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Pedestrians vs. Cars: Who Has Right of Way

Any accident involving an automobile has the potential to be extremely dangerous, but when the accident involves a vehicle and a pedestrian, it is often devastating. Even at low speeds, a car hitting a person can cause very serious injuries, and even death. There are many laws designed to help minimize the risk of this type of accident, and having a good understanding of these laws is essential for both drivers and pedestrians. Whether learning about it for safety or because you have been in an accident, knowing who has the right of way in a given situation is critical.

 Who Has the Right of Way

The question of whether a pedestrian or a vehicle has the right of way doesn’t have a one size fits all answer. Legally speaking, the answer will depend on the details of the situation. The following are among the most common places where pedestrians and vehicles need to share the road, so take a moment to learn about who has the right of way in each:

Intersections: At intersections where there is a stop sign or light, pedestrians will have the right of way when traveling in the same direction as traffic. When crossing the road on foot, if the traffic is going in the same direction as you, you have the right of way (cars turning need to wait for the pedestrian).

Crosswalks: In most crosswalks, there will be a light indicator letting pedestrians know when they can walk, and when to wait. Pedestrians should stay on the right-hand side of the crosswalk to the extent possible, and drivers should always yield the right of way to pedestrians.

Jaywalking: Jaywalking is a violation of the law, and when a pedestrian crosses in the middle of the street, they don’t have the legal right of way. If hit, the driver’s insurance often won’t pay medical bills or other expenses because of this.

Sidewalks: While drivers typically aren’t on sidewalks, they may have to cross over them when entering a driveway or parking lot. Pedestrians certainly have to be careful, but they do have the right of way while walking on the sidewalk.

 Knowing who has the legal right of way is very important. Drivers need to understand, however, that it is always their responsibility to watch out for pedestrians in every situation, and avoid them if at all possible. Even if a driver has the legal right of way, if it is determined that they should have been able to avoid hitting a pedestrian and didn’t, they can be held responsible in court.

Effective Legal Representation

If you have been hit by a vehicle, you need effective legal representation to protect your rights. Contact Bagneris Law Firm to discuss the details of your case, and see how we can help. The sooner after an accident occurs you contact us, the better we will be able to assist, so please get in touch with us today.

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Bagneris Law Firm

The Bagneris Firm is an experienced civil litigation firm with decades of combined experience serving both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide-range of different cases including personal injury and business disputes. Our firm is based out of New Orleans, and we serve clients throughout Louisiana. Attorneys Emile and Suzette Bagneris have a long and impressive careers with experience training insurance adjusters and risk managers, representing large corporations and insurance companies, and helping individuals and businesses with all aspects of their legal cases. The fact that we have represented clients on all sides of legal issues allows us to better predict what will happen and prepare an effective strategy to help our clients.

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