posted on August 8, 2019
Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians do not always have the right of way. In some collisions with pedestrians, the driver may not be at fault. Pedestrians can act negligently and bear responsibility for accidents, too.
If you are a pedestrian who recently was involved in an accident, you should know how a driver’s insurance company will likely approach your claim. The insurance company will look to see whether you had the right of way and whether you may have contributed to your injuries, which could result in a denial of your claim. On the other hand, if you are a driver who was injured after a collision with a pedestrian, you should know that you may be the one who is actually entitled to recover damages – not the pedestrian. It will all depend on the facts.
The injury attorneys at Marks and Harrison are proud to carry on a legacy of serving Virginia residents for more than 100 years. Our team is here to support you, answer your questions and represent you if you were recently injured in a pedestrian accident. Get in touch with us today to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Virginia law has several statutes that establish how and when pedestrians may cross streets and otherwise have the right of way. These laws are critical for the safety of both pedestrians and motorists. Some of the most important laws regarding pedestrians include:
All of these are examples of Virginia traffic laws that address pedestrians. In all cases, pedestrians must obey the rules of the road. When pedestrians or drivers disobey those rules, avoidable accidents can occur that result in a traumatic situation for all parties involved.
Pedestrians can be responsible for accidents in a number of different ways and ultimately cause serious and even catastrophic injuries. Most commonly, pedestrians cause accidents when:
When pedestrians fail to observe the traffic laws that are in place for their safety, they can cause accidents and hurt themselves or others. A pedestrian who causes an accident may not only be barred from seeking compensation under Virginia’s contributory negligence law. The pedestrian may also be liable for any harm that a driver suffers. For instance, a driver may be forced to swerve in order to avoid hitting a pedestrian and, in turn, hit another car or object such as a tree, sign or guardrail.
You can look at many different pieces of evidence in order to determine fault in a pedestrian accident. In most cases, you will find the primary evidence at the scene of the accident. This evidence may include:
Additionally, in an investigation of the accident, an attorney will want to collect and review evidence such as:
In some cases, an attorney may turn to an expert in accident reconstruction. This expert can review the evidence and determine how the accident happened and who was responsible for it – the driver, pedestrian or both. These experts often compile the information in a report and/or testify at trial.
In some cases, a pedestrian may be found to be partially or wholly at-fault for an accident. If this occurs, a pedestrian may be unable to recover any compensation for his or her injuries after a collision with a motor vehicle. This is why it is particularly important to determine whether a pedestrian may have contributed to an accident.
Virginia follows the rule of “pure contributory negligence.” This is a truly all-or-nothing kind of rule. So, if a pedestrian is found to be even one percent responsible for an accident, the pedestrian may be unable to recover any compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages.
At Marks & Harrison, we know how insurance companies operate. They frequently try to shift fault to “the other side.” If you were hurt in an accident – whether as a pedestrian or as a driver – we will fight any attempts to put undue blame on you. That is why we promptly and thoroughly investigate the cases we handle. We let the facts speak for themselves.
At Marks & Harrison, our Virginia pedestrian accident attorneys are ready to sit down with you and listen to your side of the story after an accident. We want to make sure that your voice is heard. To learn more about how we can help you to pursue just compensation, contact us today. We can serve you from offices in Richmond and nine other offices located throughout Virginia. Our initial consultations are always free and confidential.