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Is It True A Pedestrian Can Never Be At-Fault For An Accident?

January 5, 2023

Pedestrian accidents often result in significant injuries. Pedestrians do not have much protection from the force of a vehicle, and they typically experience an impact with the vehicle and with the ground. If a pedestrian is injured due to the negligence of another driver, they will typically be able to recover compensation, but the reality is that pedestrians can also be at fault for the accident. Here, we want to review what Kentucky law says about pedestrians and their responsibilities on and around the roadway, as well as scenarios where a pedestrian could be at fault for an accident.

What Kentucky Law Says About Pedestrians

When we examine the information presented by the Kentucky Department of Transportation, we can see that pedestrians are required to obey all traffic control devices (KRS 189.570). Additionally, pedestrians must use sidewalks when they are available, as well as crosswalks if they are present. Pedestrians are required to yield the right of way to vehicles when they are outside of crosswalks, and they must not “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

Pedestrians can be at fault for a vehicle versus pedestrian accidents. If a pedestrian chooses to disregard basic traffic safety laws and an accident occurs, there will be an investigation into the incident. Law enforcement could certainly cite a pedestrian for failing to follow laws, and they could also notate that they believe a pedestrian was responsible for causing the collision.

For example, if a pedestrian suddenly bolts out into the roadway at a non-crosswalk area right into the path of an oncoming vehicle, it is unlikely that the driver would be found to be responsible for the incident. Pedestrians are responsible for yielding the right of way when there is no crosswalk, and they should always wait until vehicle traffic is clear before entering the roadway.

Comparative Negligence Should be Examined

Kentucky does prescribe to a “pure comparative negligence” system, which means there can be shared fault for an injury. In many cases, fault is not always cut and dry. There may be more than one party responsible for the incident, including a driver and a pedestrian.

In this state, individuals can receive compensation for their injuries even if they are partially responsible for causing them, though the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced depending on their percentage of fault.

Will You Need an Attorney?

We strongly suggest that any pedestrian injured in a collision with another vehicle reach out to a skilled Lexington injury attorney as soon as possible. These types of vehicle accident claims can become complicated, particularly if there are any allegations of shared fault for the incident. Pedestrians can run into roadblocks when it comes to recovering compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.

By working with a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer, a crash victims will have an advocate by their side who can use their resources to investigate the incident. An attorney will handle all negotiations with other parties involved and help their client move forward towards recovering compensation.

This is a blog post, not specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created.