With spring and warmer temperatures upon us, many people are heading outdoors to enjoy the weather. More people outside walking and cycling, however, also means that drivers and pedestrians alike must be on higher alert when sharing the road. For pedestrians, using the utmost caution and crossing the road at marked crosswalks is crucial, but drivers must also pay extra attention to and check for pedestrians before making a turn or proceeding through an intersection.
According to a recent local news report, an accident involving a driver operating his vehicle under the influence left a college track athlete dead. Local authorities reported that four athletes and an assistant coach with the university’s men’s cross country and track team were running along a local road when a red two-door sedan hit three athletes before fleeing the scene. Police arrested and identified the driver shortly after the accident when the car crashed into the median on Route 199. After first responders transported five athletes to a local hospital for treatment, one of them passed away from his injuries and two other athletes suffered significant injuries. Local accident reconstruction teams and authorities are continuing to investigate the accident.
In the United States overall, total traffic deaths have decreased by eight percent in the last ten years, but pedestrian deaths have increased by 42 percent over the same period. Similarly, over the last decade, pedestrian deaths from car accidents have dramatically increased in Virginia. Although pedestrian accidents and fatalities take place for a number of different reasons, the most common causes involve pedestrians crossing the street where there is not an intersection, crossing an unmarked intersection, or standing in the roadway.
Virginia has specific laws about pedestrians, drivers, and who has the right of way. Drivers in Virginia must yield to pedestrians at any clearly marked crosswalk, regular pedestrian crossings, and intersections where the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour. Pedestrians crossing at an intersection also have right of way over vehicles that are attempting to make a turn on a crosswalk that is being used by a pedestrian.
When a pedestrian accident takes place in Virginia, determining fault can often be a crucial part of deciding whether or not you have a successful personal injury claim. All Virginia drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and to adhere to traffic laws. If a driver fails to uphold their duties and causes an accident with a pedestrian, the injured party could sue the driver for negligence.
This rule, however, also extends to pedestrians. Virginia pedestrians similarly must exercise reasonable care and obey all traffic laws. In the event that a pedestrian violates these duties and their negligence causes an accident, they could also be sued.
Do You Need a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in a Virginia pedestrian accident, contact the Schupak Law Firm today for assistance. Our attorneys have years of experience fighting for the injured and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 703-491-7070.