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Are Drivers Always Liable for a Pedestrian Crash?

pedestrian liability for crashesPedestrians have little protection if they get hit by a car. Often, the injuries are catastrophic and an impaired, reckless or distracted driver is responsible for the damages. However, is that always the case? Are drivers always liable for causing a pedestrian crash?

In a Michigan pedestrian claim, it is not necessary to establish fault to get compensation. Once injured victims file a no-fault insurance claim, they receive compensation for medical costs and lost wages, along with other benefits. However, personal injury protection (PIP) may often not be enough to cover the damages in a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident (MVA).

If you need help with your injury claim or have legal questions, our firm has answers and is ready to help. Our Flint-area car accident lawyers have extensive experience and a strong history of getting results. Call today to learn more. We are available to take your call 24/7.

Request your FREE case review today. (989) 244-0440

Why Drivers Are Often to Blame for a Pedestrian Crash

Drivers are often to blame for pedestrian crashes. Being behind the wheel of a vehicle provides a lot more protection than what a pedestrian has while crossing the street. Unfortunately, many drivers are negligent in their duties, which could lead to a pedestrian crash.

Common causes of pedestrian crashes when drivers may be liable include:

  • Driving while distracted by phones or something else
  • Being too tired or drowsy to drive safely
  • Operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other substances
  • Failing to yield-the-right of way
  • Running a red light
  • Exhibiting road rage or aggressive driving behavior

Are Both Drivers and Pedestrians Responsible for Michigan Road Safety?

Absolutely. It is true that drivers are much less vulnerable to being injured in a pedestrian crash. As such, paying attention to the road and yielding to pedestrians is a huge part of driver responsibility. Even if a driver has the right-of-way, drivers must stop and yield when a pedestrian enters the roadway. However, sometimes, a pedestrian may enter the road too quickly or unexpectedly for a driver to be able to avoid hitting them.

Pedestrian Responsibility for Road Safety

Many pedestrians may believe, incorrectly, that they can walk into the street without looking and that cars have to stop. Theoretically, cars do have to yield to a pedestrian. However, this does not mean that you have no responsibility for your safety or the safety of others.

Michigan has laws for pedestrians informing them where they can walk safely and where they are prohibited from walking.

For instance, pedestrians are prohibited from walking on a limited access highway or on the main portion of any highway. Pedestrians are also not permitted to block, obstruct or impede the normal flow of traffic on any roadway. This includes darting into traffic without looking or when pedestrian signals say not to walk.

When Could a Pedestrian Be Liable for Causing a Crash?

Pedestrians are required to stop and check for traffic anytime they cross a road. This responsibility applies whether there are pedestrian walk signals and crosswalks or not. Pedestrians also share liability for road safety when walking through parking lots, across driveways or any time there is traffic present.

Pedestrians who ignore their duty of care and cause a crash could share partial, or even full liability for the damages.

Why Does Liability for a Pedestrian Crash Matter in a No-Fault State?

It matters because if you are the pedestrian who gets injured, your PIP insurance may not cover all of your damages. This fact alone could leave you paying for thousands of dollars in damages, especially if you suffered severe or catastrophic injuries. If you are fully liable, you may have no other legal options for recovering excess damages, even if you meet the state’s injury threshold.

How Pedestrians Can Avoid Being Injured in a Crash

There are preventative measures pedestrians can take to be proactive about their own safety and the safety of others.

For instance:

  • Always look before crossing any roadway, intersection, driveway or parking lot
  • Do not try to do other things while walking across a street, such as texting or talking
  • When walking in bad weather or low light conditions, wear reflective clothing to be more visible
  • Do not try to cross a street while impaired by alcohol or other substances
  • Never dart suddenly into traffic as oncoming traffic may not see you
  • Do not cross a street from in between parked cars

Call Our Firm to Discuss Your Legal Rights After a Crash

After a pedestrian crash or any traffic accident where another’s negligence caused you harm, you may be eligible for significant compensation.

Call our trusted law firm to learn more about your legal rights. At Jay Trucks, we are always ready to help. There are no upfront costs to hire our services or while we manage your case.

Millions Recovered. (989) 244-0440