Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys
An auto-pedestrian accident is somewhere no one ever wants to find themselves. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Many people believe the driver is always liable in these situations. But is that truly the case? Below, a few legal gurus answer that question for us.
Thomas Stufano

Thomas Stufano

Founder of Stufano Law, PLLC.

It Depends On The Situation, Local Laws, And Evidence

First and foremost, it is essential to recognize that each pedestrian accident is unique, and liability can vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. It is crucial to thoroughly investigate the accident and gather all relevant evidence before determining liability.

There are situations where a pedestrian has caused or contributed to an accident. In these situations, the legal concept of “comparative negligence” or “contributory negligence” will come into play. This concept acknowledges that both the driver and pedestrian may share some fault for the accident.

The degree of liability assigned to each part will depend on the specific laws of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred and how the evidence supports each party’s actions leading up to the incident.

In states that follow what is referred to as “pure comparative negligence,” even if they find the pedestrian to be 80% at fault, they may still be able to pursue a claim for the remaining 20% of their damages.

On the other hand, in states that follow a “modified comparative negligence” system, there will be a specific threshold (i.e., 50% or 51%) that a pedestrian’s liability must fall below if they wish to recover their damages.

It Depends On The State

It’s going to depend on what state the accident occurs in. Indiana, for example, is an at-fault state, meaning the person deemed responsible for the accident is responsible for paying for the other person’s injuries and damaged property. This is clearly defined if the pedestrian was walking outside of a crosswalk. In the case of a pedestrian and car accident where the pedestrian caused the accident, the pedestrian would be held liable.

However, if this type of accident occurred in a no-fault state, then both the driver and the pedestrian will be held liable. If the driver was 25% at fault for the accident, their compensation will be reduced by 25%. On the other hand, the pedestrian’s compensation will be reduced by 75% since they were 75% at fault.

Rick Hovde

Rick Hovde

Founding Partner at Hovde Dassow + Deets.
Jeffrey M. Kimmel

Jeffrey M. Kimmel

Managing Partner and CEO at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel, and Bavaro LLP

It Depends On Local Laws

Despite the popular adage that pedestrians have the right of way, a pedestrian can share legal fault for an accident depending on each state’s personal injury laws.

Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, adhering to traffic laws and road rules when navigating through streets, highways, and crosswalks is expected. Therefore, if a pedestrian fails to practice reasonable care and gets hit by a car, the pedestrian could be considered at fault.

In some states, however, juries [can] assign fault based on the comparative negligence standard. This means that if a jury decides both parties were partially at fault for contributing to an accident, their degree of responsibility can be weighted accordingly. Each party can be held legally liable for specific damages caused by them.

Regardless of any complications surrounding responsibility in a pedestrian/vehicle collision, it’s important for drivers to realize that they can still be held accountable should negligent driving be a contributing factor.

It Will Depend On These Five Factors

    1. Pedestrian Behavior: If the pedestrian was behaving in a way that directly led to the accident (e.g., darting into traffic, crossing against a traffic signal), this could be taken into account when determining liability.

    2. Driver Behavior: If the driver was behaving responsibly (e.g., obeying traffic laws, driving at a safe speed), they may be less likely to be found liable. However, some jurisdictions place a high duty of care on drivers to avoid hitting pedestrians, even if the pedestrian is acting carelessly.

    3. Contributory and Comparative Negligence: Many jurisdictions have laws that look at the relative fault of the parties involved. If both the driver and pedestrian contributed to the accident, [they] might share liability. In some places, the driver might not be liable if [they] find the pedestrian more at fault.

    4. Evidence And Witnesses: Video footage, photographs, witness testimonies, and police reports can all influence the determination of liability. Thorough investigation and evidence collection are essential for a fair evaluation.

    5. Local Laws And Regulations: Traffic laws and regulations regarding pedestrian rights and duties can vary widely between countries, states, or municipalities. Familiarity with local laws can make a significant difference in a legal dispute.

Andrew Kuttow

Andrew Kuttow

Editor-in-Chief of

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.