Pedestrians often have the right of way, but it’s a common misconception that they always have that right no matter what. There are situations where the pedestrian must yield to oncoming traffic. In those circumstances, fault for the accident may be on both the driver and the pedestrian. Knowing when those situations occur is vital information, regardless of whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian. Whether you were walking in a crosswalk, for example, can have a big impact on your pedestrian accident case in Georgia. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to examine your situation and help you walk through your options.
How does walking in a cross walk affect my legal claim?
Crosswalks designate a safe location for pedestrians to cross the street. Many crosswalks are marked with paint (sometimes even rainbow-colored) or bricks. Some have controlling traffic signals that designate when you should and shouldn’t walk, but others don’t.
Although many crosswalks are marked, they are not required to be marked. A crosswalk can be found at virtually any intersection, regardless of whether it’s marked or not.
When a walker is in a crosswalk, they have the right of way as long as they are following traffic signals. Drivers should not cut off walkers or attempt to squeeze by while someone is crossing the street. The safest course of action is to simply stop completely and wait for the pedestrian to finish crossing the street. Drivers behind the first vehicle are also not permitted to go around a car yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
While walkers generally have the right of way, that right is not absolute. Walkers can still be partially at fault for an accident, even when they are in the crosswalk, if they:
- Leave the curb or other safe location and walk or run into the path of a vehicle, which would make it impractical or impossible to yield effectively
- Ignore traffic signals that state that the pedestrian should not cross the road, even in a crosswalk
Keep in mind that pedestrians should not walk when the “walk” signal is flashing or when the Don’t Walk light is on.
You should always use a crosswalk when crossing the street. Vehicles may not be on the lookout for pedestrians who do not follow these rules, making the likelihood of being involved in an accident much higher.
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How does jaywalking affect my legal case?
The term “jaywalking,” is commonly used, but it actually doesn’t appear anywhere in the Georgia Code. It is used to refer to incidents where a pedestrian crosses the street at any point outside of a crosswalk. Although jaywalking may be illegal in some states, in most situations in Georgia, it is legal as long as you yield to oncoming traffic.
Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Free
If you or a loved one were recently involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you may have legal options. Don’t wait to contact a member of our team to set up an appointment. We can walk you through your legal options based on the unique facts of your case—and we do it completely free of charge. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.