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When Motorcycles and Pedestrians Collide: Who’s to Blame

September 15th, 2019

Everyone has heard the old adage, “the pedestrian has the right of way,” however, legally, this is not always the case. Pedestrians and motorcycle riders both have a responsibility to keep the roads safe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that there continues to be an increase in fatalities involving accidents between motorcyclists and pedestrians.

The Fault of the Motorcycle Rider

If a motorcycle rider clearly fails to follow traffic signals and ride safely on the streets, they will likely be considered at-fault in the accident. Failure to stop at a red light, stop sign, or crosswalk, are all indications that the motorcycle rider was responsible and at-fault for the accident.

Other examples where the motorcycle rider would be negligent would include the following:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding
  • Riding recklessness
  • Failure to acknowledge traffic signs or laws

The roadway is mostly intended for drivers of vehicles and motorcycle riders, and therefore, it is their responsibility to obey all traffic laws, act responsibly and follow all of the “rules of the road.”

The Fault of the Pedestrian

A pedestrian can also fail to exercise reasonable caution while sharing the roadway. Examples where a pedestrian could be considered at-fault for a motorcycle and pedestrian accident, include:

  • Jaywalking
  • Crossing against a traffic signal
  • Entering a street and/or highway while intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Throwing items onto the roadway, which causes a motorcycle to crash
  • Intentionally trying to distract a motorcycle rider
  • Illegally walking on highways or areas where pedestrians are not allowed

These instances would all be examples where a pedestrian could be considered at least partially at-fault in a pedestrian and motorcycle accident.

Comparative Negligence 

There are some instances where both parties have been negligent in a motorcycle and pedestrian accident. Sharing the fault of an accident is also called comparative negligence.

Louisiana follows a pure comparative negligence standard, which means that a victim’s compensation for injuries will be reduced by the amount they were found to be at-fault for the accident.

However, even if a victim is found to be partially at-fault for the accident, they can still receive damages and compensation for their injuries. Therefore, if you are either a motorcycle rider or a pedestrian, who was hurt in an accident, you may be able to receive a substantial portion of your claim for your injuries, even if you were partially at fault for the accident.

Contact Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Accidents involving motorcycles and pedestrians are challenging as oftentimes there may be some form of comparative negligence. These complex legal cases may require investigation, legal experts, reconstruction specialists, and medical professionals.

If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle and pedestrian accident, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm to determine what compensation you may be entitled to.

The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm has experienced motorcycle accident lawyers who can work with you to ensure that you can build your claim and receive the compensation you deserve. Contact one of our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys today at (504) 586-5200 or online to get the compensation you deserve.

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