A careless driver who strikes a pedestrian is liable for the pedestrian’s injuries and related damages. But if the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk at the time, questions may arise regarding liability.
But if you were in an accident and were not in a crosswalk, you may still be able to file a claim for damages. Read on for some common questions about pedestrian accidents and crosswalks in Pennsylvania. And get help from pedestrian accident lawyers to exercise your rights.
What do Pennsylvania laws say about crosswalks?
The first thing that’s important to note is that in the case that a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, a motor vehicle is required by law to yield to the pedestrian. Even when there are no traffic signs, if there is a crosswalk (marked or unmarked), the pedestrian has the right of way. The law regarding the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks can be found in section 3542 of Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Chapter 35 – Special Vehicles and Pedestrians.
On the other hand, though, if no crosswalk is visible, you’re not within a crosswalk, or you’re walking along side the roadway, a pedestrian must yield to motorists.
Do I still have a case?
If you’ve been hit by a vehicle outside of a crosswalk where it was your duty as a pedestrian to yield the right of way to a motorist, it does not necessarily mean that you have forfeited your right to recover damages. In fact, in some cases, such a pedestrian accident may still be the driver’s fault, even when a pedestrian is not within a crosswalk. If you can prove that the motorist was behaving negligently at the time of accident, then you may still have a case.
For example, if the motorist was drunk or speeding, then the motorist may be at least partially liable. If you were less than 51 percent at fault, then you may recover damages, reduced proportionally to your degree of fault.
If you can file a claim, you may be able to recover compensation for all of your injuries and medical expenses, as well as noneconomic damages, such as emotional suffering. Pedestrians in Pennsylvania are full tort, so you can file a tort action against the driver for pain and suffering and other damages, even if you have limited tort on your auto policy and did not suffer serious injuries.
Do I need an attorney?
If you’ve been hit by a motorist – especially if you were not in a crosswalk at the time of accident – then hiring an attorney may be in your best interests to prove fault and liability. To get started, call Cordisco & Saile LLC today at 215-642-2335 or contact us online.