sidewalk or intersection.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, are responsible for yielding to drivers when crossing a roadway without a crosswalk or intersection, or when they do not have the walk signal or green light. Drivers with the green light would have the right of the way.

Although a pedestrian can walk on roads when there is no sidewalk, he or she must walk on the left side whenever possible and move to the outer perimeter to keep a safe distance from cars.

It is also illegal for a pedestrian to suddenly stop in the path of an approaching car when that car does not have enough time to yield.  

Fault When an Accident Happens

Pedestrian-related accidents are often the result of a driver’s negligent behavior. Situations in which a driver could be at fault for hitting a pedestrian include failing to stop at a marked crosswalk, running a red light, speeding through an intersection, or turning right on red when a pedestrian is crossing.

However, there are other situations when a pedestrian could be at fault for the accident and any resulting injuries. Perhaps the pedestrian was jaywalking, failed to notice other cars approaching before crossing the road, or ran into the street between two cars into oncoming traffic. 

If the driver has enough time to take action to avoid hitting a pedestrian and crashes into another car, bystander, or fixed object, the pedestrian could be held liable for any damages done.

When Pedestrians Have the Right to File a Claim

Wisconsin is a comparative negligence state. This means that even though a pedestrian is found partially responsible for the accident, he or she may still be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

However, if you are more at fault than the driver, you would not be able to pursue compensation to help cover your injuries or losses.

A Green Bay car accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to review your situation in a free consultation to determine if you share some blame for what happened. Even if you do, we are also prepared to make sure that you are not assigned more blame than is appropriate.

Compensation for Pedestrian-Related Injuries

Pedestrians who are hit by cars can suffer serious, debilitating injuries due to the lack of protection surrounding them and the force and weight of a car. This can lead to extensive losses, such as:

  • Medical debt for hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, etc.
  • Loss of income from missing work for a period of time while in recovery
  • Lost of future income from being unable to return to work or work at all
  • Permanent disability, disfigurement or scarring
  • Physical pain and emotional trauma
  • Costs for mental health services and caregiver expenses
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

We Help Victims of Negligence

At Sigman Janssen, we have helped many accident victims in Wisconsin recover damages after being injured by the negligence of another. We know how important it is to seek legal representation during this difficult time and what it takes to build a strong case for compensation.

You have nothing to lose by setting up a consultation with us. The initial meeting is free of charge with no obligation to move forward. If we do represent you, we charge no fees unless you obtain a recovery.

Call (877) 888-5201 for a free case review.