pedestrian walking at night

Pedestrian Accidents At Night: Who Is Responsible?

At some point each day, we all are pedestrians, whether by walking the dog, going for a run, or simply enjoying an evening stroll.  We should be able to walk in relative safety, counting on motorists to be vigilant and maintain a duty of care on the roadway.  

However, recent studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reflect an increasing trend of pedestrians being killed in traffic accidents, with the bulk of those accidents occurring at night

Who is ultimately responsible for pedestrian accidents at night? 

California pedestrian accident attorneys advise that while pedestrians are responsible for protecting their safety, motorists have a duty of care to pedestrians. 

Increased Risk by Walking at Night in California

Nearly seventy-five percent of all pedestrian accidents occur at night, primarily between 6 pm and midnight. The harm to pedestrians who have been struck by a car can be significant, with accidents resulting in severe physical injury and significant losses:

  • Skin abrasions and infections
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Dismemberment
  • Brain trauma
  • Paralysis
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lifestyle adjustments
  • Pain and suffering
  • Quality of life losses

Pedestrians and their families suffering injury and loss from a motor vehicle accident may be entitled to pursue damages against the negligent party.  

The At-fault Party in a Nighttime California Pedestrian Accident

Determining the at-fault party is a critical first step in building a legal case for compensation. Multiple factors may have contributed to the accident, but drivers remain responsible for safely operating their motor vehicle and extending a duty of care to the pedestrian. 

Several elements considered when establishing negligence in a nighttime pedestrian accident include:

  • Visibility of the Pedestrian: Was the pedestrian wearing clothing that made them difficult to be seen at night?
  • Impairment: Was either the driver or pedestrian impaired by alcohol or drugs?
  • Weather: Was the weather such that it impaired the driver’s ability to see the roadway or safely operate their vehicle? Was there fog, high winds, heavy rain, or snow? Were the roads wet, icy, or obstructed?
  • Visibility: Was the driver able to see clearly the roadway, the environment, or a pedestrian? Were there streetlights? Were the headlights of the vehicle in working order? 
  • Technical Malfunctions: Were night street lights operational? Were traffic crossing signals functional? Was the pedestrian crosswalk clearly marked and visible at night?
  • Laws and Safety: Was the driver observing rules and safety conditions? Was the driver speeding? Did the driver fail to stop at a traffic light or stop sign?

California Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Help 

If you or someone you know has been injured in a nighttime car accident, contact a California pedestrian accident attorney today. 

While information is still fresh and evidence can be preserved, you need an attorney to open an investigation of negligence and begin building your case for compensation.  

Contact our office for more information about pedestrian rights, and how you can recover damages that will help you now and in the years ahead.