Damages You May Be Entitled To as a Pedestrian

Damages You May Be Entitled To as a Pedestrian

For millions of automobile owners, sustaining a car accident is a horrifying experience with tremendous consequences. But what happens when you aren’t even driving a car and you get hit by one? You are much more likely to risk injury since you are not enclosed in a behemoth of a metal shell with dozens of standard safety features. For the over 70,000 pedestrians injured in pedestrian vehicle accidents a year, there are rights, duties, and causes worth knowing about for future references considering pedestrian car accidents in Pennsylvania account for nearly 14% of all fatal traffic accidents.

Pedestrian Rights

In traffic rules and regulations, a “pedestrian” is simply any person on foot. When you are traveling on foot, you have certain responsibilities, or duties, to keep yourself and others safe. These vary slightly depending on state statutes and local ordinances; however, in general, pedestrians must adhere to the following rules:

When crossing streets and highways

In most cases, pedestrians have the right to travel anywhere upon public roads and highways, and so restrictions are placed on the pedestrian’s conduct. Pennsylvania pedestrians must cross at crosswalks, or risk the consequences of jaywalking. When you cross at non-designated points, you must yield to motorists. Many laws in effect restrict crossing to crosswalks and right angles; however, the pedestrian maintains the right of way in crosswalks, on sidewalks, and public roads.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

As with any aspect of life, the cause of a pedestrian car accident is not black-and-white. Sometimes it is a negligent driver’s fault, but at other times, negligent pedestrians are to blame.

Motorist at fault

A Pennsylvania motorist is at fault when he fails to yield to a pedestrian or obey the posted speed limit. Driving distractions like talking/texting/navigating/fumbling with music on a cellular phone keep his eyes off the road, leading to his failure to see the pedestrian crossing the road. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol slows a driver’s reflexes and he may slam into a pedestrian as the result of impairment. A car’s equipment can also fail leading to an accident.

Pedestrian at fault

Not all pedestrians are innocent when it comes to pedestrian accidents. When pedestrians ignore traffic signals and cross when they are restricted from crossing, that is a violation. When pedestrians are distracted on their cell phones and are not paying attention to the flow of traffic, that is on them. Jaywalking is also illegal in most places, as it is safest to cross at a crosswalk and not cut diagonally across lanes of oncoming traffic. Pedestrians should also stay on the sidewalk when one is available at all times.

Reaping Damages

Whether or not you can submit a claim for your accident depends on who was at fault, if you were injured, and if the driver fulfilled his obligation to stop at the scene to exchange relevant contact and insurance information. It’s advised to give all these details to your insurance company and your attorney.

Auto Liability Insurance

Like any personal injury case, an injured pedestrian can file a claim, in this case against the driver’s auto liability insurance policy. Most states require drivers/ vehicle owners to carry liability insurance to cover personal injuries and damages to a third party.

No-Fault Coverage

In some “no fault” states, personal injury protection means insurance companies are required to pay for any medical expenses and lost wages of their policyholders regardless of who was at fault. Pennsylvania is considered a “no fault” state.

Before attempting to reap damages on your own, it is highly advised to seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer for your pedestrian car accident. A lawyer is able to write to the insurance companies and maximize your claim.


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