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Liability in New Mexico Pedestrian Accidents

Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Accidents involving a car and a pedestrian often lead to devastating injuries because of the huge disparity between the size and weight of a vehicle versus that of a pedestrian. These accidents can be confusing because it can be difficult to determine the events that caused the collision to occur. If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, the Fine Law Firm can investigate who is to blame and help you fight for fair compensation. Below, we discuss the parties who may be responsible for these accidents. Contact us today at (505) 889-3463 for a free case review to discuss your legal rights and options.

Driver

Many times, it is assumed that the driver is responsible for accidents involving a car and a pedestrian. Drivers are supposed to keep a lookout for potential hazards, including unexpected pedestrians. However, the driver is not automatically responsible for the accident. The question is whose negligence caused the accident. Liability ultimately comes down to the circumstances behind the crash.

Drivers may be negligent if they:

  • Do not stop at a stop sign
  • Ignore traffic lights
  • Drive while distracted or impaired
  • Speed
  • Drive recklessly

Pedestrian

Pedestrians can also be to blame for accidents. Pedestrians do not always have the right of way. They must follow the rules of the road. If they don’t and they cause an accident, they could not only be responsible for paying for their own medical expenses but also for the damages the driver incurs.

Some times when a pedestrian may be found liable for an accident include:

  • The pedestrian crosses away from a crosswalk and where there are no signals
  • The pedestrian does not obey the signal
  • The pedestrian darts out in front of traffic without looking
  • The pedestrian does not walk on a sidewalk when one is available
  • The pedestrian does not pay attention or is distracted
  • The pedestrian walks on a limited-access roads

Governmental Entity

Some pedestrian accidents are not the fault of the pedestrian or the motorist but instead a third party. For example, a government entity or third party who is responsible for maintaining the roadway may be responsible when the accident is due to:

  • Poor road design
  • Malfunctioning traffic lights or devices
  • Potholes
  • Cracked sidewalk or pavement

Split Responsibility

In some situations, liability rests with more than one party. Suppose a pedestrian is listening to music and not paying attention. A motorist who is speeding doesn’t have enough time to brake completely before running into the pedestrian. The jury decides the motorist is 80% responsible for the accident and the pedestrian is 20% responsible for the accident. In this type of scenario, the pedestrian could still pursue a claim against the motorist, but their recovery would be reduced by their degree of negligence, which is 20% in this case. So, if they suffered $100,000 in damages, they could receive $80,000 since 20% or $20,000 was due to their own negligence.

Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Assistance

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you need the help of an experienced lawyer who can investigate the accident and determine who is responsible for it. The Fine Law Firm has extensive experience handling these types of claims. Contact us today at (505) 889-3463 for your free consultation.

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