Are Drivers Always Liable When Hitting a Pedestrian?
When a driver hits a pedestrian, the assumption is often that the driver is at fault. However, in Colorado, this is not always the case. Liability for the accident is apportioned based on the degree of fault of each party involved, and pedestrians also have a duty to use reasonable care for their own safety. As such, it is important for drivers and pedestrians alike to understand their rights and obligations under Colorado law in order to ensure that they are protected in the event of an accident.
After a serious accident, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney who understands the intricacies of Colorado’s comparative fault laws. The Mintz Law Firm has a team of skilled and knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases, including those involving accidents between drivers and walkers. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.
Are Drivers Always Liable When Hitting with a Pedestrian?
In Colorado, drivers are not always automatically liable when they hit a pedestrian. Colorado is what is known as a “modified comparative fault” state, which means that liability for an accident is apportioned based on the degree of fault of each party involved.
Under Colorado law, pedestrians have a duty to use reasonable care for their own safety, and they are required to obey traffic signals and other pedestrian-related laws. If a pedestrian does not exercise reasonable care and their negligence contributes to the accident, their recovery may be reduced or eliminated.
However, this does not mean that drivers can simply avoid liability by arguing that the pedestrian was at fault. Colorado law requires drivers to exercise reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle, and they must take reasonable steps to avoid hitting pedestrians.
In cases where both the driver and the pedestrian were negligent, liability is apportioned based on the percentage of fault for each party. For instance, if a pedestrian was jaywalking and the driver was speeding, a court may find that the pedestrian was 30% at fault and the driver was 70% at fault. The damages awarded to the pedestrian would be reduced by 30% to reflect their degree of fault.
What Else to Know About Colorado’s Laws
It is important to note that Colorado also has a “comparative negligence” rule, which means that even if a pedestrian is more than 50% at fault for the accident, they can still recover damages from the driver. However, their damages award will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
It is also worth mentioning that Colorado law imposes a higher duty of care on drivers when it comes to children. Drivers must exercise greater caution and care when driving in areas where children are likely to be present, such as school zones and residential neighborhoods. If a driver hits a child pedestrian, they may face more severe consequences, even if the child was partially at fault.
In some cases, a driver may be found liable for hitting a pedestrian even if the pedestrian was not following the law or using reasonable care. For instance, if a driver is distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol and hits a pedestrian, they will likely be found liable regardless of the pedestrian’s behavior.
Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact Mintz Law Firm Today
While drivers are not always automatically liable for hitting a pedestrian in Colorado, it is important for them to exercise reasonable care and take all necessary precautions to avoid accidents. Pedestrians also have a duty to use reasonable care for their own safety, and their negligence can contribute to an accident. Therefore, neither the driver nor the pedestrian is automatically liable for an accident, so it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and obligations under the law.
At Mintz Law Firm, we have a team of skilled and experienced attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases, including accidents involving drivers and pedestrians. We understand the complexities of Colorado’s comparative fault laws and are committed to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today at (303) 462-2999 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your case.