DC expands adoption of comparative negligence for pedestrians and riders.
July 01, 2021
The District of Columbia City Council recently passed the Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2020. The Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Act previously adopted the comparative negligence doctrine for roadway collisions between an automobile and a pedestrian, bicyclist or one using some other non-motorized transportation device. The law allowed recovery for such individuals, so long as his/her negligence was not greater than the driver’s negligence.
The Amendment Act, which went into effect on March 16, 2021, expands the application of comparative negligence in two ways. First, in addition to collisions that occur on a roadway, comparative negligence now also applies to collisions that occur on a sidewalk. Second, the scope of plaintiffs to whom comparative negligence now applies has been expanded. While the Act originally applied only to pedestrians, bicyclists and people on non-motorized transportation devices, comparative negligence now applies to accidents involving individuals using non-vehicular motorized transportation devices, including all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, scooters and skateboards.
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