It’s not what you look at that matters,
It’s what you see.Henry David Thoreau
A driver hits a pedestrian in California. Who’s at fault? Generally, the driver. But there are some things you should know.
First, both the driver and the pedestrian have a duty to use due care. That means both should act reasonably. A driver, however, should act more reasonably because he’s a driver. A driver can kill someone. Also, a driver should act more reasonably if the pedestrian is a child. Children are unpredictable.
Second, a driver has a duty to anticipate that he may encounter a pedestrian in the street and to lookout for them.
Third, a driver must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the road within any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. CVC § 21950(a).
Fourth, a driver is not necessarily at fault just by hitting a pedestrian. See if the driver was doing something against the law (e.g. speeding, making an illegal turn).
Fifth, a pedestrian who’s in the road and not on a marked or unmarked crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all cars that present an immediate hazard. CVC § 21954(a). A driver must still use due care toward the pedestrian. CVC § 21954(b).
Sixth, pedestrians should not cross the road between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic lights, unless there’s a crosswalk. CVC § 21955.
Here is California’s DMV Driver’s Handbook. It may be helpful to consider that.
And here is general state law on pedestrian rights and duties.
Questions? Contact Me.