Can pedestrians injured by a car while walking on the shoulder file a claim?

Categorized: Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

Can pedestrians injured by a car while walking on the shoulder file a claim?

Pedestrians injured by a car while walking on a highway shoulder can file a claim if the driver was negligent. Still, pedestrians’ own negligence could be factored into the case.

A pedestrian is obligated to follow the rules of the road, which covers when and how pedestrians can walk on the shoulder, the pedestrian:

  • can walk on the shoulder in the absence of an adjacent usable sidewalk;
  • must stay as far away as practicable from the roadway edge;
  • must proceed along the left shoulder of the highway while facing traffic from the opposite direction; and
  • may not walk on a portion of the roadway designated for vehicular traffic.

Section 3544 of the traffic and road rules of the Pennsylvania Statutes specifies the above-mentioned laws. Any pedestrian who has violated one or more of the above rules could be partially responsible for any resulting accident. The liability of the driver of the vehicle that has hit the pedestrian is reduced in such instances.

For example, a pedestrian was struck and killed on Route 17, west of Binghampton, by a tractor-trailer just this past February. The rules of the road pertain to pedestrians everywhere, be it on a country road or a major highway.

Indications of Motorist Liability for a Pedestrian Accident

Some motorist behaviors and traffic violations will indicate the driver’s liability for the accident and resultant damages if a pedestrian is injured by the car, these may include:

  • when the motorist was speeding, especially in unsuitable conditions. Driving at high speeds on wet and slippery roads or when visibility is low may cause vehicles to skid and stray onto the highway shoulder.
  • when the motorist was driving under the influence of alcohol or any drug. Driving under the influence of intoxicating substances seriously impairs the driver’s ability to maintain control of the vehicle.
  • when the motorist was driving distracted. This could include texting, talking on a cell phone, fiddling with on-board navigation systems, and any other behavior that takes attention away from the road and the task of driving.
  • when the driver was operating an improperly maintained vehicle or knew that a part of the automobile was faulty and could lead to an accident. Motorists must ensure their vehicle is safe for the road so it does not pose a risk to other drivers or pedestrians.

Legal Help for Pedestrian Accident Victims in North East Philly

Proving liability in pedestrian accidents can be difficult in the absence of eyewitnesses or in cases when the driving conditions were challenging. It may require documentation from the police report and other evidence that establishes a motorist’s negligence and liability. Pedestrians who are injured by a motorist while they were walking on the side of the road can contact an attorney for help with their cases.

Cordisco & Saile LLC can help accident victims in North East Philly and surrounding areas. Give us a call at 215-642-2335 for a free no-obligation consultation with a lawyer. You can discuss the circumstances of the case, damages that could be recoverable, and the laws surrounding your case if injured by a car while walking on the shoulder.

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