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Though a traffic collision can have serious consequences for anyone involved, pedestrians are especially vulnerable to injuries. As such, there are many right-of-way laws in place meant to help keep them safe. However, this doesn’t automatically relieve them of any responsibility in the event a pedestrian accident occurs. The following guide explains how fault is determined in these types of claims.

FAQ About Pedestrian Accidents

How do you establish liability?

In any personal injury case, deciding fault begins with establishing liability. This means proving which party’s negligence resulted in the accident. First, it must be demonstrated that someone had a duty of care to avoid harming those around them. Then, the victim needs to show that duty of care was breached, which directly caused the accident. Finally, there has to be proof that this breach led to damages. Every motorist and pedestrian has a legal responsibility to use the roadway safely to protect themselves and others.

What are the ways a driver may be at fault?

pedestrian accident

Drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws, watch out for pedestrians, and take reasonable precautions not to hit anyone. Despite this, they may exhibit any number of negligent actions that can lead to a pedestrian accident. This may include exceeding the speed limit, failure to yield, running a red light or stop sign, making a turn without checking the crosswalk, driving distracted, or driving impaired. 

How can a pedestrian be at fault?

Pedestrians are also expected to exercise reasonable care to prevent an accident. They may be found at fault for behavior such as crossing outside of a crosswalk, crossing against traffic signals, failing to look before crossing the road, entering a roadway while intoxicated, or walking in prohibited areas like highways and bridges. 

What is comparative negligence in car-pedestrian accidents? 

New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state, which means fault can be assigned to each party separately if there’s evidence that both contributed to the accident. As a result, an injured pedestrian may share responsibility. In these cases, the damages a pedestrian receives will be reduced according to their percentage of fault. 


If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, trust Balderrama Law Firm LLC in Carlsbad, NM to guide you through your legal options. Backed by over a decade of experience, this practice is dedicated to helping personal injury victims obtain the maximum compensation they deserve. These skilled attorneys have a successful track record of proving liability and recovering damages in favor of their clients. Call (575) 234-1111 to schedule a free case evaluation, or visit them online to learn more about the services they offer. 


(505) 900-3834


(575) 433-2384


7401 Hancock Ct. NE, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87109


(575) 234-1111


(575) 885-6788


706 N. Canal Street Carlsbad, NM 88220