Pedestrian's Rights in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Pedestrian's Rights in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Posted By Law Offices of Thomas J. Murphy || 20-Dec-2010

A pedestrian has the right of way in a crosswalk. It does not matter if the crosswalk is not properly painted onto the street surface. All intersections have crosswalk areas going from one corner to the other two corners, which is a continuation of the pedestrian sidewalk/walkway across the street and is the area designated for pedestrians to cross, regardless of whether the painted lines are present or not. The pedestrian must still obey traffic lights and stop signs. When a pedestrian has a green light and is crossing an intersecting street within the crosswalk, that pedestrian has the right of way over all motor vehicles in the intersection. If a motor vehicle operator does not yield the right of way to the pedestrian, while the pedestrian is in the crosswalk and strikes the pedestrian, then the driver is negligent and will be found liable for the personal injuries the pedestrian incurs.

In Pennsylvania if a pedestrian does not own a motor vehicle and does not live with a relative that owns and insures a motor vehicle, then the automobile insurance policy issued to any of the vehicles involved in the motor vehicle collision that injures the pedestrian would be responsible to pay the pedestrian's medical bills. With regard to medical bills, it does not matter if the pedestrian was in the crosswalk area or at fault for the accident. Payment of medical bills is not based on fault.

Finally, a person who is struck by a motor vehicle while a pedestrian in Pennsylvania has Full Tort rights. Even if that person selected Limited Tort rights on their own automobile insurance policy or would ordinarily be bound by another household relative's selection of Limited Tort rights on their policy. A person struck by a motor vehicle while a pedestrian is an exception to the Limited Tort option and the pedestrian can bring a personal injury claim for the driver's negligence no matter how serious or not serious that pedestrian's injuries turn out to be.

If you are struck by a motor vehicle while a pedestrian or while on a bicycle, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have the right to pursue a claim against the driver's insurance carrier for personal injuries and/or medical expenses and lost wages.