Accidents involving pedestrians typically have serious consequences, often leading to severe or fatal injuries, significant financial losses, and emotional distress. While it is common to think of drivers as being responsible for accidents involving pedestrians, there are situations where pedestrians may also be held liable. Understanding the circumstances under which a pedestrian can be held responsible is important for both pedestrians and drivers.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a pedestrian accident in New Mexico, experienced personal injury lawyer Paul M. Dominguez can help protect your rights. Attorney Paul M. Dominguez can help conduct an independent investigation to assess the facts of your pedestrian accident case, working to identify all liable parties to hold them accountable for the harm they have caused.
Pedestrian Accident Liability in New Mexico
While pedestrians are not often regarded as being liable for an accident, there are some situations in which a pedestrian might be legally responsible. New Mexico’s liability laws include:
Comparative Negligence in New Mexico
New Mexico follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that liability for an accident can be shared among multiple parties based on their respective degrees of fault. This principle recognizes that both drivers and pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care and avoid behaviors that could lead to accidents.
Crossing at Designated Crosswalks
Pedestrians are generally expected to use designated crosswalks when available. In New Mexico, pedestrians have the right of way when crossing at marked crosswalks. However, they are still required to exercise reasonable care and take precautions before crossing. If a pedestrian fails to use a designated crosswalk or crosses against a traffic signal, their actions may contribute to the accident, potentially reducing their ability to recover damages.
Jaywalking and Contributory Negligence
Jaywalking refers to crossing a road at a location other than a designated crosswalk or intersection. New Mexico law considers jaywalking as a violation of traffic regulations. If a pedestrian is injured while jaywalking, their ability to recover damages may be affected. If the pedestrian’s jaywalking is deemed a contributing factor to the accident, their compensation may be reduced proportionately.
Intoxication and Recklessness
Similar to drivers, pedestrians must refrain from engaging in activities that impair their ability to safely navigate the roadways. If a pedestrian is intoxicated or behaving recklessly, such as darting out into traffic or deliberately causing an accident, their actions may result in shared liability or even being held fully responsible for the accident.
Comparative Negligence and Insurance Claims
When an accident occurs, insurance companies often play a crucial role in determining liability and compensating the injured parties. Insurance adjusters evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident and may assign a percentage of fault to each party involved. If a pedestrian is found partially at fault, their potential compensation may be reduced based on the degree of their contribution to the accident.
Seek Qualified Legal Counsel After a Pedestrian Accident in New Mexico
Determining liability in accidents involving pedestrians is often a complicated process, heavily influenced by factors such as the actions of both the pedestrian and the driver, as well as the specific circumstances of the accident. While drivers generally bear greater responsibility for ensuring pedestrian safety, pedestrians also have legal obligations to follow traffic laws and exercise reasonable care.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian accident in New Mexico, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Dominguez Law, our compassionate and aggressive team can evaluate the specifics of your case, navigate the legal complexities, and advocate for your rights. Contact us today to set up a free consultation. Call (505) 850-5854 or reach out to us online for more information about your legal options. Se habla español.