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Can a Pedestrian Be Liable for a Car Accident in Arizona?

Posted on January 20, 2022 in

Pedestrians are vulnerable to larger and heavier motor vehicles. They lack the protection of motor vehicles and protective equipment, making it more likely that the pedestrian will be injured should an accident occur. It’s reasonable to think that the driver is always held liable because pedestrians are more vulnerable to injury during an accident. However, the common belief that pedestrians always have the right of way is incorrect, meaning pedestrians have a duty of care just as drivers do.

Drivers have a duty of reasonable care to those they share the road with, which holds them liable for negligent driving behavior. Pedestrians are also responsible for their behavior and exercising reasonable care; therefore, if they breach the duty of care, there is a chance the pedestrian will be held wholly or partially responsible for an accident.

When Can a Pedestrian Be Liable for a Car Accident in Arizona?

Under Arizona law, courts can determine a pedestrian is partly to blame in an accident that resulted in injuries. Arizona law follows the comparative negligence standard, meaning courts decide the percentage of blame that can potentially be apportioned to the motorist and the pedestrian. If the pedestrian is found to share blame in the accident due to their negligence, the damages they receive will be reduced by the percentage of blame the court decides. Pedestrians who fail to adhere to the following may be held entirely or partially responsible for the accident.

  • Pedestrians must follow traffic control signals at intersections
  • If there is a crosswalk, pedestrians must cross at the crosswalk
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way if there is no crosswalk
  • Pedestrians must not suddenly walk or run into the path of a vehicle
  • Pedestrians must not walk on a roadway when a sidewalk is available
  • If a sidewalk isn’t available, a pedestrian must walk on the left side of the road or its shoulder facing traffic

Additionally, pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident may also be held liable for negligent behavior. Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to make sound decisions and motor functions, whether driving or walking. Cell phones are a dangerous distraction to pedestrians, just as they are to drivers. Pedestrians glued to their phones may inadvertently walk in front of a vehicle or otherwise ignore safety laws, meaning they could be held responsible for the incident.

Insurance companies will be quick to place partial or complete blame on the pedestrian if it means they don’t have to pay the total amount of compensation owed to them. The best way to ensure you receive the full compensation owed to you is to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer who can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They will investigate the accident and ensure you have the necessary evidence to achieve the best outcome possible.

Contact Our Jensen Phelan Law Firm Pedestrian Accident Specialist Lawyer

Getting into a pedestrian accident can leave you with serious injuries and questions about what legal steps you can take to get financial compensation for injuries. At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, P.C., we have represented injured accident victims for decades. We understand how emotional and overwhelming a personal injury claim can be, especially if you think you may be partially responsible for the accident. Our personal injury lawyers can guide you through Arizona’s complicated personal injury claim process. The experienced and specialist attorneys at Jensen Phelan Law Firm have the necessary resources to negotiate with insurance adjusters and protect your rights to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys through our contact form or call (928) 778-2660.