Liability in Virginia Pedestrian Accident Cases

Generally, liability in Virginia pedestrian accident cases is similar to a car accident case. There may be additional special rules that apply to pedestrians including contributory negligence, duty of care, and a number of traffic and safety regulations that apply specifically to pedestrians, but not to motor vehicles. A distinguished pedestrian accident lawyer can help you seek negligence for any harm you may have sustained.

Speed in Liability

The speed of the motor vehicle can have an impact on liability. There is a Virginia Code Section that allows a person to be found liable when they exceed the speed limit while speeding, they caused an accident. The presumption is they can be liable under specific circumstances. When someone speeds, especially when they are driving too fast for unsafe conditions, whether it is around a corner, at an intersection, or on a back country road at night, this can greatly influence and increase the likelihood that they are found liable for the pedestrian accident.

Role of the Fact Finder

Although liability is sometimes pre-supposed when someone is given a traffic ticket or cited with a criminal offense, liability is actually determined by the finder of fact. This means the judge or the jury determines liability in Virginia pedestrian accident cases.

In many cases, liability determination occurs early in the process but in other cases, it occurs later in the process. The fault may be admitted by the claims adjuster or the insurance company during the course of a summary discussion. However, there may be a jury or a trial or a motions practice and the fact finder may still insist.

The fact finder may allege they are the responsible party to determine liability because they are considered to have all the facts and they are the neutral party. When a fact finder, a judge, or a jury makes a decision, they are making that as the party that understands the facts and has a good grip of the law. Prior to getting the case to the fact finder, if liability is admitted by the alleged party and they admit they are not going to dispute liability and agree that they are responsible, liability may not be an issue.

Determining Liability

To determine liability in Virginia pedestrian accident cases, the fact finder looks at the facts and decides which party is at fault. They determine which party has the duty. When they breach the duty that results in an accident, liability is determined. There are many reasons why a person is determined to be liable and whether negligence would apply, assumption of risk, or an obvious danger. There are different civil theories; so making liability stick is not as clear-cut. It is not simplistic to determine who is at fault; it is often more complex than that.

Arguing Liability

When there is a question about liability in Virginia pedestrian accident cases regarding a motion or a trial setting, the parties are represented by counsel. Counsel can use the facts as they apply to relevant laws and statutes to determine who should be liable and who should not be liable.

Role of an Attorney

An attorney can use all of their strategies and best techniques to try to determine liability in Virginia pedestrian accident cases. They use investigative techniques and all information available to them from police reports, accident reports, videos, third-party videos, and witness statements. All of these things are used in a pedestrian accident case to help build a strong case for liability against the at-fault party.