Are Drivers Always At Fault for Hitting a Pedestrian?

All of us walk and cross streets at some point. For some in the cities, walking is their only means of transportation. For others, it usually happens when going to an event or dinner. Ever since cars were invented, the issue of vehicle and pedestrian crashes has been a frequent debate. Drivers are worried they are going to be held responsible when pedestrians jump out in front of them or dart out. Pedestrians want drivers to slow down and be aware of their surroundings. A pedestrian will always get the worst out of these sorts of crashes. Machine versus human = machines always win.

Navigating Downtown Areas

Crossing the street, especially in downtown areas, can be tricky business. We realize that pedestrians are everywhere and expect them to take some responsibility to observing traffic signs just like drivers do. However, pedestrians need the drivers to be more alert because of the congestion and visibility issues that a downtown area presents. Drivers that get frustrated and angry with the congestion or pedestrians are usually the very same ones that lose their patience and injure pedestrians. 

When navigating a downtown area as a pedestrian, make sure to wait for a second or two before crossing on a green light. There are mostly good drivers and folks out there, but you have to be careful for the ones that don't care about pedestrians as much.

If I Was Hit By A Car When Crossing The Street Recently, Will I Be Responsible?

Getting hit as a pedestrian is always a tragic matter. These wrecks typically involve serious physical injuries as well as the mental trauma of being hit again. This makes it tough because we are all required to walk around vehicles no matter where we live. You have to park your car somewhere.

Most times that these wrecks occur, a driver is at-fault when they are not paying attention, intoxicated, or speeding. We have all seen the drivers that are more focused on their phones and GPS instead of pedestrians on a corner waiting to cross or a stop sign ahead with a pedestrian crossing. They scare us and rightfully so. Intoxicated drivers have slower reactions, miss pedestrians in their view, and have tunnel vision. Speeding typically occurs when the drivers lose their patience or are showing off in a crowded area. When this happens, they believe they have the right of way instead of a pedestrian crossing.

If the driver was not following the traffic safety rules we all expect them to follow, they will be held accountable. Pedestrians have a right to be safe when walking as long as they are following the laws as well. 

In What Situations Would A Pedestrian Be Held Responsible For The Crash?

Typically, we see cases where a pedestrian darted out onto a highway or busy street outside of an intersection area. Not all streets have designated crossing areas, but an intersection is a safe spot because drivers are paying attention to those safety devices there. When a pedestrian jumps out into moving traffic, there is not going to be time to stop or avoid the crash.

However, with that being said, we do see cases where a driver is driving at night without their headlights on. When this occurs a pedestrian may not believe a car is coming and be crossing a street. The driver doesn't see the pedestrian and the pedestrian doesn't see the car. 

As a pedestrian, just make sure to follow the traffic safety laws and walk/cross where safe and indicated to do so. As long as you do this, you will most likely not be held responsible. Pedestrians have a right of way just like drivers do at times. When drivers do not respect your right of way, they will be held accountable.

If You Have Been Hit As A Pedestrian, Reach Out To Us.

We take all our cases seriously, especially when someone has been injured or killed as a result of being hit as a pedestrian. If these safety rules are not enforced, then think about the world our kids will grow up in where drivers can hit a pedestrian and get away with it. Will we ever send them out again?

If you are a parent of a kid that has gotten hit or an adult that got hit as a pedestrian in the Midland, Dallas, or Houston area, give us a call or send us an email. We are here to help.

Russell Button
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Texas Trial Lawyer