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Who can be held liable in a car-pedestrian accident?

The question of who is at fault in a car-pedestrian accident is not always clear cut. There are a number of factors involved, including where the accident occurred, what traffic levels were like (i.e. clear traffic or bumper to bumper) and whether either the driver or the pedestrian were under the influence of alcohol, to name a few.

These factors are particularly important because of the doctrine of comparative negligence. 

In essence, comparative negligence means that an injured person’s recovery could be limited by the percentage of fault he or she can be attributable for in the accident. For instance, if a pedestrian ignored traffic signals and stepped out in front of a speeding vehicle, the pedestrian’s recovery could be reduced by 30 percent. If the overall recovery was found to be $10,000, the pedestrian could be awarded only $7,000.

If the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol or an illegal substance and stepped in front of a car, the recovery could be barred completely if a jury finds that the pedestrian was more at fault for his or her own injuries.

So the answer to the question, who can be found at fault in a car-pedestrian accident is: it depends. This is why an investigation into the crash is important. Finding out what caused the accident and who is at fault could mean the difference between a sound recovery and none at all.

With that, a person who has been hit by a car should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. 

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