Can Liability be Limited for Distracted Pedestrians?
Driving distractions, such as texting or checking a social media account via mobile device, can lead to serious accidents and injuries. However, many people do not realize the risks of using these devices while walking.
If a pedestrian is distracted, he or she may not notice a turning car or one that is coming in his or her direction—he or she may step into the road in front of a vehicle and be struck. In such instances, many people wonder what their rights to recovery may be; however, an experienced Green Bay pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate your individual situation and advise you of your rights.
Liability in Distracted Walking Accidents
Following most pedestrian accidents, fault is generally automatically assigned to the driver. However, in many cases, a driver or his or her insurance company may try to limit liability by claiming that the pedestrian was at least partially at fault. A driver will commonly claim that the pedestrian was not paying attention and that his or her distraction was the true reason for a collision. This is especially the case if a pedestrian was texting or looking at a smartphone at the time of an accident.
However, simply because a pedestrian contributed to the cause of an accident does not completely relieve a negligent driver of responsibility. Under Wisconsin law, if a driver was at least 50 percent at fault, the pedestrian can still recover for a percentage of his or her losses. For example:
- A negligent driver collides with a distracted pedestrian;
- The pedestrian incurs $100,000 worth of losses;
- The court determines that the pedestrian is 30 percent at fault and the driver is 70 percent at fault; and
- As such, the pedestrian can recover $70,000, which is 70 percent of his or her losses.
Many injured pedestrian accident victims may wrongfully believe that the fact that they were distracted eliminates their right to recover and may, therefore, fail to seek legal advice. By doing this, they likely lose out on significant compensation from another negligent party for their often extensive injury-related losses. It is always wise to consult with an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.
Contact an Appleton, Wisconsin or Green Bay, Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have sustained any type of personal injury, please consult with a skilled Appleton personal injury attorney or Green Bay personal injury attorney who can determine if you have a viable claim. Liability may be unclear or complicated in many pedestrian accidents or other types of motor vehicle-related cases; therefore, it is important to speak with a lawyer who can identify any rights to compensation that you may have. At Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., we offer free consultations for all injury cases, so there is nothing to lose by calling our office to discuss your situation with an attorney. We have office locations in Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh, and New London to better serve clients throughout Wisconsin. Please call us today at 920-739-7366 for assistance.