Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-Of-Way?
Pedestrians are vulnerable road users. There are several factors that make them more susceptible to injury or harm in traffic environments. The main issue is that they are not occupants of vehicles who are surrounded by metal structures, seat belts, and airbags. Pedestrians lack physical protection. This makes them more exposed to direct impact in the event of a collision. In addition, pedestrians are smaller and less visible than vehicles. Particularly at night or in adverse weather conditions, pedestrians clearly visible. This reduced visibility can make it harder for drivers to notice pedestrians in time to react. This begs the question, do pedestrians always have the right-of-way?
If you were struck and injured as a pedestrian or a loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident, we recommend consulting with a local pedestrian accident lawyer today! Because of the physical vulnerability of pedestrians, these accidents can cause devastating, permanent disabilities. In addition, depending on state laws and the specifics of the accident, liability could be attributed to either the pedestrian or the motorist or be shared between the parties. Part of determining liability is understanding if pedestrians always legally have the right-of-way. An experienced car accident attorney can evaluate your accident and protect your legal rights.
Do pedestrians always have the right-of-way?
The right-of-way for pedestrians can vary based on the location, traffic rules, and specific circumstances. In many places, pedestrians do have legal rights and protections when crossing the road. However, it’s essential to understand the nuances of pedestrian right-of-way rules.
In general, pedestrians have the right-of-way in the following situations:
- Crosswalks. Pedestrians typically have the right-of-way when they are within marked crosswalks. These are at intersections or designated pedestrian crossing areas. Vehicles are expected to yield to pedestrians in these situations.
- Unmarked crosswalks. Even at intersections without marked crosswalks, pedestrians usually have the right-of-way to cross the street. An unmarked crosswalk is often considered to exist at any intersection, even if there are no painted lines.
- Pedestrian-controlled crosswalks. These are also known as signalized crosswalks or pedestrian traffic lights. They allow pedestrians to activate a signal to stop vehicular traffic and cross safely.
- When turning vehicles yield. In many cases, vehicles making turns at intersections are required to yield to pedestrians crossing in their path. This includes situations where pedestrians are legally crossing with a green light or walk signal.
However, it’s important to note that pedestrians also have responsibilities to ensure their safety. They must be aware of and adhere to traffic rules. They should cross streets at designated crossings. This includes the expectation to follow pedestrian signals and exercise caution when crossing roads.
In certain situations, such as jaywalking (crossing outside of designated areas) or crossing against traffic signals, pedestrians might not have the right-of-way, and vehicles might not be expected to yield to them. Additionally, laws can vary by state, so it’s crucial to be aware of local regulations.
Whether the vehicle or the pedestrian had the right of way before the collision can impact the accident settlement. If you are unsure who is at fault for your pedestrian accident, a local car accident lawyer can help!
Seek the help of a pedestrian injury lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured as a pedestrian because of the negligence of a driver, contact a pedestrian injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from an insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County, and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing upfront and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!