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Protect Your Rights: Always Walk In The Crosswalk

Pedestrian cases can be tough to prove in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. Why? Because these jurisdictions practice under the laws of contributory negligence, which means that if a plaintiff is even 1 percent at fault for the accident, it may bar him or her from making a recovery against the defendant driver. 

The best way to protect your right to recover financial compensation after an accident is to make sure you are always walking in the crosswalk. This can almost completely eliminate the issue of contributory negligence.  

Things to remember when you are a pedestrian:

1. Always walk in a marked cross walk when available. The pedestrian has the right-of-way when in a cross walk (and or unmarked). If you were struck outside a crosswalk your chances of a recovery are significantly diminished; however, it is possible to prevail depending on the facts and circumstances.

2. Wear bright clothes or reflective clothing if walking at night.

3. Always look for approaching traffic. You have a duty to exercise caution before leaving the safety of the curb. If a pedestrian leaves the curb suddenly or runs into a cross walk she will be found at fault. It is generally no excuse if the pedestrian fails to see or hear oncoming traffic.

4. In the event you are struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, make sure to obtain the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Independent witnesses are important in any injury case, especially pedestrian cases.

5. You forfeit your right-of-way when you cross a street between intersections.

6. You may not cross a road-way intersection diagonally unless authorized by a traffic control device for crossing movements.

7. You must walk on the sidewalk if one is provided.

8. Where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian who walks along the highway may walk only on the left shoulder facing oncoming traffic.

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