A pedestrian is any person traveling the roadways by foot and not in a vehicle (automobile, bicycle, golf cart, tractor). Unfortunately, pedestrians are often at risk for severe injuries or death when on the road alongside motor vehicles. Most collisions occur when people cross the street. Pedestrians often try to cross a major highway, such as Highway 90, Highway 57, Highway 63, or many other highways major roadways here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. These are busy roads, and motorists do not expect to be competing with pedestrians while they are travelling at high speeds.
What makes pedestrian accidents so different from auto accidents involving multiple vehicles is that pedestrians are not protected in any way from vehicles, so the likelihood of death or serious injury is high. Due to the many unique aspects of a Pascagoula pedestrian accident case, it is best to seek help from a local attorney following a collision. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can collect all relevant evidence and help you seek the compensation you need.
The State of Mississippi is less strict than other large municipalities when it comes to their rules and regulations about pedestrians. Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks when available, walk along the side of the street when sidewalks are not available, and watch out for vehicles. As most of Mississippi is very rural, crosswalks are not always available. In more urban areas, vehicles need to be on the lookout for any persons crossing the streets, especially near schools, hospitals, and other busy intersections. Additionally, all vehicles, including bicycles, are supposed to yield to pedestrians.
There are some key differences between pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents. Bicycles are considered vehicles in the State of Mississippi and may use the roadway just like any other motor vehicle, but this also requires them to signal, stop, and obey traffic signals just like other vehicles. Pedestrians are usually not using the roadways in the same manner that bicycles do. They are walking on the sidewalk and other paths, and usually only venture onto the road to cross the street, or when there is an obstruction on the sidewalk.
In rare circumstances, bicycles might be considered pedestrians in the case of an accident. Occasionally children are allowed to use sidewalks and crosswalks with bicycles, while most adult users of bicycles need to use the main roadways. There are situations that raise the question though of whether the person involved was a pedestrian or a motorist on a bicycle, such as a rider who had dismounted and was walking their bike while on the sidewalk.
One of the unique aspects of a George County pedestrian accident case is how liability is determined. Lawyers are usually looking at the case purely from a liability standpoint. If the pedestrian was crossing the street in a proper area at the proper time and would have been visible to a vehicle, the operator of the vehicle involved is usually held liable for any injuries. However, many times pedestrian accidents happen in places where crossing the street might be ill-advised.
Lawyers have to look at when the person crossed the street, what time of day it is, what kind of clothing they were wearing, whether the vehicle was trying to avoid the accident in any respect, and whether the motorist may have been speeding or distracted by their cell phone. There are a number of factors that go into whether or not the liability could be established, so it is not easy to determine from the outset who is truly ‘at fault,’ and a skilled attorney will review all of the circumstances to help the court make a determination.
There are many unique aspects of a Pascagoula pedestrian accident case such as how liability is determined, the type of recoverable damages, and the type of evidence needed to prove a case. Following a collision with a motor vehicle, you should discuss your case with a skilled pedestrian accident attorney in your community. Call today to get started on your case.