If you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian, you may be facing more serious injuries, a lengthy recovery period, and have many questions about your rights. Because pedestrians are not protected by a car’s chassis, when struck, they often face serious, life-threatening, and life-altering injuries. While many drivers have a general sense of their rights and responsibilities, pedestrians may not always be aware of their rights. We live in a culture that favors driving to walking and pedestrians may find themselves—often unfairly—getting blamed for an accident.
Many pedestrians seek the counsel of an accident attorney in Minneapolis in order to protect their rights. While knowledge is definitely power—it can often be no substitute to hiring a qualified accident attorney to help you. If you’ve been struck by a car as a pedestrian, what do you need to know?
Every state’s laws regarding pedestrian’s rights and driver’s responsibilities differ. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in Minnesota, drivers are required, by law, to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks and at unmarked intersections. However, the law enters a gray area when pedestrians are accused of suddenly entering a crosswalk without giving a car adequate time to yield. The law requires pedestrians to give drivers time to stop. Many drivers trying to reduce their responsibility, may claim that a pedestrian suddenly left the curb without providing the driver with enough time to stop. Careful research of the accident scene, tire marks, and the pedestrian’s injuries may be able to shed light when these disputes arise. A personal injury lawyer may be able to perform this investigation, take a look at medical records, damage to the other car, and also study the scene of the accident.
Pedestrians who cross outside a crosswalk have fewer rights. Pedestrians in this case are required to yield to cars. However, it is important to understand that drivers also have a similar responsibility to yield. If a pedestrian can show that a driver failed to yield, the driver may be held responsible.
According to Peds, an advocacy group designed to protect pedestrians, pedestrians need to remember that a misjudgment while walking can lead to serious and even deadly injuries. Distracted, aggressive, and impatient drivers may not always yield to pedestrians, even when it is their responsibility to do so. Pedestrians should not cross until it is clear that a driver has seen them. Pedestrians also should be aware that turning vehicles may not see them.
Pedestrians should also remember that even when they see a “walk” sign at a signaled intersection, drivers turning right also have a green. It is important to always check for turning cars.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, a personal injury attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota may be able to assist you in getting the justice and compensation you deserve. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino offers free case evaluation to clients in need. Contact us today to learn more.