When we think of an incident involving a pedestrian being hurt in a car accident, the initial assumption is usually that the driver was at fault owing to the supposition that pedestrians always have the right of way. However, drivers are not necessarily always the individual responsible for pedestrian accidents. There are certain rules and regulations in Montgomery, Alabama that may indicate fault on the part of the pedestrian, which is important to know if you find yourself part of a pedestrian car accident.
Pedestrian Rules in Montgomery, Alabama
The provisions for pedestrian codes of conduct are included in the Alabama Code § 32-5A-1 through § 32-5A-330. The basic rule for pedestrians to follow is that they are required to follow traffic control devices like stop signs and lights unless directed otherwise by a pedestrian cross signal. In the absence of an electronic signal, drivers have to yield the right of way to pedestrians using a crosswalk. Of course, drivers must also yield to pedestrians on sidewalks. It is prohibited for pedestrians to cross the road at an unmarked location, or walk on the road while under the influence.
Pedestrians have the right to assume that drivers will safely follow the rules of the road, but should nonetheless be aware of traffic around them at all times.
If a pedestrian has violated any of these rules, then the door may be open for the driver to argue that that pedestrian was at fault for the accident, not themselves. Recounting the details of the situation to an attorney can help to establish where the fault may lay in your particular situation.
Shared Fault in Pedestrian Accidents
When it comes to pedestrian accidents, chances are that no matter the situation, the driver does share some degree of the blame. An example of a pedestrian accident with shared blame could be an incident where the pedestrian was jaywalking, but the car was not being driven at a safe speed.
Negligence laws are used to determine who was at fault in an incident, and they differ between individual states. Some states use comparative negligence laws, but Alabama’s rules are based off something called contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a bit of an older system and provides an ‘all-or-nothing’ outcome. If you are found to bear any amount of fault for an accident, you won’t be able to file a liability claim against the other party. This means that both the driver and the pedestrian would be responsible for their own injuries if they are each partially responsible for the accident, such as the incident described above. If this is the case, you can file a first-party claim for your own insurance, but will not be allowed to pursue a lawsuit against the other party.
If you think your pedestrian car accident may have resulted from shared fault on both sides, you’ll want to contact a Montgomery, AL attorney to help determine the legal path you should follow.
What Should You Do If You Were Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are hurt in a pedestrian car accident, it’s likely that your injuries may be severe and medical attention may have been provided to you immediately. In the aftermath of pedestrian accidents, drivers and insurance companies often try to shift the blame on the pedestrian for causing the accident, so it is important to record the scene and compile a thorough report of what happened. If you are able to, taking pictures of the location, talking to witnesses, and obtaining security footage can help to build your case.
If you were hurt in a pedestrian car accident, you should also take the following steps:
- Report the incident to the police as soon as possible
- File a claim with your insurance company
- Seek medical attention immediately and keep records of all expenses
- Do not admit fault until you have discussed the case with a Montgomery, AL attorney, as the fault can be complicated in a pedestrian car accident.
Compiling a thorough summary of all the medical expenses, damages, and investigative reports that were incurred as a result of the accident will strengthen your case and ensure you are able to pursue compensation.
Contact a Montgomery, AL Car Accident Attorney Immediately
When seeking compensation for a pedestrian car accident, time is not on your side. You’ll need to seek the advice of a car accident attorney as soon as you can to help you establish the strength of your case, and assemble all the necessary paperwork to bring it to court. The attorneys at Vance Law Firm are ready to help you seek compensation for damages caused by your accident. Reach out to us today for a free review of your case.