Both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to act safety when on public roads. Both need to drive safely or walk safely. There are driving laws to follow and safety tips for pedestrians. In spite of written laws and available safety tips, some areas are more dangerous to walk in. Too many pedestrian accidents result in serious injuries or death. Take steps to stay safe, and if the unthinkable happens and there is a pedestrian injury, have a law firm in mind to contact for help.
Pedestrian Accidents and Lawsuits
Everyone should take responsibility for their own safety and that of others. If a person is driving, they should look out for and protect pedestrians. If a person is a pedestrian, they should know and follow traffic laws and also take additional steps to stay safe. If, in spite of their best efforts, a pedestrian is injured in an accident, liability may be difficult to prove. Getting fair compensation from the liable driver may be complicated. What if, while the injured person lies helpless and hurting, the driver speeds away?
This is one reason why there are so many pedestrian injury lawsuits in the United States and even in Morgantown, WV. When a person has been injured in a pedestrian accident, they need help to document the circumstances of the accident, determine liability, and get fair compensation from the driver or their insurance company.
The injured party may be incapacitated and badly injured, facing a long recovery time, confused about how to get help and justice for the accident, and have mounting medical bills. This is a time when the victim is most vulnerable and can be taken advantage of by the liable party’s lawyer or insurance company. Seek legal help ASAP after the accident.
Finding a skilled pedestrian accident attorney is integral for ensuring that pedestrian rights are upheld. These lawyers specialize in pedestrian law and have the expertise and resources to understand traffic laws and the legal process to give pedestrian victims the best possible outcome. Not only do they provide dedicated legal representation, but pedestrian accident attorneys also have an understanding of complex medical terminology, allowing them to identify any medical errors resulting from the accident.
Staying Safe by Following Traffic Laws for Pedestrians
It is always advisable to avoid accidents when possible. So, obeying traffic laws makes good sense. Some laws to learn include the following.
1. When a pedestrian crosses the street at a crosswalk, drivers must yield under certain conditions.
• Drivers don’t need to stop until the pedestrian begins to step into the crosswalk.
• It is not legal for drivers to pass cars stopped at a pedestrian crosswalk.
• Pedestrians should use caution when entering a crosswalk and not walk in front of moving vehicles. Do not assume every vehicle will stop at the pedestrian crossing even if they are bound by law to do so.
2. When a pedestrian crosses a street, not at an intersection, they yield ride-of-way to the vehicles.
3. When crossing a street with traffic signals, those signals must be obeyed. These traffic signals show who has right of way and who must yield.
4. When there are usable sidewalks along a road, pedestrians must use them. It is illegal to walk upon or along a road when sidewalks are available.
Additional Pedestrian Safety Tips
Additional ways to stay safe as a pedestrian include:
• Cross only at crosswalks and do not enter the street between parked cars. Obey all traffic signs and signals.
• Be aware of your surroundings and look left, right, and left again before entering the street. Don’t walk distracted by phones or other devices.
• Don’t run into moving traffic. Wait for a gap before entering the street. Make eye contact with drivers approaching.
• Wear bright or reflective clothing so drivers can see you.
• Do not walk when impaired by drugs or alcohol.
• If no crosswalk is available, use more caution when crossing the street.
Staying alert and cautious while following the law will go a long way toward keeping pedestrians safe.