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Motor Vehicle Accident

Pedestrian Rights and Compensation After an Accident

Explore the rights of pedestrians and the options available for compensation after a vehicle accident


Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a traumatic experience, and understanding your rights as a pedestrian is crucial for seeking the compensation you deserve. In this comprehensive blog, we'll go over the legal landscape surrounding pedestrian accidents, exploring the rights of pedestrians and the options available for compensation.

The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Every pedestrian accident case is unique, and legal outcomes can vary based on individual circumstances. For personalized legal advice tailored to your situation, we encourage you to consult with our experienced personal injury attorneys.  

Understanding Pedestrian Rights

1. Right of Way

Pedestrians generally have the right of way in crosswalks and at intersections.

This fundamental rule is designed to prioritize the safety of individuals on foot and facilitate smooth traffic flow.

Crosswalk Incidents

When walking within a marked crosswalk, you inherently have the right of way. Vehicles are required to yield, allowing you to proceed safely.

IntersectionsAt intersections, pedestrians often have the right of way as well. This means that, in the absence of traffic signals, drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the street.

Determining Fault in an Accident

Understanding your right of way is not just about safety; it plays a vital role in determining fault in the unfortunate event of an accident.

For instance, if you are within a crosswalk and following pedestrian signals, the driver is typically at fault if they fail to yield, resulting in an accident. In intersections without signals, pedestrians usually have the right of way. If a driver disregards this and a collision occurs, they may be deemed at fault.

Key Takeaways for Pedestrians

  • Stay Alert. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at intersections and crosswalks.
  • Adhere to pedestrian signals and traffic lights to ensure a clear understanding of when it's safe to cross.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing, ensuring they see you and acknowledge your right of way.

By understanding and asserting your right of way, you contribute to safer pedestrian experiences and play a proactive role in accident prevention.

2. Sidewalk Safety

Sidewalks serve as designated safe zones for pedestrians.

Sidewalk safety plays a crucial role in pedestrian accident cases. Sidewalks are explicitly designated for pedestrian use, offering a secure pathway away from vehicular traffic for walking. Drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks to ensure their safety.

If you're involved in an accident while walking on a sidewalk, you may have a strong case for compensation. Here's why:

  • Drivers are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles and avoiding collisions with pedestrians on sidewalks.
  • Accidents on sidewalks often result from driver negligence. Whether due to distraction, impairment, or other factors, proving negligence can strengthen your case for compensation.

To support your claim you should collect evidence, such as witness statements, photos, and any available surveillance footage.

By understanding the importance of sidewalk safety, you can navigate your legal options more effectively after an accident.

3. Traffic Laws for Drivers

Drivers play a significant role in maintaining pedestrian safety, and traffic laws are in place to regulate their behaviour. Knowing the state traffic laws and driver obligations is essential for both drivers and pedestrians.

  • Yielding at Crosswalks: Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks and at intersections.
  • Safe Speeds: Adhering to speed limits is crucial, especially in areas with high pedestrian traffic.
  • No Distracted Driving: Avoiding distractions, such as texting or phone use, is imperative to ensure drivers remain attentive to pedestrians.
  • Failure to Yield: If a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian's right of way, they may be deemed at fault.
  • Speeding Violations: Exceeding speed limits significantly increases the risk of accidents and may contribute to driver fault.
  • Respecting Crosswalks: Disregarding marked crosswalks can be a clear violation, impacting fault determination.

By understanding and following traffic laws, drivers contribute to safer road environments and reduce the risk of accidents involving pedestrians. For pedestrians, knowing these laws can empower them in seeking compensation after an accident.

Options for Pedestrian Accident Compensation

Here are some avenues available for pedestrians seeking financial recovery:

1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

In certain states, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance can be a valuable resource for pedestrians.

  • PIP may cover medical costs, regardless of fault, providing financial assistance for necessary treatments.
  • Pedestrians can also receive compensation for lost wages through PIP insurance.

2. Insurance Claims

Filing claims with the at-fault driver's insurance is a common route for seeking compensation.

Pedestrians can claim medical expenses resulting from the accident. They can also be compensated for income lost due to injuries and obtain coverage for additional damages like pain and suffering.

3. Civil Lawsuit

When insurance claims fall short, or if denied, pedestrians have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. They can pursue fair compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages.

Your Guide to a Successful Claim

Navigating the legal process after a pedestrian accident requires strategic steps to build a strong case. Here's what to keep in mind:

1. Document the Accident

Collect evidence including photos, witness statements, and details to support your case:

  • Document the accident scene, injuries, and any contributing factors.
  • Obtain contact information from witnesses and their statements.
  • Note relevant details, such as weather conditions and traffic signals.

2. Seek Medical Attention

If you have injuries resulting from the accident you should consider seeking medical attention.

Documenting injuries through medical records strengthens your compensation claim.

Some hidden injuries may not be immediately apparent, but a medical examination may reveal it and help with comprehensive documentation.

3. Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney

Given the complexities of pedestrian accident cases, consulting with a personal injury attorney is a wise step. An attorney provides valuable guidance, explaining your rights and assessing the strength of your case and potential compensation avenues.  Lawfty’s experienced personal injury attorneys advocate for your rights throughout the legal process.

Pedestrians have legal rights, and when those rights are violated, seeking compensation is a valid course of action. By understanding your rights, exploring compensation options, and enlisting the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney, you can navigate the legal process with confidence.

Pedestrian Accident Claims: What to Expect

Understanding what happens after a pedestrian accident can help you navigate the process more confidently.

Here's a simple breakdown:

1. Investigation

When you file a claim, the insurance company looks into the details:

  • They check the accident scene, considering things like traffic signals.
  • Medical records are reviewed to understand how badly you were hurt.
  • They investigate to figure out who is at fault.

2. Settlement Negotiations

If the insurance company admits fault, they try to reach a fair agreement:

  • Your attorney talks to them about fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Ideally, they come to an agreement that resolves the claim without going to court.

3. Legal Proceedings

If an agreement can't be reached, you might need to take legal action:

  • This involves starting a civil lawsuit to pursue compensation through the legal system.
  • In court, evidence, witness testimonies, and legal arguments are presented.

Understanding these steps helps you approach your claim with clarity. Getting legal advice ensures you take a thorough approach to getting the compensation you deserve after a pedestrian accident.

Contact Lawfty

If you've been involved in a pedestrian accident, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. You don't have to face the legal complexities alone—we're here to guide you every step of the way.

Free Case Consultation

To schedule your free and confidential case review call us at (844) 997-5100 or fill out the contact form below.

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