Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault in a Car Accident in North Carolina?

January 6, 2021 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault in a Car Accident in North Carolina?

Who is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Case?

Pedestrian accidents can present complicated questions of liability, and determining fault can be difficult. Our clients often ask us, “Can a pedestrian be at fault in a North Carolina car accident?” 

A pedestrian can be found at fault for a car accident in North Carolina, especially if they violate 'right of way' laws.

In most cases, the driver is presumed to be at fault in a pedestrian accident, but the answer is clear: in North Carolina, a pedestrian can be at fault in a car accident.

While drivers have a responsibility to avoid hitting a pedestrian, the pedestrian has a responsibility to practice safety and responsibility, as well. A pedestrian can be found to be negligent in a car accident in North Carolina.

According to the law in North Carolina, both the driver and the pedestrian have an obligation to keep the other safe and avoid causing harm.

IMPORTANT: If you or a loved one has been injured in a North Carolina pedestrian accident, call 1-800-525-7111 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation and you deserve justice.

Right of Way Rules for Pedestrians in North Carolina

In North Carolina, the rules regarding "right of way" for pedestrians depend on the circumstances and the precise location.

Intersections and Driveways

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), in North Carolina, “pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections and driveways but must yield to motorists when crossing at any place other than a marked crosswalk.”


In North Carolina, pedestrians have the right-of-way at marked crosswalks. Vehicles must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, pedestrians are nevertheless obligated to abide by other signs and instructions, including “Do Not Walk” signals.

If a crosswalk is not present, pedestrians are required to yield to motor vehicles when crossing the road.

When a pedestrian fails to follow these laws, they can negligently endanger themselves and drivers, and they can be determined at fault in a car accident in North Carolina.

Traffic Signals

Similarly, a driver may be found to be negligent in a pedestrian accident if they fail to yield to a pedestrian crossing at a traffic signal. Determining fault can be complicated, however, when the pedestrian fails to follow other rules, such as when he or she violates a “Do Not Walk” signal or a traffic officer’s instructions.

“What if there is no sidewalk?”

Pedestrians in North Carolina are required to walk on sidewalks when available. If a sidewalk is not present, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the road (facing traffic).

Have You Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in North Carolina?

"Liability is sometimes contested in pedestrian accidents and insurance companies will try hard to deny a claim. Don't wait to contact an attorney." -Gene Riddle, attorney

If you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian in North Carolina, you deserve a North Carolina personal injury lawyer committed to fighting for you and your rights.

At Riddle & Brantley, our team of pedestrian accident lawyers has been fighting for victims of others’ negligence since 1985. Our attorneys have more than 220+ years of combined legal experience and we’re ready to help however we can.

For a FREE consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer handling claims in North Carolina, please call 1-800-525-7111.

“Riddle & Brantley found me all the available money from the insurance companies.”

-David Howard, Riddle & Brantley client 

There is never any obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.

Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim. You may be entitled to compensation and we would love to talk with you.

In more than 35 years serving the people of North Carolina, our injury attorneys have handled many cases involving pedestrian accidents and we are proud of our record of settlements and judgments (see disclaimer below), including:

  • $1,900,000 — Partner Gene Riddle and late partner Gene Jenkins represented a young woman who suffered severe injuries when she was struck by a cement truck while crossing a parking lot on foot. We brought in an outside investigator to reconstruct the accident and prove liability, after which we were able to negotiate a $1.9 million settlement in the case.
  • $1,625,000 — Attorney Gene Riddle represented our client who was seriously injured when crossing a busy street. Liability was contested and we hired an accident reconstructionist to prove liability. Ultimately, we were able to secure $1.625 million in total compensation through a negotiated settlement.
  • $140,000 — The insurance company denied liability when our client was struck by a vehicle while crossing a busy roadway on foot. We fought aggressively for justice in the case, proving liability on the part of the driver and negotiating a $140,000 settlement with the insurance company.

*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.

We will review your claim, advise you on your available legal options, and if you decide to hire us, fight aggressively for your right to justice and compensation.

In North Carolina, a pedestrian can be found at fault in a car accident, and we do our best to prove liability and pursue justice to the fullest extent of the law.

Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim. The statute of limitations for pedestrian accidents in North Carolina is three years, and only two years in cases of wrongful death, so don't delay. Call for a free consultation by phone, text, email or video conference today. We can even come directly to you if you prefer, but no in-person meeting is required.

“Every time I’ve needed them, they were there for me.”

-Tyronnie T., Riddle & Brantley client 

You don’t have to do this alone. We understand what you’re going through and would love to help if we can.

Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s review your case. You may be entitled to compensation and you deserve justice.