Car accidents involving pedestrians happen almost every day, especially in cities such as New York or Washington where large numbers of people walk everywhere. Any time a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle it is easy to assume that the driver of the vehicle was at fault. However, that may not always be the case.
In Washington, there are defined pedestrian laws. If these laws are not followed, thereby causing a pedestrian to be struck by a vehicle, then he or she rather than the driver could be at fault. If it can be proven in court that a pedestrian was violating one or more of these laws at the time of the accident, a driver could win the case.
Let’s take a look at the laws. First, pedestrians must obey traffic signals and traffic control devices. They must use sidewalks when they are available. If not available, pedestrians must walk on the side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic. No pedestrian or bicyclist can suddenly bolt into traffic. In other words, a driver must have time to stop. Pedestrians must, whether in a crosswalk or otherwise, always give vehicles the right-of-way.
Drivers have responsibilities by law as well. They must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks or crosswalks. Drivers must also exercise due diligence, doing everything in his or her power to prevent an accident. They must honk the horn as a warning signal when necessary.
As we can see, the cause of some accidents between a driver and a pedestrian can be a bit complicated. An attorney can assist both a driver and/or a pedestrian in settling these cases and determining fault.