Many people are familiar with the saying “the pedestrian has the right of way.” So, when it comes to accidents between cars and pedestrians, we first assume that the driver of the vehicle is most likely at fault.
However, that is not always the case. In fact, a pedestrian might even be liable for a motorist’s damages after a car-pedestrian accident, depending on the specific circumstances.
All drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a careful manner at all times. Pedestrians have a similar duty of care regarding walking near roads and streets. If a pedestrian acts in a manner that makes it extremely difficult—or impossible—for someone driving in a normal, cautious manner to avoid a crash, a judge or jury will decide that the pedestrian was at fault for the accident.
Common scenarios which a pedestrian may be found at least partially responsible for an accident involving a motor vehicle:
- Crossing in the middle of the street, outside of the crosswalk
- Walking a street while intoxicated
- Walking where pedestrian access is prohibited, such as a highway, bridge, or causeway
In most cases, not all car-pedestrian accidents have one clear-cut guilty party and one completely innocent one. For instance, a pedestrian may be jaywalking, but the driver may be driving faster than the posted speed limit.
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that liability is split according to the percentage of fault to a certain extent. So if a plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault for the crash, the plaintiff is barred from recovering anything at all from the defendant.