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What are my rights after a pedestrian accident?

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident (whether you are the pedestrian or the driver), you may have a number of questions about liability and fault. You certainly want to know who would be held legally responsible and who could be sued for damages stemming from the accident, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

The answer depends on a number of factors, including whether the driver (or the pedestrian) was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, whether the pedestrian was in a marked crosswalk, whether the driver was speeding and whether any other hazards contributed to the accident. 

These factors are important because they help in establishing whether contributory negligence should be considered. Essentially an injured person's recovery could be reduced by how much fault he or she contributed towards the accident. For example, a pedestrian who attempts to cross a busy street without using the crosswalk and is injured could see be viewed as being 25 percent liable for their injuries. If the injured pedestrian is awarded $10,000, it could be reduced to $7,500 based on their own negligence.

As such, the best way to answer questions of liability and fault is to conduct a detailed investigation so that the proper information can be found to clearly determine who was at fault. An investigation could mean the difference between a substantial judgment and a recovery.

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