A man went to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after a pickup truck hit him as he crossed the street in the Brenneman Farm section of Virginia Beach, VA. The nearly fatal pedestrian crash happened at around 8:30 pm on October 23, 2017.
The city’s Fatal Accident Crash Team was called in to investigate the collision at the intersection of Independence Boulevard and Windsor Oaks Boulevard. The pickup driver remained at the scene, but no charges were immediately filed.
The intersection where the crash happened is controlled by stoplights in all directions, and crosswalks connect all four corners. One thing investigators will focus on is determining whether the driver or the pedestrian had right of way. They will also need to figure out if the driver was making a turn.
The state law that applies to crashes like this one at Independence and Windsor Oaks, section 46.2-924 of the Virginia code, gives a pedestrian right of way when he or she is using a crosswalk. The statute also requires drivers to yield to pedestrians when “making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians.”
The Northern Virginia Commission offers the following tips for meeting the legal duty to yield while turning in a booklet titled Sharing the Road in Virginia:
- Watch others who are waiting at stop signs or in driveways, or who are in parking spaces. They may be preparing to pull out.
- Look out for others who may not see you … .
- Watch for oncoming traffic.
If the pickup truck driver violated the Virginia Beach pedestrian’s right of way, the critically injured man would have strong grounds for filing a personal injury insurance claim. Receiving compensation and monetary damages would not be guaranteed, however, because attorneys for the driver’s insurance company could still argue that the pedestrian acted negligently in some way and contributed to causing the crash. In Virginia, individuals who can be found at fault for their injuries cannot receive insurance settlements.
Working with a Virginia Beach-based personal injury lawyer who has experience representing victims hurt while crossing streets would help the pedestrian take on insurance company representatives. Enlisting the assistance of a legal representative would also allow the injured pedestrian to focus on his physical recovery while someone else handled paperwork, collected crash reports from police, and maintained records of medical bills and communications with the insurer.