Accidents Between Motorcyclists and Pedestrians
While the old phrase “the pedestrian has the right of way” is familiar, it is not always the case for legal purposes. All pedestrians and motorcycle riders have a duty and responsibility to behave responsibly on and near the roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that collisions between pedestrians and motorcycle riders continue to increase, causing catastrophic injuries and fatalities. In some cases, the fault is the motorcycle rider, and in some cases, the accident is the fault of the pedestrian.
Motorcycle Rider Fault
While motorcycle riders have more vulnerability with respect to motor vehicles, their failure to ride responsibly can result in catastrophic injuries or death to pedestrians. Motorcycle riders have a responsibility to obey all traffic signals, drive safely, never speed, never ride recklessly or carelessly, and never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Roadways are typically intended for motorists and motorcyclists, however, given the fact that pedestrians share these roadways, motorcycle riders and drivers of vehicles must take the utmost care to ensure that they stay vigilant and always follow the rules of the road.
In some cases, pedestrians are to blame for their failure to exercise reasonable care and caution while walking on the roadways or crosswalks. Some examples where a pedestrian could be held liable for their actions resulting in an accident include jaywalking, crossing a street at a red light, walking near or on the roadways while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, carelessly throwing items onto the roadways or directly at a motorcycle, intentionally attempting to distract a motorcyclist, or illegally walking where pedestrians are not legally allowed. If an investigation determines that a pedestrian behaved in any of these ways, they may be considered to be either fully or partially at-fault for the accident.
The state of South Carolina follows the law of comparative negligence. This means that there are some cases where both sides in an accident (both motorcycle rider and pedestrian) share some of the blame for the accident. Even though a motorcyclist or pedestrian is found to be partially at fault for the accident, they may still be able to seek compensation and damages for any injuries suffered. There are very specific laws that govern the calculations of comparative negligence in South Carolina, and therefore it is always best to seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Let Us Help You Today
If you, or a loved one, were injured in an accident involving a motorcycle and a pedestrian, you are likely facing substantial medical bills, pain and suffering and the inability to return to work due to your injuries resulting in lost wages. Even if you were partially to blame for the accident, you may still have the right to receive compensation. Contact a Columbia personal injury attorney at The Stanley Law Group at 803-799-4700 to help you build a strong case and help ensure you receive the monetary recovery you deserve under the law.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety