If you were hurt by a vehicle driver while crossing the street, alongside the road, or on the sidewalk, you may have the option to seek financial recovery from the driver at-fault. Every year, a few thousand pedestrians lose their lives because of pedestrian accidents, accounting for 10-15% of all traffic death incidents. Pedestrian accidents have the potential to result in catastrophic injury or death to the person hit, even if the driver was going a modest speed.
Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable as pedestrians. While seniors may not be significantly more likely to be hit compared to other age groups, they are most likely to be severely injured or killed in the accident. The causes of pedestrian accidents tend to be related to driver speeding, inattentiveness, not yielding to a right-of-way, not signaling when turning, and failing to obey other traffic laws.
Pedestrian accidents can unfold at any place and any time of day, but there are times and locations that are known to be more dangerous for pedestrians, such as after dark and in busy city areas. In most jurisdictions, a crosswalk exists for pedestrians, regardless of if the street is marked. Pedestrians have the same right to the road as drivers do, and maybe even more so, because they are most susceptible to sustaining life-threatening injuries. Car drivers have the exterior of the vehicle to deflect force of impact, but pedestrians don’t have that same protection.
When someone is crossing at an intersection with traffic lights, they have to wait until a walk signal or green light to cross. Cars that are making right turns have to halt for pedestrians to cross before proceeding forward. If the intersection has a yield sign or stop, or is not marked, drivers have to yield or halt for pedestrians until they are on the other side of the road. If a pedestrian is crossing in a location other than at a marked crosswalk or intersection, a pedestrian has to yield to cars. However, as a lawyer from Hayhurst Law PLLC can attest, this does not mean that drivers won’t be held liable if they hit a pedestrian outside of designated areas. If a pedestrian crosses in a spot they aren’t legally allowed to, it is considered as jaywalking. If you get hit by a car while jaywalking, you may still be owed restitution, but your compensation amount would be reduced by the degree to which you contributed to the accident.
Pedestrians are always encouraged to try and cross where they are legally permitted to do so, and while still watching out for reckless drivers. Unfortunately, as a pedestrian accident lawyer Morgantown, WV from Hayhurst Law PLLC knows, pedestrians are at an increased likelihood for critical injuries from being hit by a car. Drivers who are found to be reckless behind the wheel may be liable for victim’s injuries, financial loss, and more.