Who's Responsible if I Run into a Pedestrian Who's Walking outside the Crosswalk?

It has to be the pedestrian's fault if they weren't in the crosswalk, right? Who's responsible and how does that work?
Christine Lacagnina Written by Christine Lacagnina
Christine Lacagnina
Written by Christine Lacagnina

Christine Lacagnina has written thousands of insurance-based articles for TrustedChoice.com by authoring consumable, understandable content.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.

Man in black on crossing street in the winter. Who's responsible if I ran into a pedestrian who was walking outside of the crossing lane?

Sometimes accidents and their respective faults aren’t as black and white as they may seem. So what happens if, while driving, you hit a pedestrian who was walking outside of the crosswalk? Who’s responsible for this mess, anyway?

Luckily an independent insurance agent can answer these important questions for you and also get you set up with the right car insurance policy. Here’s how they’d help you get protected against hitting a pedestrian and causing injury on the road.

Who’s Responsible if I Hit a Pedestrian Who Was Walking outside a Crosswalk?

Unfortunately, that’s not a simple answer. Several criteria have to be evaluated to determine who was at fault in this situation. In most states, it can actually be found that both the driver and the pedestrian share the fault to some extent. 

It will be up to a jury or insurance adjuster to officially determine where the fault lies in case of an accident. Any accounts from witnesses will be considered as well.

When Is the Pedestrian at Fault?

There are several instances when the pedestrian can be found at least partially at fault for an accident in which they were struck by a car. These include the following situations.

  • Walking in pedestrian-prohibited areas like bridges or highways
  • Crossing the street on a “Do Not Walk” signal
  • Crossing in the middle of the street or outside a crosswalk (i.e., jaywalking)
  • Crossing the street while intoxicated or distracted

Even if a pedestrian was crossing inside a crosswalk, they might still be considered at least partially at fault for an accident if they were doing so while intoxicated or texting on their phone. Each accident is unique and must be evaluated in depth to determine fault.

What Kind of Coverage Do I Need to Protect Myself as the Driver?

You’ll need a good auto insurance policy to protect yourself from accidents like striking a pedestrian on the road, and from many other disasters. Without auto insurance, you could be left paying any resulting lawsuit and medical costs out of your own pocket. That’s why it’s important to connect with an independent insurance agent to get set up with car insurance before you ever hit the road.

How Would Car Liability Insurance Work in This Case?

Standard car insurance policies include liability coverage that reimburses the driver for the following, in case of an accident.

  • Legal fees: Your auto insurance’s liability coverage will pay the costs to defend you in court, including fees for your lawyer and settlement fees if you’re found to be at fault for the accident.
  • Injuries to third parties: Your auto insurance’s liability coverage will also typically pay for medical costs relating to injuries of a person you strike with your vehicle.

Double-check your personal auto insurance with the help of your independent insurance agent to be certain of how you’d be protected if you hit a pedestrian.

So Both the Driver and the Pedestrian Can Be at Fault?

Yes, in most states, both the driver and the pedestrian can share fault for an accident, to different extents. Say you hit a pedestrian who was crossing outside a crosswalk, but you were also speeding. The jury might find both you and the pedestrian to be at 50% fault, each.

In this case, if the pedestrian’s claimed damage for their injuries totaled $5,000, in states that have a pure comparative negligence rule, the pedestrian would only be awarded $2,500. The ruling of this exact scenario can vary by state, so it’s important to be familiar with your local laws. An independent insurance agent can help advise on this question in your area, as well.

Where Can I Get Car Insurance?

Car insurance is available from many insurance companies in each state. To find the one that best matches your needs, work together with an independent insurance agent.

Your independent insurance agent can help you find the right auto coverage for you, whether it’s from one of these companies or somewhere else.

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help

When it comes to protecting drivers against collisions with at-fault pedestrians and all other strange incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in car insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.

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