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Can we be held liable for damage to a pedestrian who was intoxicated and entered the flow of traffic?

Anchorage, AK |

My husband hit a pedestrian with our car. The pedestrian was drunk and had high blood alcohol level. The pededstrian ran out into the lane of traffic and he did all he could to mitigate the damage of the impact by swerving. Are we still negligent in a court case if it is documented that the pedestrian was drunk and we were sober, obeying all traffic laws?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. First, I am glad nothing more tragic occured. I can;t imagine this happening to me and I suspect you and your husband were quite shaken.

    I assume that you had automobile liability insurance. Notify your carrier of the accident. Why? Just to let them know of this event. Today, you need not worry about a lawsuit. It sounds like your husband would never shoulder fault. If, however, the drunken pedestrian does file a claim or even take the next step and file a lawsuit, your insurance company must provide you with an attorney to defend agains the allegations AND indemnify (pay) damages up to the policy limits -- assuming they think there is a need to pay!

    Based on what you've posted, the worst is hopefully over and thisman will simply move on in his life. Of course, we do live in a litigious society.

    Vest of luck to you and your husband.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


  2. You should notify your insurance company so it can start an investigation. If you are sued, the insurance will hire a lawyer for you. He will know how the laws interact with your facts. Good luck.

    The information provided should not be considered legal advice. I am not licensed to practice in any State other than SC. The results of your case will depend on the presentation of evidence, the law and other factors that may change depending on an in depth analysis of the facts of the case. Please see an attorney before making legal decisions.


  3. Report the incident to your carrier . If needed it will provide an attorney for you.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


  4. This may all boil down to the facts that can be established by sworn testimony. Report this incident to your automobile liability insurance carrier and cooperate with their investigation and defense. I suggest you not discuss the details of the incident with 3rd parties.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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