Pedestrian Accidents

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Pedestrian Accidents in Virginia

 Thousands of pedestrians are either killed or injured every year in Virginia. Pedestrians are the victims of about 10 percent of Virginia’s fatal traffic accidents. Pedestrian accidents typically involve collisions between people on foot and cars, trucks or motorcycles. However, they may involve buses or walkers being hit by cyclists on a multi-use path. They may even include people on railroad crossings being hit by trains.

Pedestrian accidents in Virginia are often caused by careless, reckless, drunk, or distracted drivers. Pedestrians lack the protection of a metal vehicle frame. Even an impact at a low speed can cause fatal or serious injuries.

If you were hurt on a crosswalk or in another place where you have the right of way as a pedestrian, you may have grounds to sue a driver. Call us if a loved one was killed crossing the road. Contact our veteran Hampton pedestrian injury lawyers for more information. The Smith Law Center has been helping pedestrians and their families since 1949.

How Many Pedestrians Are Killed Every Year in Virginia?

In 2017, Virginia saw 114 pedestrian deaths, according to Virginia Traffic Crash Facts published by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The figure represented 13.5 percent of all traffic fatalities and was a 5.8 percent decrease on 2016. The most dangerous pedestrian activity was crossing the road away from intersections in urban areas. VDOT found 33 pedestrians lost their lives in this manner and alcohol was a factor in 22 of these deaths.

How Many Pedestrians Are Injured Every Year in Virginia?

According to safety agencies, 1,571 pedestrians were injured in 2017, a decrease of just over 3 percent on the previous year. Of these, 287 were crossing the road at an intersection with a signal.

Is Poor Lighting a Factor in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in Virginia?

Poor lighting appears to be a significant factor in pedestrian accidents in the Commonwealth. In all, 47 deaths representing 41 percent of overall fatalities occurred on unlit or badly lit roads. The report found 28 deaths occurred in daylight.

What are the Rights of Pedestrians in Virginia?

Virginia has a contributory negligence law. This means if you are responsible to any degree for your injuries, you lose the right to claim. It’s important for pedestrians to follow Virginia’s laws related to crossing the road and to know their rights.

Pedestrians should cross the roads at crosswalks where they are available. They should obey lights at crosswalks including countdown signals and not cross against the light. Under Virginia law, pedestrians must use a sidewalk where it’s available. If they have to walk on the road, they must walk on the extreme left of the roadway.

Under Virginia code, § 46.2-924, drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians:

 1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether it’s in the middle of a block or at the end of any block;

2. At any regular pedestrian crossing at the end of the boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;

3. At any intersection when a driver is approaching on a highway where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

Drivers must comply with the instructions of police officers who regulate the traffic. No pedestrian shall enter or cross the road at an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents in Virginia?

Traumatic brain injuries are associated with auto/pedestrian accidents. If a car hits a walker, the pedestrian’s head may strike the road or the car with devastating effects. At the Smith Law Center, our attorneys have handled many high-value brain injury cases.

The main injuries associated with pedestrian accidents in Virginia are:

·       Head injuries;

·       Cuts and lacerations;

·       Broken arms and legs;

·       Internal bleeding;

·       Injuries to the pelvis;

·       Spinal injuries

·       Death.

 Does a Criminal Charge Impact a Pedestrian Injury Claim?

If a driver receives a criminal charge such as reckless driving or a DUI after hitting a pedestrian, it can assist the personal injury matter. However, the charge itself will not be admissible. A criminal conviction or a no contest plea can help the injured pedestrian and drive up damages. It may also persuade the insurance company of the at-fault driver to settle the case.

Contact an Experienced Virginia Pedestrian Accident Victim

At the Smith Law Center, our veteran lawyers have helped pedestrians who suffered serious injuries across Virginia and elsewhere. Pedestrians are vulnerable on the roads and many cities in Virginia are unfriendly to walkers. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a pedestrian, please call us for a free consultation at 757.244.7000.