A man lays on a road

How Is Liability for a Pedestrian Accident Determined?

By Jeremy Bradford
Founding Partner

When a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, it’s the person on foot – the one with nothing to protect them from 3,000 pounds of metal and fiberglass – who suffers the consequences. Pedestrian accidents often lead to catastrophic and life-altering physical injuries and financial uncertainty. If you’re dealing with the aftermath of one of these collisions, you’re probably wondering how you can hold the driver accountable for what they’ve done and get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.

At Bradford Law, we know how to handle these cases efficiently, effectively, and successfully. One of the first things our personal injury lawyers will do in your case is tackle the question of who is liable for causing the accident.

Common Causes of North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents are a significant problem in North Carolina. Statistics show that every year, more than 3,000 pedestrians are hit by vehicles statewide. On average, nearly 160 pedestrians die in traffic collisions annually. In fact, North Carolina is one of the least safe states in the nation for pedestrians and bicyclists.

What causes so many pedestrian accidents across the state? The answer is almost always driver error and inattention. Some of the most common causes of North Carolina pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Dangerous left turns
  • Failure to follow traffic signs and signals

Poor visibility can also contribute to dangerous pedestrian accidents. When walking, always remember to follow the rules of the road, use crosswalks and sidewalks, and wear bright-colored clothing or reflectors in high-traffic areas at night.

How Is Liability for a Pedestrian Accident Determined? 

Determining who is liable – that is, legally responsible for a pedestrian accident – takes a careful review of an array of evidence, such as:

  • Traffic laws
  • Police accident reports
  • Traffic and surveillance camera footage
  • Eyewitness interviews
  • Physical debris
  • Medical records
  • Accident reconstructions
  • Expert testimony

Proving liability means using evidence to show that a careless driver or other entity violated their duty to operate their vehicle safely, that their failure caused an accident that injured a pedestrian, and that the pedestrian suffered physical and financial harm.

In some cases, more than one party is liable for an accident. Depending on the circumstances, any or several of the following might be to blame:

  • The driver
  • Car manufacturer
  • Parts manufacturer
  • Government entity

Pedestrians can also be partially liable for causing an accident. Unfortunately, due to North Carolina’s strict contributory negligence rule, if a pedestrian is even one percent responsible for contributing to the accident, they may be barred from recovering compensation for their injuries. That’s why you should contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer who can walk you through the claim process, build a strong case that minimizes your share of fault, and negotiate for maximum compensation for your financial losses.

Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident 

Working with a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney increases your chances of recovering the money you need to move forward with your life. With their help, you can seek compensation for the many ways the pedestrian accident has affected your life, including your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

Do not accept money from the driver or their insurance company without consulting with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney first. The insurance company wants to save itself money, not help you move on with your life. If they contact you, politely tell them that you’re engaging legal representation.

Contact a North Carolina Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Help

A pedestrian accident can turn your world upside down in an instant. A personal injury attorney with Bradford Law can turn it back around. We offer responsive and tenacious legal representation and want to pursue every penny of the compensation you deserve. Contact our North Carolina office today and request a free case review.

About the Author
I am Jeremy Bradford, the founding and managing attorney of Bradford Law. From my offices in Charlotte, NC, I travel all across North Carolina helping injured people fight against insurance companies, in what could be life-altering circumstances. I have made a point to develop strong relationships with my clients. I take the trust my clients put in me personally and put myself into every case. If my client calls, my client will always be able to speak directly with me. You will get to know me as we work our way through the personal injury process. So when we make recommendations on whether to settle or go to trial, you will know your best interests are always at heart.