when is a pedestrian at fault for a car accident

When Is a Pedestrian at Fault for a Car Accident in Maine?

Getting hit by a car can cause life-altering injuries that require years of recovery. To add insult to injury, some drivers may sue you and claim you’re responsible for the accident. This may not seem fair, but it happens often in Maine. 

So, when is a pedestrian at fault for a car accident? 

While there isn’t a general rule, pedestrians are at fault if their actions caused the accident. However, determining liability isn’t an easy process. There are many considerations, and you need a lawyer who understands Maine’s intricate personal injury law. 

If you need help after an accident, contact Mann Law. We have a successful record of standing up for pedestrians’ rights and will fight hard for the compensation you deserve. 

Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities 

Maine law gives pedestrians several right-of-way protections. Generally, vehicle operators must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks. 

However, Maine doesn’t have a universal right-of-way law for pedestrians. Walkers must follow these responsibilities, or else they can face penalties:

  • Use sidewalks. Pedestrians can’t walk on a road if a sidewalk is available. 
  • Unmarked crossings. Pedestrians must yield to vehicles when crossing a road without a marked crosswalk. Also, some cities may fine those who jaywalk. 
  • Obey traffic signals. If a crossing uses a traffic control device, a pedestrian can only walk when the device permits it. 
  • Stay alert. Pedestrians can’t walk in front of an oncoming car if it would be impossible for the driver to slow down and stop. Look both ways before crossing, even in marked crosswalks, to ensure cars see you and slow down.

Following these responsibilities can help limit or prevent liability in the event of an accident.

When Is a Pedestrian At Fault for a Car Accident?

Fault refers to legal responsibility for causing an accident. Often, a pedestrian is at fault if their actions made the accident more likely to happen or unavoidable.

Some examples of how a pedestrian can be liable include:

  • Crossing outside designated areas. Jaywalking or darting into traffic can surprise drivers and make it difficult for them to stop in time.
  • Disobeying traffic signals. Ignoring crosswalk signs or lights can contribute to an accident, especially if the driver had the right of way.
  • Distracted walking. Looking at your phone or wearing headphones can limit your awareness of traffic. You can be liable if you ignore an obvious hazard and cause an accident.

You may not be liable, even if you commit one of these acts. Many factors are at play before an accident, and you may still be eligible for compensation. 

Sharing Liability Doesn’t Prevent You from Recovering Compensation

Maine follows a modified comparative negligence model. This means you can receive compensation if you are not at least 50% responsible for the accident. However, a court will reduce your total compensation by the percentage of fault you share. 

For example, imagine you are found to be 30% at fault for an accident, and you win $100,000 at trial. Since you share 30% of the blame, the court will only give you 70% of the damages, which is $70,000.

How a Lawyer Can Help

The legal system is confusing, and the other side will try to use this to their advantage. You need a reliable attorney to take on your case and stand up for your rights. 

Contact Mann Law to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. Their advocacy and support will maximize the value of your claim and the likelihood of a successful outcome. 

Deep Knowledge of Maine’s Pedestrian Laws

There are many nuances to Maine’s traffic laws. Our lawyers are familiar with pedestrian accident liability and will know how to find legal support for your specific situation. After your initial consultation, we can identify possible solutions and set expectations for potential recovery.

Gathering Evidence

Building a strong case often hinges on collecting evidence like witness statements, accident scene photos, and police reports. Our firm will conduct a thorough investigation to uncover all these crucial details. After this, we will analyze all relevant details and build an argument to show why the other side is at fault. 

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often try to downplay the severity of your injuries or deny your claim altogether. However, these tactics won’t work when you hire us. Attorney Chrissy Mann spent years representing insurance companies, and she knows all the ways they try to take advantage of victims. As the Principal Attorney of Mann Law, Chrissy uses this experience to help lead negotiations and get our clients fair compensation for their losses and injuries. 

Peace of Mind

An accident can leave you with injuries, expensive bills, and unrelenting stress. Let us take on your legal burdens so you can focus on healing. Our team will treat you like family and include you in all decisions throughout the process. This partnership allows us to manage the litigation as you rebuild your life. 

Recovering Damages for Your Injuries

You can request compensation for all damages that relate to the accident. In a typical case, you may be eligible for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses. Your settlement should cover all past and future medical bills. Our firm will help calculate a figure that includes hospital stays, medications, surgeries, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and more.
  • Lost wages. If you can’t work due to your injuries, your lawyer can fight to recover the income you’ve lost, including lost wages, bonuses, and commissions.
  • Loss of future earning capacity. Serious injuries can impact your ability to work or force you to change careers. Your lawyer can seek compensation if you earn less due to the accident.
  • Pain and suffering. Courts recognize the impact that physical pain and emotional distress can have on your well-being. Our firm can calculate these damages to address this lost quality of life. 

Speak with Mann Law before accepting a settlement offer from the other side. Our attorneys can estimate your total losses to ensure you only accept offers that make you whole.

Filing Within Maine’s Statute of Limitations

Maine law gives you six years to file a personal injury claim after a pedestrian accident. The clock starts running on the date of your accident. If you miss the deadline, the court may dismiss your case and bar you from seeking compensation. It’s best to speak with an attorney shortly after an accident to ensure you file on time. 

Speak with a Maine Personal Injury Lawyer

Mann Law brings over 50 years of combined experience litigating personal injury cases. Our team has negotiated countless settlements after pedestrian accidents and knows what it takes to get results for our clients. We offer free case evaluations and only charge a fee if we get a successful outcome for you.

Contact us today to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation. 

attorney image
Christiana E. Mann Christiana “Chrissy” Mann has specialized in civil litigation for 21+ years as a savvy and creative litigator, and she’s regarded as a fair, compassionate, and zealous advocate on behalf of her clients.