Pedestrians should try to keep themselves safe while sharing the road with vehicles. It is crucial that a person makes his or herself visible. A person can accomplish this by carrying a flashlight or wearing reflective clothing after dark. If a person wears all black and crosses a street in the middle of the night, it may not be reasonable to ask the driver to see him or her in advance.

Now, if a pedestrian is wearing bright or reflective clothing, if he or she is not looking at his or her phone and crosses at the traffic light with fair warning to the vehicle, then odds are it is the fault of the driver, rather than the pedestrian him or herself. The California Office of Traffic Safety Explains how between 2012 and 2016, the pedestrians killed in accidents rose about 32 percent. In California alone, the death rate of pedestrians is higher than the national average by 30 percent.

In California, if a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, then the court is going to have to determine who is at fault. California is a comparative negligence state, according to FindLaw. In comparative negligence states, the plaintiff can sue for a percentage of the damages. These are the damages attributed to the defendant. To face charges of negligence, the defendant must have a duty to the other person. On the road, this means that a person cannot use the car as a weapon or to use it recklessly when it could cause injury to another person.

In addition to having the majority of the fault, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused the injuries at hand.