What North Carolina’s Pedestrians Need to Know About Fault in Traffic Accidents

Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “How long will it take for my case to be resolved?”


Fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians have reached the highest level in decades, according to NPR. In 2018, more than 6,200 pedestrians were killed in car crashes across the nation.

cross-button-Pedestrian-injury-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Personal-Injury-lawyer-225x300When a car hits an unsuspecting pedestrian at a high rate of speed, it is no surprise that the resulting injuries can be severe, or that the pedestrian may be killed. In fact, studies show that a vehicle traveling at just 10 miles per hour is enough to cause serious harm to a pedestrian, while about one in five pedestrians will not survive a collision at 30 mph.


Pedestrian Accidents in Charlotte

A recent pedestrian accident in west Charlotte proves that some intersections are more dangerous than others. As reported by WSOCTV, a pedestrian was hit by a car at the same intersection where a man was killed the preceding week.

A severely injured pedestrian was rushed to the hospital last Wednesday after a motor vehicle hit him in west Charlotte. The accident occurred at around 4 a.m. at the intersection of Wilkinson Boulevard and Boyer Street, which happens to be the exact same spot where a car hit and killed another pedestrian just a few days prior.

In the fatal pedestrian collision, a man had just stepped off the bus when a car – reported to be a Nissan Altima – hit him and drove off. Police believe that the driver was a woman who has not been identified yet. After the collision, the pedestrian was hit by two more vehicles and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In the deadly pedestrian accident in Charlotte, police said the area was poorly lit, though it is not clear whether this was a factor in the most recent collision in that same spot.


Who is at Fault in a Traffic Accident Involving Pedestrians?

While most people think that a motor vehicle driver is always to blame when a pedestrian vs. car accident occurs, that is not the case, as both parties can share liability. Under North Carolina law, drivers must yield the right of way to any pedestrian attempting to cross the road in a marked crosswalk.

Pedestrians also have the right of way when motor vehicles are emerging from alleys, driveways, and private roads in Charlotte and elsewhere in North Carolina. When a pedestrian-car accident occurs, the parties’ fault is determined by the law of negligence.

Unfortunately, if you are a pedestrian hit by a vehicle in North Carolina, things can get tricky because the state uses the contributory negligence standard to establish fault in personal injury cases. Under the legal rule of contributory negligence, an injured pedestrian who shares any responsibility for causing the collision would be barred from receiving any compensation.

In other words, even if a motor vehicle operator was drunk, speeding, and distracted – all at once – at the time of the accident, the pedestrian would could be barred from recovering damages if he or she uses a crosswalk against the light or some other factor that may have contributed to the incident occurring.

Yes, that is why you need a Charlotte personal injury attorney to prevail in your case in a state that still follows the contributory negligence rule. Apart from wearing dark clothing that limits your visibility and crossing a street on a red light, you might also be found partially liable if you moved out from between parked cars or crossed a road without using a crosswalk.

Contact our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to determine fault in your pedestrian accident case, especially if the other party says that your negligence contributed to the crash. Call at 704-370-2828 to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.








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