How Is Fault Established in Pedestrian Accidents?


In addition to other motorists, you must watch out for pedestrians who enter the path of your moving vehicle. If a pedestrian accident occurs, a judge will take numerous factors into account when assigning fault in the subsequent personal injury case. Here is a quick overview of how a court determines whether the pedestrian was to blame for the accident. 

The Law of Negligence Is Applied

A judge will determine whether either party’s negligence caused the accident. This means either the pedestrian or motorist didn’t take reasonable care to avoid what happened. The pedestrian, for example, could be guilty of not paying attention while crossing the street or jaywalking. A motorist’s behavior could be deemed negligent if they drove through an intersection when the traffic light was red or made an illegal turn into a walkway.

The Police Report Is Evaluated


If the police were called to the scene, their accident report can provide a wealth of information to help a judge determine who was at fault. The paperwork will indicate whether the pedestrian broke the law, such as walking in the middle of traffic, not crossing at an intersection, or walking along the highway when the accident occurred. 

The notes also include whether the driver was in violation of any traffic laws, which could have led to the collision. Witness statements are included in the report, too, as they shed light on bystanders’ observations of the events leading up to the incident. 

Expert Witnesses Might Be Called

In addition to the testimony of those who saw the crash, expert witnesses can provide insight on the probability the pedestrian’s actions caused the accident. With careful analysis, for instance, accident reconstruction specialists can determine whether the pedestrian was hard to see from the driver’s point of view, whether the driver’s stopping distance could have prevented the crash, and the likelihood the pedestrian or driver was distracted. A sidewalk expert can give their opinion based on their findings of whether accident prevention safety measures were in place at the walkway where the pedestrian accident happened.


If you are a motorist who was involved in a pedestrian accident, reach out to Balderrama Law Firm LLC in Carlsbad, NM, for guidance. With over a decade of experience, the accident attorney will evaluate your situation and help gather evidence to increase the likelihood of a judgment in your favor. Learn more about the counselor’s practice areas online and call (575) 234-1111 to discuss your case. 


(505) 900-3834


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Albuquerque, NM 87109


(575) 234-1111


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706 N. Canal Street Carlsbad, NM 88220