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More Than 40 Years Experience and Millions Recovered
1-800-446-5879
Get In Touch For A Free Consultation

Pedestrian accidents and the doctrine of comparative negligence

Pedestrians are at risk of serious injury if they are struck by a vehicle. Drivers and pedestrians must take steps to ensure that everyone remains safe. One of the dangers that pedestrians face is having to cross busy streets.

In the city, crosswalks and cross streets provide opportunities for people walking to cross the street. These aren't present when a person is trying to cross a highway or interstate. For this reason, pedestrians are usually forbidden from walking along interstates. They can likely walk along the highway, but extra care is needed.

Dangerous speeds

One of the issues that can cause problems for pedestrians along highways and interstates is that cars drive fast. Speed limits along these highways average 55 miles per hour up to 70 miles per hour. This is a much faster speed than the 35 miles per hour that is the limit in the city and 25 miles per hour around schools.

A car that is traveling 55 miles per hour can cross a football field in only five seconds. Pedestrians should keep this in mind when they are trying to cross an interstate or highway because it gives you an idea of how far away a vehicle should appear if you plan on trying to get across the road. Remember, cars traveling at these higher speeds can't stop quickly so you shouldn't try to play chicken with them because an accident might occur.

When accidents occur

An accident that pits a pedestrian against a car is usually going to end poorly for the pedestrian. Medical care is likely necessary for the person who was hit. This might lead to a claim for compensation on the behalf of the pedestrian.

California uses the doctrine of comparative negligence to determine how compensation in accidents is handled. This means that a person's award in a case can be reduced if that person is said to have fault in the accident. If a pedestrian is crossing the street when it isn't appropriate to do so, he or she might be assigned a certain percentage of the blame. For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 40 percent at fault for the accident, a successful claim for compensation would be reduced by 40 percent. The defendant in the case would be responsible for 60 percent of the damages caused by the accident.

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