Ask Accident Lawyers: What Are Your Rights as a Pedestrian in PA?
Accident lawyers answer many questions when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Who should be held responsible when a pedestrian is harmed or loses their life in a collision with a bicycle, motorcycle, or any other motorized vehicle? Is it always the driver who is held responsible for accidents involving pedestrians? Or are pedestrians also expected to exercise caution?
Our accident lawyers at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers have heard these questions and more many times over the years, and we are ready to help you learn more about your rights as a pedestrian involved in an accident. Keep reading if you want to learn more about what to do if you are involved in this type of accident.
What Rights Do You Have in PA Regarding Pedestrian Accidents?
In Pennsylvania car accident laws, pedestrians have specific legal rights designed to protect them if they’re involved in an accident. These laws ensure that pedestrians are safe and, if an incident occurs, they are fairly compensated for their injuries. According to the law, vehicles must give the right of way to pedestrians at a crosswalk or at an intersection with no traffic signal. This means that drivers should always be alert for pedestrians and yield to them when necessary.
However, pedestrians also have responsibilities under the law regarding their involvement in motor vehicle accidents. For instance, they must yield the right-of-way to vehicles when crossing in the middle of the road. Also, pedestrians should not suddenly walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is close enough to be a hazard. If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian, you can make a personal injury protection (PIP) claim under Pennsylvania law. This law allows you to seek medical coverage for your injuries. Furthermore, survivors of hit-and-run accidents may speak with an attorney about compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and emotional suffering.
In addition to physical injuries, you may also be entitled to compensation for any emotional suffering caused by the accident. It is crucial to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can explain your rights and guide you through the process of your unique claim. Remember, the aim of these laws is to ensure your protection and fair treatment in the unfortunate event of an accident. Knowing your rights and obligations as a pedestrian is important to navigate these situations better.
What You Need to Know If You’ve Never Been Involved in an Accident Before
Being involved in car accidents of any kind can be a traumatic and confusing experience, especially if it’s your first time. Here are a few things you need to know.
- It’s important to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, even if you think you’re not seriously injured. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately and can worsen if left untreated. Additionally, you may waive the right to compensation for medical expenses if you are not seen immediately after an accident occurs.
- Try to document everything about the accident as accurately as you can. You should include the driver’s details, the circumstances of the accident, and any potential witnesses. This information can be invaluable when filing a claim.
- Contact your lawyer as soon as possible. They can provide you with advice and guidance, making the process less overwhelming.
Every pedestrian accident is unique, and the steps one needs to take can vary based on the specifics of the accident. Therefore, this information should serve as a general guide, and for accurate advice tailored to your situation, consult with a professional accident lawyer.
How Can You Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
You can do several things as a pedestrian or a motor vehicle operator to prevent pedestrian and car accidents.
As a Pedestrian
According to Pennsylvania law, drivers of motorized vehicles are obligated to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk under certain conditions. These include situations where the pedestrian has a “walk” signal, if the intersection lacks signal lights, or when the crosswalk is situated mid-block or is part of a marked trail crossing.
However, meeting these conditions does not exempt pedestrians from potential liability. Pedestrians must exercise caution, allowing sufficient time and distance for bicyclists and motorists to yield when they enter the crosswalk. If a pedestrian abruptly steps into the path of an oncoming vehicle or bicycle, even if they are within the crosswalk and have the right-of-way, they could be held responsible for any ensuing accident.
Additionally, there’s some conventional advice that every pedestrian should heed when entering a roadway. Be sure to check left, right, and then left again before crossing, obey traffic signals, and be aware of turning cars even when you have a “walk” signal, use crosswalks where available, avoid jaywalking or crossing mid-block, make eye contact with drivers when traveling in front of their vehicles, wear bright or reflective clothing if walking at night, and be cautious if a driver signals you to cross as other drivers may not be aware.
As a Driver
Under Pennsylvania car accident laws, it’s not just about obeying traffic signals when operating a bicycle or motor vehicle. If you are speeding, driving recklessly, or while intoxicated, you could still be held liable for a pedestrian’s injury or death, even if that person wasn’t crossing legally or in a crosswalk.
A motorist needs to exercise caution to prevent pedestrian accidents, which includes adhering to the speed limit and refraining from driving while under the influence. Distractions while driving should be avoided, and extreme caution should be exercised in poor weather conditions or where visibility is limited.
Furthermore, it would be best if you always remained stopped behind other vehicles at crosswalks to give the right-of-way to pedestrians you can’t see. Approach every crosswalk cautiously, even if you can’t see a pedestrian using it. Check for pedestrians in the opposing street’s crosswalk when turning right. Always be alert for children and adults who might dart into traffic. Your attention could save a life.
What’s the Role of Accident Lawyers in Pedestrian Accidents?
If you’ve been hit by a motor vehicle, it is crucial to seek the help of accident lawyers. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the complex process of filing a claim and seeking compensation for your injuries. With their expertise, they can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. They are adept at collecting and examining evidence that can support your claim. They understand the nuances of personal injury law and use this knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf, which can significantly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury lawyers also play a key role in dealing with auto insurance coverage companies. Insurance adjusters often try to minimize the payout to the injured party. An experienced personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, ensuring that you receive a settlement that adequately covers your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
They can help you understand the legal process, explain your rights, and advise you on the best course of action based on your specific circumstances. Your lawyer can also help file all necessary paperwork to move your case forward, represent you in court if necessary, and advocate for your interests throughout the entire process.
Are You Ready to Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer?
A professional car accident lawyer can guide you through the often complex process of filing a claim, dealing with insurance companies, and ensuring your rights are protected after a pedestrian accident. Insurance companies have their own team of lawyers and adjusters whose goal is to minimize the payout. A knowledgeable car accident attorney can level the playing field and improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement. If you’re ready to discuss your case, do not hesitate to contact us at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers!