Car accidents are one of the leading causes of pedestrian injuries. Both drivers and pedestrians have right-of-way rules they must follow, but even when precautions are taken, it is still common for pedestrians to get hit and suffer severe injuries. The CDC states that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than passenger vehicle occupants, with nearly 6,000 pedestrians being killed annually.
If you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian, it is possible for you to still have a case even if you were not walking in a designated crosswalk. Though crossing the street in an undesignated area is considered jaywalking and is a citable offense, there are some situations where the driver could have been at fault as well. For example, poor lighting or road conditions, or negligent driving such as texting while driving or talking on the phone, could be contributing factors.
If you are injured as a pedestrian, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney no matter the situation. We can guide you through the legal process and review your situation to help you build a case. Even if you weren’t walking in a crosswalk, you might still be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. At Crossen Law Firm, we can review the facts to help you determine whether you have a viable case or not.
Indiana Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws
Despite being more vulnerable to injury, pedestrians still have a responsibility to pay attention and follow their local laws. Drivers, too, have a duty to operate their vehicles with care and follow the rules of the road, which includes looking out for pedestrians. However, this doesn’t mean that pedestrians always have the right of way and can just walk wherever they please without looking.
According to Indiana TITLE 9 Code, pedestrians have the right-of-way ONLY if they are crossing in a designated crosswalk, area, or are following traffic signals. In most other cases, pedestrians must yield to vehicles on the road.
A more complete list of Indiana pedestrian laws are as follows:
- Pedestrians must obey all traffic control signals unless instructed otherwise by a police officer.
- Local authorities may prohibit pedestrians from crossing the street in a business district or highway except when walking in a crosswalk.
- Pedestrians may not walk or run suddenly into the path of a nearby vehicle.
- If pedestrians cross the road anywhere other than within a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, they must yield the right of way to vehicles.
- Pedestrians may not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk when there are adjacent intersections with traffic control signals in operation.
- At diagonal crossing intersections, pedestrians may not cross unless authorized by traffic control signals.
- Pedestrians shall move along the right side of crosswalks when practicable.
- If a sidewalk is present and available for use, pedestrians may not walk in the roadway.
- If a sidewalk is not available, the pedestrian may walk along the shoulder of the roadway as far to the outside edge as possible.
- Except otherwise noted, pedestrians must yield the right of way to all vehicles in the roadway.
How is Fault Determined in a Pedestrian-Related Car Accident?
When a pedestrian is injured in a car accident, fault must be proven for them to be awarded compensation for damages. If the pedestrian is found to have been fully at fault, likely they will not be able to receive compensation from another party. If they are found only to have been partially at fault, they can still receive compensation due to Indiana’s comparative negligence laws.
Comparative negligence allows a party to receive compensation based on their percentage of fault in the accident, so long as they are less than 50% at fault. For example, if the driver was 80% at fault and the pedestrian was 20% at fault, the pedestrian’s compensation would be reduced by 20%.
If a pedestrian obeys all right-of-way laws and the driver is the one who was acting negligently, they will be held liable for causing the accident. However, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to attempt to deny fault to reduce claim amounts, so the pedestrian must be able to prove that the driver was at fault.
Three things must be shown to prove that a driver was at fault:
- That the driver owed the pedestrian a reasonable care of duty by obeying the traffic laws
- That the driver breached that care of duty, and
- That the pedestrian’s injury was a direct cause of the driver’s negligence
If the above is proven, the guilty driver’s insurance will be responsible for paying damages to the pedestrian. Proving fault no matter what the situation is can be tricky, however. In any case, it is always in the injured party’s best interest to work with an attorney who understands the local laws and can help guide them through the process. This can include reviewing the facts and gathering evidence and any other necessary information to prove fault.
Consult an Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer
Though pedestrians have a duty themselves to use precaution and care when entering roadways, they can have a viable case even if they were not walking in a crosswalk or other designated area. Proving fault in these cases can be difficult and may even require a full investigation. For this reason, injured pedestrians must work with an attorney to ensure they are compensated for their injuries and other potential damages.
At Crossen Law Firm, our team has over 20 years of experience fighting for victims injured in pedestrian accidents. We understand how devastating the resulting injuries and emotional trauma can be after such an accident. Our team is dedicated to working tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve so you and your loved ones can recover and move on.
Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation. (317) 401-8626
If you are a pedestrian involved in an accident, even though you may have not been in a designated walkway or designated walking area, also known as jaywalking, you may still have a case. It’s really important to contact an attorney so that an attorney can review and look at all the facts and determine who may be negligent in that particular case. Sometimes poor lighting is a contributing factor. Sometimes even though you’re jaywalking, the driver of the vehicle wasn’t paying attention, or they were texting and driving or were looking for a business or a home on their cell phone via maps or whatever GPS apparatus they may be using. Just because you weren’t in a designated crosswalk or designated crossing area, does not necessarily mean that you don’t have a case. I would contact the Crossen law firm and let them look at the facts and let the Crossen law firm make a decision on whether you have a viable case or not.