Who Is At Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?

Man on pedestrian crossing in autumn, in danger of being hit by carMan on pedestrian crossing in autumn, in danger of being hit by car concept

In Connecticut and across the country, injuries to pedestrians hit by cars and other motor vehicles are on the rise. The injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident are often severe, given that pedestrians are unprotected and are struck by a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds traveling at a high rate of speed.

One of the first questions that must be asked after an accident involving a pedestrian struck by a car is who was at fault. Answering that question will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of each case.

When Pedestrians Have the Right of Way

Since 1929, Connecticut has had laws that protect pedestrians in crosswalks by providing them with the right of way. Any vehicle, with the exception of emergency vehicles, must grant pedestrians the right of way if they are in a marked crosswalk, at the curb waiting to enter a marked crosswalk, or if there is no traffic signal and the pedestrian has a green light or walk signal. In addition, the pedestrian has the right of way on a sidewalk crossed by a driveway that a vehicle is waiting to enter.

When Pedestrians Must Yield

In other circumstances, a pedestrian must yield the right of way to a driver. For example, an emergency vehicle traveling with its sirens on or lights flashing has the right of way over a pedestrian. Likewise, a pedestrian does not have the right of way when crossing diagonally at an intersection, stepping onto a street that does not have a crosswalk, or entering into the path of a vehicle without giving the driver an opportunity to yield.

When and Where Is A Pedestrian Accident Most Likely to Occur?

While pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere, they are more likely to occur in some areas than others.

  • More than 75% of incidents involving pedestrians struck by vehicles occur in urban areas
  • More than 70% of these accidents occur away from crosswalks
  • More than half of pedestrian accidents happen at night
  • Pedestrians are more likely to be struck by the front of a vehicle rather than its rear or sides
  • Most pedestrian accidents involve cars or light trucks

Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident

When a pedestrian is struck by a car, the injuries to the pedestrian are often severe. Common injuries in a pedestrian accident include

  • Cuts, lacerations, and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Bruising
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Facial and dental injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Death

When Is a Pedestrian At Fault for an Accident?

Even though the pedestrian generally has the right of way, the pedestrian can be partially at fault for causing an accident if they

  • Disregard traffic control devices or fail to obey other traffic rules
  • Walk through traffic
  • Fail to use the crosswalk
  • Jaywalk
  • Walk on the road when a sidewalk is available
  • Are using an electronic device and are not paying attention

Connecticut’s 2021 Pedestrian Safety Bill

The Connecticut Pedestrian Safety Bill went into effect in October 2021. It includes safety measures intended to make Connecticut roadways safer for pedestrians and imposes higher fines on people who are speeding or driving while distracted. Noteworthy provisions of the bill are that

  • Pedestrians are no longer required to step into the road to indicate that they wish to use the crosswalk. Instead, they can wave their hand from the sidewalk or side of the road.
  • “Dooring,” the act of opening a car door as a cyclist or pedestrian approaches, is prohibited.
  • Motorists who are stopped for distracted driving will face stiffer penalties.

What To Do If You Were a Pedestrian Struck by a Car

If you were injured as a pedestrian in Connecticut, you should contact a pedestrian accident attorney who can advise you and protect your rights.

The Lebedevitch Law Firm, LLC will analyze your situation to determine who was at fault. Then we will gather evidence about the nature and extent of your injuries and fight for the compensation you deserve.

We handle most pedestrian accident injury cases on a contingency fee, which means you won’t pay us a fee until we recover money for you. Attorney Stephen Lebedevitch has years of experience representing people who were hurt in accidents and will work to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.

The Lebedevitch Law Firm is based in Fairfield, Connecticut, and proudly represents injury victims throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties. To learn how we can help, contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.