Pedestrian Injuries in Crosswalks or Crossing Highways in Virginia | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) states that each year nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle related accidents. Being a pedestrian can be hazardous. For example, approximately 76,000 pedestrians in 2012 suffered injuries when hit by a car or truck.  As a pedestrian in Virginia, whether you are walking to school, work, or just around your neighborhood, it is essential for you to understand pedestrian law to know your rights and your responsibilities. Drivers also have responsibilities to be aware of pedestrians. 

Driver Responsibilities

Drivers in vehicles are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing highways at clearly marked crosswalks. This is true of any pedestrian crossing. Drivers also need to stop at any intersection when they are approaching on highways or streets where the maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour. Drivers should slow down or stop to let pedestrians to cross the intersections if their vehicles are entering, turning, or crossing at the intersections. Pedestrians crossing highways should always have the right-of-way over vehicles that are making turns into the highways where pedestrians are crossing. Unmarked crosswalks have the same yielding requirements as marked crosswalks. Drivers should yield to pedestrians who are entering or departing the street at alleys, driveways, and commercial entrances.

Who Is at Fault?

When a driver hits a pedestrian, there is often the question of who is at fault for the accident. Usually, fault is determined by a breach of a duty of care. When a driver breaches a standard of care, they may be considered negligent for your harms and losses. Examples of negligence include driving while intoxicated, speeding in areas such as school or residential areas, and being distracted with texting or speaking on the phone while driving.

Damages associated with a personal injury lawsuit could include medical bills and lost wages. In the tragic event of a death, compensation to the victim’s survivors could include medical bills, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and economic damages such as loss of the victim’s future earnings. In a lawsuit, choosing an attorney specializing in personal injury law can help you either as a driver or as a pedestrian.