Is a driver at fault for an accident when a pedestrian is in or near a crosswalk?
By GNGF on January 23rd, 2023 in
The fact that a pedestrian is in or near a crosswalk does not mean that the other driver is automatically responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries. Pedestrians are always required to obey all traffic signals. If a pedestrian enters the crosswalk when not allowed, the other driver may be able to either wholly or partially escape legal responsibility.
While the driver is usually at fault for a pedestrian accident, this is simply by virtue of the fact that drivers are responsible for looking out for the more vulnerable on the roadways—i.e., bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. While a driver is surrounded by a steel and glass “cage,” and has airbags and safety belts as protection, the pedestrian has no such protections, even lacking a helmet often worn by bicyclists and motorcyclists. This means that when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the resulting injuries are likely to be more severe, and possibly catastrophic.
That being said, there are certain circumstances in which the pedestrian may be held liable for the accident. If a pedestrian steps out from behind a car into the street (not a crosswalk), then there may have been little the driver could do to avoid hitting them. When the pedestrian is hit in a crosswalk when there is a “don’t walk” signal, the driver may be held responsible, or it may be determined that the driver is not entirely responsible for the accident. It can be extremely important to have a highly skilled personal injury attorney in your corner to show that you could not have reasonably avoided hitting the pedestrian.
Do I need an attorney to resolve a pedestrian accident case?
The phrase “pedestrians always have the right of way” is not always true. In certain circumstances, pedestrians are not allowed to cross highways, bridges, and busy roads. Further, certain roads have rules, traffic signals, and signs that instruct pedestrians on how and when to cross a street. If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important for you to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer who knows these laws.
As noted, while a driver is much more likely to be found liable for hitting a pedestrian, there are some instances where the driver could not have avoided hitting the pedestrian. While you may think you can handle a pedestrian accident on your own, you might be unpleasantly surprised to find what it actually takes to resolve a pedestrian accident claim and avoid being found liable for the accident. Your attorney will do the following:
- Your attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine fault
- After the accident, your attorney will advise you of your next steps
- If you were injured during the pedestrian accident, and it was not your fault, your attorney will work to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries.
- If you are found to be at fault for the pedestrian accident, your attorney can try to minimize your exposure
- You can be sure all deadlines will be properly met when you have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your corner
How the Harmonson Law Firm with Offices in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM Can Help After Hitting a Pedestrian
Hitting a pedestrian can not only injure the pedestrian, but it can also leave you emotionally shaken. After all, nobody wants to be responsible for hurting another human being, even if there is no way you could have avoided the accident. Rather than simply waiting to see what the pedestrian or your insurance company will do, it is much better to be proactive and speak to an attorney as quickly as possible. If you were not at fault for the pedestrian accident and you received injuries resulting from the accident, then your attorney will pursue compensation on your behalf.
Choosing the Harmonson Law Firm is the best step you can take for your future. Our attorneys will aggressively defend your rights following the accident from beginning to end. We can set your mind at ease when you are feeling overwhelmed. We will conduct a thorough investigation as a means of showing you were not at fault for the accident, then will tirelessly advocate for a settlement that will fully pay for your injuries and damages. Contact the Harmonson Law Firm for your legal representation needs following a car accident. Please note that nothing herein is meant as legal advice specifically related to your case.