Left turn

As a Pedestrian, What Duty is Placed Upon Me to Avoid Accidents? Is It Always the Driver’s Fault?

Being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian can lead to serious short-term and long-term injuries to your physical and mental health. Common injuries that pedestrians sustain from pedestrian-vehicle collisions include broken bones, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and lost limbs. Mental effects can include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and phobias.

Although pedestrians usually suffer more serious injuries than drivers in pedestrian-vehicle collisions, pedestrians may still be found at fault. If you were injured in a pedestrian traffic accident, you need to know the factors that determine fault in the wreck.

Indiana Laws Dictating Pedestrian Liability for a Traffic Accident

If you were walking and a vehicle hit you, you can still be found at fault under certain circumstances. If you broke pedestrian traffic laws, you could be labeled the negligent party in an accident. In order to stay in accordance with Indiana pedestrian laws, walkers need to:

  • Cross the road via a crosswalk or an area with pedestrian control signals.
  • Yield to vehicles outside of a designated crosswalk.
  • Avoid crossing the road diagonally unless a crosswalk or pedestrian control signal says otherwise.
  • Avoid standing in the road to solicit drivers for business or a ride.
  • Walk on the sidewalk if one is available.
  • Walk on the shoulder of the road if there’s no available sidewalk.

Additional rules are outlined in Indiana Code TITLE 9. Make sure to follow these additional laws if you’re a pedestrian in Indiana:

  • Follow all traffic and pedestrian control signals unless a police officer informs you otherwise.
  • Pedestrians are prohibited from suddenly or unexpectedly entering the street, especially if there’s an oncoming vehicle.
  • Walkers need to yield to vehicles if they’re walking outside of a designated crosswalk zone.
  • Pedestrians can’t walk outside of a crosswalk if they’re crossing at an intersection with traffic control signals.
  • Road authorities can prohibit pedestrians from walking in the street in business districts and highways.

Anyone who breaks the law by crossing a street illegally is considered a jaywalker. In Indiana, jaywalkers can be charged with a Class C infraction, and they may face up to a $500 fine

Establishing Fault in a Pedestrian-Car Accident

If a pedestrian crosses or walks on a street illegally, they can be found at fault for a traffic accident. Additionally, drivers and pedestrians can share fault. Indiana is a comparative negligence state, meaning that drivers and pedestrians can share the blame, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t receive compensation for your injury if you were partially at fault. Comparative negligence is shared as a percentage based on the negligence of each party. For example, if you crossed a street diagonally at the time of the wreck and the driver was texting, you may both receive a percentage of the blame based on negligence. You might receive 30% of the blame for crossing illegally while the driver receives 70% of the blame for texting at the wheel.

In cases of comparative negligence, you can receive damages based on the percentage in which you’re at fault. For example, you’d receive more damages if you were 15% at fault than if you were 30%. In Indiana, you can only receive compensation if the opposite party shares majority fault, so you can’t receive damages if you share over 50% of the blame.

Hire an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney

Even if you share partial blame for your personal injuries, you can still receive compensation from a driver who hit you. If you or a loved one were injured as a pedestrian, contact personal injury lawyers immediately. At Crossen Law Firm, we help injured individuals receive the compensation they deserve from accidents. If another party’s negligence caused your injury, you should seek damages for your health. Contact us to learn more about pedestrian-vehicle collisions at (317) 401-8626 or click here to schedule a consultation.