Being struck by a motor vehicle when walking or riding a bicycle can be a harrowing experience. Neither situation allows any protection for the victim, and injuries can be serious in minor cases and deadly in many others. And being properly compensated after the fact can prove difficult as well, even though the pedestrian is typically considered as the party with the right of way. While this is generally true, the truth is this is not always applicable for those injured in Indiana. The reason is the modified comparative negligence law used in the state when claims are adjudicated.
Assessment of fault in pedestrian accidents
All vehicle accidents in Indiana are investigated by local police, which then will lead to an official accident report containing information regarding what actually transpired. The report does not produce a percentage of fault, but rather is an indication of a primary fault in the event of any personal injury claims. Actual fault is determined when cases go to court after an insurance claim denial of coverage.
When a pedestrian may be at fault
Accident investigations can reveal certain facts about a pedestrian accident that result in claim denial. Pedestrians must follow traffic rules just as motor vehicle drivers in Indiana. This means when they are struck by a driver while not using a designated crosswalk, they could be determined as primarily at fault for causing their own injuries.
Indiana’s modified comparative negligence law states that anyone who is 51% or greater for causing their own personal injury cannot collect any financial compensation from other involved parties. This standard applies to all individuals using the road, including bicyclists and those on foot who are not in a designated crosswalk area whether they are marked or not. This is usually at an intersection, but not always if it is properly marked or controlled by a traffic light.