July 12, 2024

When you combine mild weather, beautiful views, and a healthy population, you find more people walking to their destinations so they can take advantage of all the world has to offer. Do you know your rights if you were injured as a pedestrian? Each state has different laws, so understanding your state’s pedestrian laws will help you determine what to do if you were injured in a crosswalk or along a roadway. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer should you be involved in a vehicular accident should be considered.

Common Injuries Involved in Pedestrian/Vehicle Accidents

It is obvious that pedestrians can be injured quite severely when hit by a motor vehicle. The size and speed of the vehicle have a lot to do with the severity of the injury. Some common injuries include:

  • Cuts, bruises, broken bones
  • Open head wounds or traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractures of the face, neck, spine
  • Internal organ damage and/or bleeding
  • Amputations
  • Crushing injuries
  • Fatalities

Traffic Laws Covering Pedestrians

Though drivers are responsible for injuring pedestrians each year due to distraction or negligence, in some cases, pedestrians share some of the responsibility. Traffic laws offer a better explanation of who bears the fault of the accident.

Crossing the Street

Since the majority of pedestrian-related injuries happen while the pedestrian is crossing the road, it is important to know how your state interprets the responsibility. For example, when a person is walking in a designated crosswalk, that pedestrian has the right of way and the driver of a vehicle must yield to them. Cars are required to stop if they see a person at a crosswalk without signals. Other cars cannot pass the stopped car that is waiting at a crosswalk. The same holds true when using a crosswalk at a roundabout.

If a street or intersection does not have a designated crosswalk, the responsibility of yielding reverses. The pedestrian is responsible for yielding to motor vehicles. This does not take away the responsibility of a driver who is speeding, driving recklessly, or disobeying other traffic laws.

 Walking Along the Road

If a pedestrian is hit while walking on the side of the road when the roadway does not provide sidewalks, they should always walk against traffic. This law protects pedestrians by giving them the ability to see oncoming cars on the road. Drivers should be aware of any pedestrian walking along a roadway, regardless of the side of the road, they are on.

School Zones

Sometimes schools have crossing guards who guide and protect children while going to or coming from school. The law provides reduced posted speed limits, even if a crossing guard is unavailable. It is unlawful to pass another car while at a school crosswalk, or any crosswalk. In addition, it is unlawful to pass a stopped school bus on either side if the bus has its flashers on.

 Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault in an Auto Accident?

If a pedestrian is intoxicated, he is limiting his ability to make good decisions which include walking safely across or along a road. If a pedestrian is distracted by a phone or other distractions, they could also be found partially or totally at fault. Even when a pedestrian has the right of way, if they are not following common safety laws, some of the responsibility for the accident may be theirs. However, it’s always best to consult a seasoned personal injury attorney for the best advice on your case.

What to Do If You Have Been Involved in a Pedestrian/Vehicle Accident

Gather as much information as you can. This includes surveillance or cell phone video or pictures, witness statements, and information on the vehicle and driver of the car involved in the accident. Seek medical attention, even if you do not believe that you have been seriously injured. Often impact injuries may show up later. Keep track of all your medical bills, documentation of any prescribed medications or services, and any other out-of-pocket costs. These accidents can be very complex. Contact a pedestrian accident attorney that is experienced in pedestrian accidents to protect your rights.