Almost every driver has heard the rule, “Pedestrians always have the right of way.”
But do they really?
In most situations, a pedestrian does have the right of way; in others, the pedestrian could be considered partially or completely at fault for an accident. This is because pedestrians are legally obligated to conduct themselves with the safety of others in mind. Per state law, motorists and pedestrians owe this “duty of care” to each other.
When a pedestrian acts recklessly or without any regard for the safety of others, they have violated this duty of care. They are certainly not immune from being held accountable for their actions should an accident result.
For example, a pedestrian may be considered liable for an accident if they were negligent in one or more of the following ways:
- Walking where they are not supposed to, such as jaywalking or walking on a bridge where pedestrians are prohibited.
- Failing to pay attention/distracted walking, such as getting lost in thought or texting while walking.
- Walking while intoxicated, which is simply walking under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
That said, sharing no more than 50% of the blame for an accident will not bar a pedestrian from recovering compensation. Under Illinois’ comparative fault rule, it will simply reduce the amount of compensation to which they are entitled. (If a pedestrian is only 20% at fault for the accident, they would still be entitled to compensation for 80% of the damages.) This means that even if you were partially at fault for a pedestrian accident, you may be compensated for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and more.
Were You Injured in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident?
Our seasoned attorney team at The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm has a reputation for fighting for the victims of negligence, and with unwavering dedication. We are particularly skilled in helping our clients navigate complex litigation. If you need legal representation you can trust, fill out and submit an online contact form to request a free consultation. Or call our Charleston office at (217) 394-5885.