When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, they have nothing to protect their body, making them vulnerable to severe injuries. Even if they are obeying all safety and traffic laws, pedestrians can still be seriously injured or even killed by negligent drivers. Even though pedestrians are only involved in about 2% of all Virginia automobile accidents, they account for about 15% of all vehicular deaths.
Am I entitled to compensation as a pedestrian injured by a driver in Virginia?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Virginia, our experienced legal team can draft and file a claim for compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free case review with one of our Virginia personal injury lawyers, call our Virginia Beach office at (833) 997-1774 or fill out the contact form online.
In the meantime, you can learn what to look out for and how to walk more defensively by understanding the most common driver behaviors that lead to pedestrian injuries.
When a driver goes too fast, pedestrians are at an increased risk of being injured or killed. Drivers are required to obey the posted speed limit, particularly when they are nearing crosswalks or intersections where they are likely to encounter pedestrians. If you notice a speeding vehicle approaching you, move as away from the road as you can, and do not attempt to cross the street until the vehicle has passed.
Distracted drivers are a growing problem, not just in Virginia but throughout the United States. This is primarily attributed to the increased use of cell phones behind the wheel. A lot of drivers think it is okay to make calls and send text messages once they are at an intersection, but this distraction often comes with fatal consequences.
Drivers Under the Influence
Anyone who operates a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a threat to the safety of everybody on the roadway, including pedestrians, due to their delayed reaction times, blurred vision, and poor judgment.
Ignoring Yield Signs and Stop Signs
Pedestrians should never assume that a driver is going to yield or stop just because a sign tells them to. If feasible, pedestrians should make eye contact with the driver of any approaching vehicle before they start to cross the street.
Driving laws in Virginia state that motorists should not drive any faster than is safe for current road conditions. This means that drivers are required to slow down anytime braking distance and visibility are limited by unfavorable weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, sleet, or fog.
Pedestrians walking in this type of weather should exercise extreme caution by keeping as far off the roadway as possible and crossing the street only when absolutely necessary.
Drivers attempting to make a lefthand turn can be so focused on looking for oncoming cars that they fail to keep an eye out for any pedestrians who may be in the crosswalk. Pedestrians need to be aware of this, and use extra care when crossing.
In Virginia, pedestrians and drivers are both held to the same duty of care. They are required to obey all laws, and safety precautions, and pay attention to their surroundings in order to prevent an accident. If, however, you are a pedestrian who was injured by a negligent driver, you are entitled to pursue financial compensation. Unfortunately, even when a pedestrian does everything correctly, they can still be injured by a careless driver who speeds through an intersection or runs a traffic light.
Compensation Can be Tricky
After being hurt by a driver while out walking, you are eligible for compensation. Unfortunately, collecting damages in Virginia can be challenging because of the state’s contributory negligence rule. As an injured pedestrian in Virginia, you will have to prove that the driver who hit you was 100% liable for the accident. This is a higher standard than almost any other state.
Speak With a Qualified Virginia Pedestrian Injury Attorney Today
If you sustained serious injuries as a pedestrian, even if the accident was not your fault, you will most likely need a Virginia pedestrian injury lawyer to help you. An experienced attorney can investigate your accident, determine liability, and calculate the amount of financial compensation you are entitled to.
Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp is a personal injury law firm located in Virginia Beach and backed by more than forty years of legal experience. Our lawyers have the knowledge, resources, and skills that are needed to win your case. To schedule your free case review, give us a call today at (833) 997-1774.