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I was hit by a car as a pedestrian, but I was not using a crosswalk, can I file a personal injury claim?

Posted on October 15th, 2018 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Whenever a  motorist is driving on public roads, he or she owes a duty to other motorists to exercise caution and care. Failure to do so, is called a breach. If an injury occurred at the time of the breach, they could be liable. This type of duty is also owed to pedestrians, who are more likely to sustain serious injuries if they are to be hit by a moving vehicle.

I was hit by a car as a pedestrian, but I was not using a crosswalk, can I file a personal injury claim?

When a pedestrian has been hit by a car, one of the first questions that may arise is whether or not they were using the crosswalk when struck. If not, this could affect the pedestrian’s right to recover compensation.

Crossing on a Crosswalk

If the pedestrian was crossing the street, using a crosswalk, and was struck by a vehicle, the driver of that car will almost certainly be liable. This is because, in nearly all states, the driver must slow down, stop, or yield to a pedestrian on a crosswalk. This is regardless of whether or not there are traffic control boxes.

When the crosswalk is at an intersection, and the traffic light is controlling the road, a car must still stop for pedestrians, even if the light is green or yellow.

That being said, many states have rules explicitly stating that a pedestrian should not suddenly or abruptly leave the curb and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle that would, in no way, be able to yield or stop (even if there is a crosswalk).

In general, the conduct of the pedestrian will be considered in pedestrian accident cases. If a defense lawyer can show that the pedestrian was also acting recklessly, they could negate the liability of the driver.

If you were injured as a pedestrian on a crosswalk, you should ensure that your legal rights are protected by having a pedestrian accident lawyer on your side.

When a Pedestrian was NOT Using a Crosswalk

If a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle while they were crossing the road, and they were not on the crosswalk, liability issues may arise depending on the state. In general, when a pedestrian crosses the road anywhere outside of the crosswalk, they are required to yield the right of way to the vehicles.

In this case, the law reverses and protects the driver of the car. Therefore, when a pedestrian was struck and injured by a car outside of a crosswalk, the driver may not be liable.

That being said, it is possible for a pedestrian accident lawyer to investigate whether or not the driver of the car exercised caution to avoid striking the pedestrian. For example, did the driver sound the horn or flash their lights? Even if the pedestrian wasn’t using a crosswalk, it is possible for the driver to be found partially, or completely, at fault depending on what they were doing prior to the accident.

Legal Representation is Crucial

When it comes to pedestrian accidents and crosswalks, or lack of, there are many considerations and factors. Thus, having legal representation is very important.

If you were injured as a pedestrian, regardless of whether or not you were using a crosswalk, a pedestrian accident lawyer Salt Lake City, UT trusts can listen to what you have to say and let you know what legal options you have.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into pedestrian accidents and claims.

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