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Am I Liable If a Pedestrian Jumps In Front of My Moving Vehicle?

Man walks through a crosswalk as a moving car comes toward him

Imagine this: You’re driving down the road and suddenly, out of nowhere, a pedestrian steps off the sidewalk in front of your vehicle. Even though you’re only traveling at a rate of 40 miles per hour (mph), you’re still going too fast to avoid striking the pedestrian.

In such a situation, you may be thinking:

What now? Will I be held responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries even though a collision was inevitable?

Read on to learn the answers.

South Dakota Traffic Laws Favor Drivers Over Pedestrians

According to South Dakota traffic laws, more responsibility is placed on pedestrians than drivers. Pedestrians should watch out for roaming drivers and not necessarily the other way around.

As long as a South Dakota driver is sober and not clearly “reckless” according to the term’s legal definition, it can be challenging to bring charges against drivers who hurt or kill pedestrians.

Unique Contributory Negligence Laws in South Dakota

The state has very unique laws regarding contributory negligence, which is the premise that holds careless individuals accountable for their harmful actions.

In South Dakota, jurors in civil lawsuits are tasked with determining whether a pedestrian’s own negligence is more than “slight” compared to the driver that struck him or her. However, the legal framework for deciding what represents a “slight” contribution to a collision is not completely clear.

We’re Here to Help

Sustaining injuries as a result of another’s negligence is not an easy thing to go through. It’s critical that you hire skilled representation to help with your case, should you be faced with such a situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office with any questions you may have.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, our lawyers at Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (605) 519-6136 or fill out an online contact form.