Skip to Content
An Award-Winning Practice with Results to Back It Up

Can a Pedestrian Be Held Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?


Pedestrian accidents are extremely damaging incidents that are almost always caused by the carelessness of the involved driver. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using their cellphone, or simply not paying attention, they can collide with pedestrians and cause significant injury. When the victims of pedestrian accidents choose to pursue a personal injury claim, drivers often must pay substantial damages to compensate for the harm they have caused.

However, this is not always the case. It is possible for a pedestrian’s own negligence to contribute to a pedestrian accident. If a pedestrian is found to be partially at fault for their injuries, the amount of compensation they can recover through a personal injury claim may be reduced.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

One of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is unaware drivers. If a driver is not paying attention to the road or not being mindful of pedestrians, they may cause a collision.

A pedestrian can contribute to their own injuries if they themselves are not paying attention, or if they are walking in areas that are not designated pedestrian zones.

A pedestrian accident may be caused by factors such as:

  • Reckless driving

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Distracted driving

  • General driver negligence

  • Pedestrian negligence

  • Walking in an undesignated area

  • Crossing the road without a signal

  • Pedestrian intoxication

  • Walking while looking at a cellphone

  • Crossing the road too slowly or too quickly

  • Standing behind a parked car before crossing the street

Contributory Negligence Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee’s negligence laws allow multiple parties to be held liable for damages in a personal injury case. Each person involved in an accident may be assigned a percentage of fault. Using that number, the compensation of an injured party may be reduced accordingly.

For example, a case may focus on a distracted driver who hit a pedestrian. Upon further investigation, it is determined that the pedestrian did not use a crosswalk. The driver is found to be 80% at fault and the pedestrian is found to be 20% at fault. Based on this, the pedestrian’s compensation is reduced by 20%. If their damages totaled $100,000, they would recover $80,000 in compensation.

The legal team of Witherington Injury Law is available to assist with your pedestrian accident claim. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case and learn how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (615) 697-6503.