In car accidents involving pedestrians, the person on foot is typically the one who sustains the most severe injuries. Very few people wear protective equipment while taking an afternoon stroll, and the heavy impact of a motor vehicle can be dangerous, if not deadly.
Although pedestrians have the right of way, there are some instances where you may be hesitant to pursue litigation. What if you failed to use the crosswalk? What if you crossed when the traffic light told you not to? Are you still eligible for personal injury damages?
Percentage of fault
Most states use a policy of comparative negligence to resolve situations where a pedestrian may have been partially at fault in a car accident. The state of Massachusetts stipulates that you must be less than 50% to blame for the incident in order to receive any compensation.
While you may have jumped the gun by crossing before the light told you to, the person behind the wheel still has a duty to be aware of surroundings. An attentive driver should see a pedestrian and slow down to avoid a collision.
If the judge finds that you are less than 50% responsible, then you should receive a modified figure of damages. In other words, if you are 25% to blame, the court may only award you 75% of your due compensation.
Proof of negligence
In cases where comparative negligence becomes an issue, it is typically the driver who must prove that the pedestrian was partially to blame for the accident. While this can work in your favor, you may face challenges if the driver has evidence that you were not paying complete attention when you set foot in the road.
If you sustain pedestrian injuries in a car accident, it is worth your time to pursue compensation, even if you think you may have been partly at fault. Medical bills can become overwhelming, and a loss of wages due to temporary or permanent disability can create even more stress. Seeking out damages can help alleviate this burden.