If you have been injured by a car as a pedestrian in Richmond, Virginia, there are laws which influence the driver’s liability for paying your medical bills and damages after the accident. While pedestrians do have rights under the laws of the Commonwealth, there are instances where pedestrians could be partially at fault.
Pedestrian Laws Regarding Sidewalks
When an individual walks along the road, Virginia Law Code 46.2-928 states you must use sidewalks any time one is present. If witnesses see the pedestrian wasn’t walking on the sidewalk before the accident, the pedestrian could be found at least partially negligent for their injuries.
On roadways where there is not a sidewalk, pedestrians are expected to walk on the left shoulder if it is wide enough to be a safe distance from the roadway.
Marked Crosswalks and Unmarked Crosswalks
Pedestrians are always expected to use crosswalks where they are available. Some crosswalks are marked in densely populated areas, but many unmarked crosswalks occur at any intersection where streets and sidewalks intersect. Regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or not, cars are expected to yield to pedestrians who are in crosswalks. For drivers, this can make it especially challenging, as these unmarked crosswalks are not always easy to identify.
According to Virginia Law Code 46.2-924, a driver is always expected to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk on any street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.
Pedestrians have a duty to act responsibly in a crosswalk. They have a responsibility to walk in a manner where they are not endangering the lives of others or by walking in front of moving motor vehicles. They cannot impede traffic for the sake of impeding traffic. They are not allowed to linger or move around carelessly within the crosswalk. When there are traffic signals, pedestrians must only cross the road for the “Walk” signal. Pedestrians must still act responsibly while walking in the crosswalk.
In many instances, pedestrians cross the road where no crosswalk is available. Pedestrians are required to cross the road in a manner where a driver’s view is not blocked by other vehicles or other obstructions. Bus stops or safety zones are the only exceptions to this, as the law allows pedestrians to safely cross the road to board a bus. Pedestrians, including children, are expected to cross the highway at a right angle.
When pedestrians are walking or crossing the road, they are expected to take all the necessary precautions, including looking both ways, use crosswalks, and use sidewalks whenever available. If a pedestrian is found to be partially responsible for their injuries, they may not be able to collect money from an auto insurance policy for their injuries and damages. If you are hit by a motor vehicle whether you are in a crosswalk or not, you should consult with an attorney to see if you can recover compensation for your injuries.
If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, call Epperly & Follis, P.C. today at 804-648-6480 to schedule your consultation.