Pedestrian and cyclist accidents are dangerous types of car accidents. However, a driver may not always be at fault for hitting a pedestrian or bicycle rider. In North Carolina, drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and even vehicle manufacturers may be at fault for an accident. Determining negligence depends on the actions of each person in the events leading up to the crash.
Can a driver be liable for hitting a pedestrian?
Motor vehicle accidents are often the fault of a driver when they fail to act with reasonable safety. Drivers have a duty to operate with the care and caution of a reasonable person. They must be prepared for the fact that they may encounter a pedestrian.
When they’re in an area with a lot of pedestrians, car drivers must adjust their speed. They must even be prepared to encounter a pedestrian where they don’t expect it. If a driver is distracted or careless, they may be held responsible for failing to avoid a pedestrian or cyclist. Speeding, failing to observe traffic signals and following too close to other vehicles are examples of unreasonable behaviors.
Determining reasonable care and fault after an accident
Drivers should always have a sense of awareness of the circumstances around them, but pedestrians and bicyclists must also pay attention to what’s around them. Getting distracted by a handheld device or ignoring traffic signals could lead to a pedestrian or cyclist causing an accident.
There may be a situation where both the driver and the pedestrian are at fault for the motor vehicle accident if they each failed to act with reasonable care. What is reasonable in one situation may be unreasonable if the circumstances are a little different, so it may take investigators and attorneys to determine where fault for accident lies.
Everyone has a legal obligation of care on the road. When a party does not live up to the standard of reasonable behavior, they may be liable for injuries resulting from an accident. An individual who has questions about their accident may want to consult a personal injury attorney.