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Determining pedestrian fault in traffic accidents

Determining fault in a traffic accident is key for resolving insurance claims, injury payouts and criminal liability. While many collisions are assumed to be the fault of drivers, pedestrians can also cause or contribute to these incidents.

If you frequently travel through areas with heavy foot traffic, it is important to be aware of ways to establish pedestrian fault in the event of an accident.

Traffic signals

One way to demonstrate fault is by showing that the pedestrian ignored traffic signals. If the pedestrian crossed the street against a red light or a “Do Not Walk” sign, it suggests they were not following the rules of the road, potentially contributing to the accident.


If the pedestrian crossed the street outside of a designated crosswalk, it can indicate fault. Crosswalks provide safe areas for pedestrians to cross, and crossing elsewhere can increase the risk of accidents, especially if the driver does not expect someone to cross there.

Witness testimony

Witnesses who saw the accident can provide valuable insight into what happened. Their testimony can help establish the actions of both the pedestrian and the driver leading up to the accident. Witness statements can corroborate evidence and provide a clearer picture of who may have been at fault.

Video footage

Video footage from surveillance cameras or dashcams can be key to determining fault. Clear video evidence showing the actions of the pedestrian, such as crossing against signals or suddenly darting into traffic, can support the argument that they were at fault in the accident.

Physical evidence

Physical evidence at the scene of the accident can also help establish fault. Skid marks, debris and the point of impact can provide clues about the circumstances leading up to the accident. Examining these elements can help reconstruct the events and determine who may have been responsible.

Police reports

Police reports filed at the scene of the accident can contain important information about the circumstances surrounding the incident. They may include statements from both the pedestrian and the driver, as well as any witnesses. Enlisting the help of an experienced advocate to review the police report can help determine fault.

If you were in an accident and suspect a pedestrian was at fault, these pieces of evidence can help establish what happened and who bears responsibility.


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