Can a Passenger or Pedestrian be Liable in a California Auto Accident Case?
January 17, 2023 | On Behalf Of Randolph And Associates
| Pedestrian Accidents
California uses the at-fault or “tort” system to determine how auto accident victims may secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and related losses. Under this system, a victim can seek compensation if their accident resulted from the negligence of another party. They may pursue the compensation they’re owed by filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance.
Typically, the negligent party who causes an auto accident in California will be another driver. However, you may be wondering if it’s possible for a negligent passenger or pedestrian to cause an accident. Keep reading to learn more.
When Passenger or Pedestrian Negligence Causes Auto Accidents in California
Auto accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, and they can be caused by a variety of factors. In some cases, a passenger or pedestrian may be considered liable in a California auto accident case. However, the liability and the potential legal consequences of a passenger or pedestrian can depend on the specific circumstances of the accident.
In California, a passenger in a vehicle can be held liable for an accident if they were aware of the driver's behavior and failed to take action to prevent it. For example, if a passenger knew that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and failed to intervene, they may be held liable for any injuries or damages that result from the accident.
A pedestrian can also be held liable for an accident if they were negligent or reckless in their behavior. For example, if a pedestrian was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be held liable for any injuries or damages that result from the accident.
However, it's important to note that in most auto accident cases, the driver of the vehicle is considered to be the primary liable party. This is because the driver has a legal duty to operate their vehicle in a safe and responsible manner. If the driver is found to be negligent or reckless in their behavior, they will likely be held liable for any injuries or damages that result from the accident.
It's also important to note that California follows a "comparative negligence" rule which means that if both the driver and pedestrian or passenger are found to be at fault, their liability will be proportioned according to their degree of fault. This will impact the amount of compensation a victim may eventually receive.
Contact a Southern California Auto Accident Attorney
Have you been involved in an auto accident in Santa Monica or elsewhere in Southern California? If so, determining liability is an important first step in pursuing the compensation you may deserve.
This is just one step our Southern California auto accident attorneys at Randolph & Associates can assist you with. If you have a valid case, we’ll gather evidence showing you were injured due to another party’s negligence, and we’ll pursue the full amount of compensation for which you may be eligible. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online
or calling us at 310-395-7900