Is there such a thing as both parties being at fault, even if it was my vehicle that accidentally hita pedestrian?

UPDATED: Dec 23, 2011

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Is there such a thing as both parties being at fault, even if it was my vehicle that accidentally hita pedestrian?

I accidentally hit someone in a mall parking lot. I was looking ahead and did not see the pedestrian from the right side. I think he crossed without looking both ways and walked right in front of my vehicle, causing the accident. The police told me because there was an SUV parked as I was rounding a curve, the spot where my vehicle was a blind spot, and also told me if it had not been in a mall parking lot, it would have been the pedestrian’s fault for not being in the crosswalk. Also how much can one party sue another for medical expenses?

Asked on December 23, 2011 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In states which follow comparative negligence, it is possible that both parties could be at fault.  The percentage of liability of each party is then determined.  For example, if Party A is 80% liable and Party B is 20% liable, then Party A could only recover 20% of his/her damages from Party B and Party B could only recover 80% of his/her damages from Party A.  Damages is the amount of compensation one is seeking to recover in a lawsuit.

As for your question about the amount of medical expenses, when the pedestrian completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means no further improvement is anticipated, the pedestrian will file a personal injury claim with your auto insurance company.  The claim will include the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement based on the total medical bills.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the pedestrian's injuries and will be used to determine the amount of compensation for pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If the pedestrian settles his personal injury claim with your insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the pedestrian is dissatisfied with settlement offers from your auto insurance company, the pedestrian can reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against you for negligence.  If that happens, your auto insurance company will provide you with an attorney at no cost to you and your insurance company will handle the case for you.  If the case is NOT settled with your insurance company, the pedestrian will need to file the lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or he will lose his rights forever in the matter. 



IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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