What Happens If A Pedestrian Caused An Accident?

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What Happens If A Pedestrian Caused An Accident?

When you think about accidents involving pedestrians, you probably envision a car carelessly hitting someone who is innocently crossing a street. While that does happen, did you know that pedestrians can cause accidents too?

People typically don’t plan to walk into traffic and be hit by a passing car, but pedestrians can be guilty of carelessness, distraction, and disregarding laws just like drivers can. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, contact the Mike Morse Law Firm for assistance. We can help you whether you were a pedestrian or a driver.

How Is Fault Assigned in Pedestrian Accidents?


Drivers have a duty of care when they get behind the wheel of an automobile to operate it safely, following applicable laws to avoid harming others. Pedestrians also have laws to follow, and failing to do so can cause a collision.

When pedestrian and car accidents happen, more than one person may share the fault for causing them. Police and insurance company investigators must look closely at several things when determining who is responsible.

Right of Way

Drivers learn about which car has the right of way when studying for their licensing exams. Most people assume that pedestrians always have the right of way, but that’s not always the case. Pedestrian laws can differ from state to state, and even from city to city.

In Detroit, for example, pedestrians must:

  • Use crosswalks if they’re present
  • Only enter crosswalks when the WALK signal is lit (if the signal changes while they’re still crossing, they retain the right of way)
  • Use sidewalks if they’re present and in good condition
  • Only cross streets in other areas than crosswalks if none are available, but only directly across the street, not at an angle
  • Yield to traffic if not crossing in a crosswalk
  • Travel on the left side of the road, against traffic, if no sidewalks exist
  • Never walk on the freeway

These laws are typical, but your attorney can confirm applicable pedestrian laws in your area.

Even though pedestrians have specific permitted areas to cross streets, drivers should always be aware of their surroundings. People may dart in front of you unexpectedly at any time.

Vehicle Stopping Time

At times, collisions are unavoidable. Animals can run directly in front of your car, giving you no way to avoid hitting them. People can do the same thing.

In some cases, though, drivers have enough time to avoid hitting a pedestrian who suddenly appears in the street. Drivers who are distracted, speeding, or guilty of other forms of negligence may hit pedestrians in an avoidable accident.

It’s possible for both the pedestrian and driver to share liability in a collision.

Other Contributing Factors

Other things can play a part in a pedestrian causing a car crash as well, including:

  • Slick roads
  • Rain, heavy fog, and other weather conditions
  • Poor lighting or visibility
  • Improperly maintained roads
  • Heavy traffic

If one or more of these conditions existed, they may have contributed to causing your collision.

Why Is Determining Fault Important?


Any time a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, serious injuries are likely. Pedestrians include those walking and others using wheelchairs or motorized mobility devices. The chances are that the pedestrian’s injuries will be substantial, and they will probably attempt to obtain compensation from you.

If you can prove that the pedestrian caused your accident, you may not be liable for paying any damages. However, if you’re partially responsible for the collision, the injured pedestrian may be able to collect money from you and your insurance company. The pedestrian might have to pay for any injuries you sustained, and for damage to your car also.

Your percentage of fault directly impacts the amount of damages you may have to pay. When you hire the Mike Morse Law Firm, your attorney will lead an investigation into the cause of your accident. We won’t let an undue percentage of fault fall to you.

Why Would a Pedestrian Walk in Front of a Moving Vehicle?


You’re probably familiar with the term “distracted driving.” Pedestrians can be distracted too and may not be fully aware that they’re in a street or that a car is heading toward them.

Other pedestrians might be unaware of where and how they’re allowed to walk or cross streets. Some may think they’ve got enough time to get out of a car’s way.

When you’re driving on highways, you don’t expect to see people walking. However, drivers should always be alert. Common places for pedestrians to cross are:

  • School zones
  • Parking lots
  • Business districts
  • Neighborhoods
  • Intersections

Speed limits in these areas are typically lower, but even lower-speed collisions with pedestrians can produce severe injuries and fatalities.

How Likely Are Pedestrians to Be Seriously Injured if Hit by a Car?


Studies have shown that people of different ages have slightly different chances of sustaining a serious injury or being killed as pedestrians. A person’s height is also a factor. The vehicle’s speed plays a large part in how severe pedestrian injuries can be. On average:

Speed: Risk of serious injury

  • 16 mph: 10%
  • 23 mph: 25%
  • 31 mph: 50%
  • 39 mph: 75%
  • 46 mph: 96%

Speed: Risk of fatality

  • 23 mph: 10%
  • 32 mph: 25%
  • 42 mph: 50%
  • 50 mph: 75%
  • 58 mph: 90%

Some of the most common pedestrian injuries are:

  • Severe bone fractures
  • Amputations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bruises and cuts
  • PTSD
  • Permanent disability
  • Chronic pain

Pedestrians are unprotected, and being hit by a car can result in life-long injuries or death.

How Can an Attorney Help You?


If you were driving a vehicle that hit a pedestrian, people will probably assume that the crash was your fault. You’ll need an experienced attorney on your side who will:

  • Give you legal advice and information
  • Perform an in-depth investigation into your collision
  • Gather evidence to support your claim of innocence or to show that your percentage of fault was minimal
  • Prepare and file paperwork on your behalf
  • Serve as your spokesperson with investigators and insurance company representatives

Most people don’t understand how laws and insurance companies work, and that lack of knowledge can be costly. The Mike Morse Law Firm focuses on personal injury law, and all of our attorneys can competently handle your case.

You’ll have an entire legal team handling your case. We are dedicated to providing the best legal representation in Michigan, and we will not ignore your case in favor of another. Each attorney has a low caseload so they can give you the personal attention you deserve.

Why Should You Choose the Mike Morse Law Firm?


If you’re involved in any kind of car accident, attorneys and insurance companies representing “the other side” may try to blame you unfairly. This is especially true if you’re driving a car that hits a pedestrian. We at Mike Morse Law Firm have the resources and knowledge to thoroughly investigate your accident and protect your interests.

We are the largest personal injury law firm in Michigan, and we’ll put our power to work for you. Contact the Mike Morse Law Firm today to request your free case evaluation and we’ll tell you how we can help you. We’re available 24/7, so there’s no need to wait. Call us at 855-MIKE-WINS or (855) 645-3946, submit our quick contact form, or use live chat.

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