What Constitutes Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident?
Generally, negligence is established by showing that a driver of a vehicle owes a duty to use reasonable care when driving a vehicle. If a driver violates this duty and drives distracted, fatigued, unreasonably, violates traffic laws, or otherwise uses inadequate care and harms or injures a person or property, they can be found negligent.
Who has the right-of-way when crossing the street?
The law is pretty clear that pedestrians usually have the right of way when crossing the street at intersections. Here are 2 exceptions:
- Per Washington State RCW 46.61.235 (2) No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.
- Per Washington State RCW 46.61.060 (2) Steady or flashing DON’T WALK or hand symbol—Pedestrians facing such signal shall not enter the roadway. Vehicle operators shall stop for pedestrians who have begun to cross the roadway before the display of either signal as required by RCW 46.61.235
What’s the difference between a marked and unmarked crosswalk?
In the State of Washington, marked and unmarked crosswalks are treated the same. Per Washington State RCW 46.61.235
the operator of an approaching vehicle by law shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk.
Are Drivers Held Liable if the Pedestrian was Outside the Crosswalk?
As long as the pedestrian is at an intersection they have the right of way. A pedestrian does not specifically have to be within the lines of a crosswalk. Per Washington State RCW 46.61.240
the vehicle has the right of way unless a person is crossing the roadway at an intersection.
Can Drivers be Held Liable if the Pedestrian was jaywalking?
The driver of the vehicle would have a good defense to argue if the person was jaywalking but if they saw the pedestrian and could have stopped their vehicle and didn’t and hit them then they may have some comparable fault. This situation should be discussed with an attorney to look closely at the facts of the case to determine possible liability for the accident.
What Do I Do If the Driver Flees the Scene of the Accident?
In this day and age hit and run accidents are often caught on business/intersection/dash/bus or other surveillance camera footage. So there’s a chance someone may have the accident on tape. In some cases of hit and run accidents
, your injuries may be covered by your own insurance policy. A lawyer may have a private investigator look into all avenues of finding the responsible party before filing a claim with your insurance company.