Can I Claim Damages in a Pedestrian Accident if I was at Fault?
Pedestrians who have suffered injuries can claim damages, even if they were at least partly at fault in an accident.
Pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable people on our roads. Phoenix’s weather means that people here enjoy walking to work, or for leisure. However, an increase in the number of people walking has also meant an increased risk of accidents and injuries involving pedestrians. The increase in the number of pedestrians has not really translated into dramatic improvements in pedestrian infrastructure in Phoenix, which means that pedestrians often walk in conditions that are not really conducive to their safety.
This gives rise to the question – when a pedestrian, has been injured in an accident, can he/she recover damages even if he has been partly at fault in the accident?
If you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Phoenix, you can expect the insurance company to blame you for your injuries. In fact, this is a common strategy for insurance companies that like to point out that the pedestrian put himself in danger by walking unsafely or irresponsibly.
For instance, the insurance company’s lawyers may claim that you were jaywalking, or crossing outside a crosswalk. If the pedestrian accident has involved a child, insurers will claim that the motorist was not really at fault because he could not see the child darting behind his vehicle as he was backing out. A disturbing new trend is blaming pedestrians for accidents by claiming that they were distracted by their cell phones.
Comparative Fault in Arizona
Under Arizona law, courts can decide whether the pedestrian was partly to blame in an accident that resulted in injuries. They use the comparative negligence standard, in which the court will try to decide the percentage of the blame that can be apportioned to the motorist and to the pedestrian. If the pedestrian is found to have caused some of the injuries by his own negligence, his liability will be calculated, and the damages will be reduced by the amount that the court has found that he or she was negligent.
For example, pedestrians must cross on a crosswalk, and when they are not near a crosswalk, they can cross the road, provided they have taken precautions to look in both directions of traffic, before crossing. However, if the pedestrian rushed across the road without looking in both directions, in a way that prevented the driver from stopping in time to avoid the pedestrian, the court may decide that the pedestrian was at least partly to blame for this accident. Damages may be reduced as a result.
Do I Have a Pedestrian Accident Case?
If you have suffered injuries in an accident, speak to a Phoenix accident lawyer about your options for compensation. Even if you have been partly to blame in an accident, it does not mean that you have absolutely no case for damages. You can still recover damages for medical expenses, and lost wages. One mistake that pedestrians make is to assume that they have no case at all, and to avoid pursuing a claim. That could be an expensive mistake because you will be required to bear hospitalization costs, and even long-term long-medical costs related to your injury.
Call 602.595.5595 for a free initial consultation with an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer at Curiel & Runion, PLC today or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.