If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, one of the most important things you can do to win your claim is prove that the at-fault driver was negligent and therefore liable for your injuries. Liability in Denver pedestrian accident cases can be difficult to prove alone, which is why it is important to work with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. Your attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to help you prove fault and recover the damages that you deserve.
Determining liability in Denver pedestrian accident cases happens in stages. The first stage happens following the initial accident when law enforcement arrives and issues a citation to who they believe to be the at-fault party. However, that citation is not set in stone. If liability is contested or it is an issue, once it becomes an insurance claim or even goes into litigation and it is a lawsuit, it is up to a judge or a jury to determine fault.
There are certain aspects of the case that the judge or the jury will look at when determining who was at fault. The factors that exist in pedestrian accident cases can vary. Every case is fact-specific. If someone violated a law, by driving while drunk, for example, it is going to be easier for the victim to establish that liability. With that being said, the driver may not have violated any traffic laws but could still be found liable.
If a pedestrian is crossing at a crosswalk, they are less likely to be found comparatively negligent. The presence of and the use of a crosswalk is going to help a pedestrian in their case to establish that they were doing the right thing and it was the driver’s fault.
When can the Involved Parties Make Arguments Regarding Liability?
Under any circumstance, involved parties are allowed to make arguments regarding liability in Denver pedestrian accident cases. Even when it is an apparently clear-cut decision on liability, because of the way the legal system works, any party has the opportunity to argue their point and their case if they want to. If someone is being accused and is determined liable, they can appeal the decision, whether it is in traffic court or in a civil litigation suit.
Differences Between Liability in Car and Pedestrian Accident Cases
Liability in Denver pedestrian accident cases is not as different from car accident cases as many people think, but pedestrians and drivers obviously follow different laws. Pedestrians do not have the same obligations that drivers do because they are not in a motor vehicle so different laws will apply, but as far as establishing liability in this personal injury context, it is always going to be a negligence standard.
Pedestrian Negligence in Accidents
If a pedestrian is crossing in a non-designated crosswalk area, they could be found at least partially negligent or responsible. If they are crossing when they do not have the right of way, for example, if someone jets out into traffic especially in a highway scenario, liability can’t be put on a driver. If it is unreasonable for a driver to think that a pedestrian is going to be crossing and they have no reasonable chance to avoid the pedestrian even if they are paying full attention, those are the circumstances under which a pedestrian is going to be found negligent.
Distracted Driving in Pedestrian Collisions
If a driver is found to be distracted by a cell phone or something of similar nature, they probably may not have much of an argument for comparative negligence on a pedestrian because it is clear that they were distracted. When an individual is operating a motor vehicle, they are held to a high standard of safety when they are traveling on the roadways.
Impact of Vehicle Speed on Liability
Speed is an important factor if a vehicle has the right of way, but if the driver is traveling at double the speed limit, they most likely are going to be found at least partially liable or contributorily negligent because they should never have been traveling that fast in the first place. The pedestrian in that situation can make the argument that they thought they had enough time to make it across the roadway, had that car been going the established speed limit and not twice as fast. Speed definitely plays a factor when establishing liability in Denver pedestrian accident cases. If a vehicle is driving dangerously or recklessly or carelessly, the speed is going to impact the way the driver is going to be assessed as well.
How a Denver Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help
A pedestrian accident attorney could work to secure all the necessary information and evidence regarding the accident. That includes information like, where the accident took place, the location of crosswalks, who had the right of way, witness statements, photographs and so on. That kind of evidence is vital when trying to prove liability in Denver pedestrian accident cases. If you have been injured in an accident and need help establishing a negligent driver’s liability, speak with a skilled accident lawyer that could help.