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Intoxicated Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Driver: Who Is Liable?

A 42 year old driver fatally struck a pedestrian in Denver, Colorado in mid-December last year. In this particular case, however, the driver may not be charged with anything due to officers’ suspicions that the pedestrian was intoxicated when he crossed the road. According to the report, officers investigated witness testimonies, tested the driver’s blood alcohol level, and even looked into the exact location that the pedestrian crossed the street.

The officers found that the driver was not intoxicated during the crash. Further, it seemed that the pedestrian who was fatally struck had crossed the same road twice and chose to avoid using a crosswalk in both instances. Also, the area in which the accident occurred had no lighting, reducing the visibility for the driver and increasing the chances of an accident. Police, after studying the evidence, suspect that the pedestrian was intoxicated during the crash and did not find the driver liable for the fatal accident. As of yet, the driver has not been charged.

Are You Liable if You Hit an Intoxicated Pedestrian?

It all depends on the circumstances regarding the accident. Drivers are held to high expectations of safety and care when driving a vehicle. They are expected to keep strict control of their vehicle, be alert at all times to traffic and pedestrians, and must be able to respond accordingly to any changes on the road. For example, if a driver is driving at a lower speed limit but sees a child start crossing the road, the driver is expected to slow down and is responsible for changing their driving behavior to ensure the safety of the child. Should the child be hit even after the driver noted their presence but made no attempt to slow down, the driver may be liable for that child’s injury or death.

In the case of the drunk pedestrian, police studied the driver’s reaction time before and after the crash. It was noted that the driver had their headlights on, was not intoxicated, and drove as carefully as he could in a dark environment. It was further noted that the pedestrian may have been intoxicated and chose to cross the road in an unsafe manner rather than use a crosswalk to safely cross. In addition to a poorly lit street, police found that the driver could not have anticipated nor avoided the collision between the vehicle and the pedestrian. In cases where the driver was being careful but could not avoid the accident due to a pedestrian’s unsafe actions, drivers are not usually found liable.

Unsure if you’re liable for a pedestrian’s injury? Contact our law firm today. We have years of experience handling these delicate matters and will help in determining the next best step for your case.

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