Motor vehicle drivers are required to pay attention when operating a car. If a driver hits a pedestrian, they could be held liable for damages. Besides motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians are also required to pay attention to the road. The reason pedestrians should follow the traffic laws is to avoid harm, and they are the most vulnerable people subject to injury and death along the roadway. Pedestrians are not protected by sheet metal or other protective measures in a vehicle, and even cyclists wear helmets and have the ability to avoid danger in some respects. Additionally, pedestrians are the most vulnerable and need to be on the watch out, even in designated areas.
Since there are many unique aspects of an Ocean Springs pedestrian accident case, it is best to seek experienced legal help as soon as possible. Reach out to a dedicated pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your specific case.
Each municipality has different nuances for a pedestrian walking along roadways or crossing the street, but the general principle is that pedestrians should cross the street only when it is safe to do so or in designated areas. The designated areas would be pedestrian crossing areas along roadways or crosswalks. There are also certain heavy pedestrian areas where it is expected that there will be pedestrian traffic.
In those areas, pedestrians have the right of way to cross streets when it is safe to do so but may cross the street at other times. Those are usually relegated to downtown districts, nightlife districts, or it is expected that people will be crossing the street at any time. In those types of areas, automobiles or other vehicles should yield to pedestrians.
In other areas along major roadways, it is not expected that automobiles or vehicles will always yield to pedestrians, even though they should be on the lookout. Children are always a special exception to the general rule, and one does not have the same expectations that they will act in a reasonable manner, so the automobiles should be on the lookout for children and vulnerable adults at all times.
The most common pedestrian accidents in or near crosswalks occur simply because drivers are not paying attention to the fact pedestrians may be crossing the street, and pedestrians try to cross major roadways in heavy traffic situations. Sometimes there are no crosswalks on major thoroughfares, and that presents problems for pedestrians using the roadway. Another issue is that the Pascagoula area does not have appropriate sidewalks in all necessary areas, so pedestrians are commonly exposed to heavy traffic.
All major crosswalks in Pascagoula are at intersections near schools and in beach areas, plus a few across the major highways, but the latter are extremely rare. Crossing the street to get to beaches is a major pedestrian area, and they are particularly vulnerable areas for pedestrians.
There are no regulations of crosswalks per se in Pascagoula, and generally, the crosswalk will be in an intersection or near a school, so drivers would be slowing down anyway just for those reasons. Also, there may be flashing lights at the intersection. Pursuant to municipal code, the crosswalk has to be marked with white broken stripes. Even though vehicles are supposed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, that is not always the case, and a pedestrian always has to be aware of those issues.
If a pedestrian violates the law, the vehicle operator who strikes them cannot be held liable. Mississippi has a comparative-fault scheme that allows for any percentage of the fault to be assigned to a particular individual. Pedestrians could be held as little as zero percent at fault all the way up to 100 percent for an accident. Every case is a little bit different, but there are similarities across the board.
The most-obvious circumstances in which a pedestrian could be found negligently liable are crossing a busy street in an area that does not have a crosswalk, proper lighting, or even at an intersection of some kind. It is very common to see people trying to cross major highways and interstates at night-time hours, wearing dark clothing, and absolutely no kind of indicator that would alert vehicle operators as to their presence. In those cases, the vehicle operator cannot be held liable for something they could not avoid. Many other cases are a lot more nuanced, such as those vehicles may be speeding, or they may not be paying attention, such as texting or operating a phone, and not able to avoid a pedestrian.
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating. Those involved in a collision with an automobile often sustain serious injuries. It is important to reach out to a dedicated pedestrian accident attorney. A skilled lawyer could help with every aspect of a case, from filing a claim to settlement negotiations. Call today to learn about the unique aspects of an Ocean Springs pedestrian accident case.