What is a Negligent Pedestrian?

Pedestrian accidents often result in severe injuries. The human body is simply no match for the force of the vehicle slamming into it. In many cases, pedestrian accidents are caused by the negligent or careless actions of a driver. However, there are times when the actions of the pedestrians themselves lead to accidents. Here, we want to discuss the concept of a “negligent pedestrian,” as well as how this can affect compensation in these accidents.

Legal Protections for Pedestrians: Minnesota Right-of-Way Laws

In general, pedestrians have significant protections when they are in and around the roadway. Vehicles have to yield to pedestrians in most situations. Motorists are required to treat every corner and intersection as a crosswalk, whether it is marked or unmarked. Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians.

Pedestrians are required to obey all traffic signal control devices. When there is no marked crosswalk and no traffic control device present, pedestrians must proceed with caution. A pedestrian should not cross the street unless traffic is clear or if there is enough space between vehicles on the roadway to cross safely.

If there are no traffic signals in place, drivers of vehicles shall stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians, and they must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped. Drivers approaching another vehicle stop for a pedestrian shall not overtake or pass at the stopped vehicle.

Drivers who violate Minnesota pedestrian right away laws could be charged with a misdemeanor offense and punished with potential jail time or fines (Sec. 169.21 MN Statutes).

Examples of Pedestrian Negligence

There are various situations in which a pedestrian may be considered negligent and at fault for an accident. This can include:

  • Pedestrians crossing railways or walking along roadways where there is no clear pedestrian crosswalk or pedestrian pathway. In these cases, pedestrians must be responsible for their own actions, and they need to recognize the risks of this behavior.
  • Pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may not be able to make clear and sound decisions. Impaired pedestrians are more likely to inadvertently walk into traffic or fall onto the roadway. It can be difficult for drivers to properly predict the actions of impaired pedestrians.
  • Pedestrians who do not follow traffic signals or traffic laws and cross roadways illegally could be at fault for any accident that occurs.
  • Pedestrians who act in a reckless or careless manner when crossing the roadway or when near the roadway, such as running across the road or wandering in and out of traffic, may be at fault if an accident occurs.

According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, there were more than 1,000 total pedestrian crashes during the latest reporting year across the state. Out of these incidents, there were 45 pedestrian fatalities and 987 pedestrians injured.

What to Do if You are in a Car Accident with a Negligent Pedestrian

If you or somebody you love has been in an accident that was caused by a negligent pedestrian, you may need to speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. Because motorists are often viewed as the at-fault party in a pedestrian accident, negligent pedestrian cases will require extensive investigation to help determine liability. A car accident lawyer can help uncover evidence in these cases, including photo or video surveillance, eyewitness statements, accident reports, and more.