Personal Injury Lawyers, Gilbert, AZ

In Arizona, Can Pedestrians Sue If They Were Hit By A Car Outside Of A Crosswalk?

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to protect your rights

In Arizona, pedestrians have the right to sue if they are hit by a car, even if they were outside a crosswalk at the time of the accident. However, the likelihood of winning such a lawsuit and the amount of compensation that may be awarded depends heavily on specific case details. Factors like the application of comparative negligence, where the fault is shared between the driver and the pedestrian, and the specifics of state pedestrian laws play significant roles in influencing the outcome of pedestrian accident claims.

It's crucial for drivers to understand and respect traffic laws to protect the safety of all road users, especially those most vulnerable, like pedestrians. When accidents occur, understanding your legal rights is essential. Consulting with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the fair treatment and appropriate compensation you deserve if hit by a car and injured.

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What counts as a crosswalk in Arizona?

Arizona law treats pedestrians crossing at both marked and unmarked crosswalks equally. But figuring out what exactly qualifies as an "unmarked crosswalk" can be tricky. There are many types of crosswalks designed to keep pedestrians safe, including:

  • Zebra crosswalks. Characterized by alternating black and white stripes, zebra crosswalks are commonly used as standard pedestrian crossings in many countries.
  • Pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHB). A type of crosswalk equipped with overhead lights that flash and signal drivers to stop when pedestrians are crossing.
  • Raised crosswalks. Crosswalks that are elevated slightly above the road level, providing a physical barrier between pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Signalized crosswalks. These are crosswalks equipped with traffic signals that control when pedestrians can cross, often synchronized with traffic lights.
  • Unmarked crosswalks. These legally recognized crossing points are located at intersections or junctions without painted markings, typically indicated by the extension of sidewalks across the road.

Arizona crosswalk laws

Arizona’s crosswalk law is less favorable to pedestrians than other states. While many states give pedestrians the right of way in the road, Arizona reserves this right for specific situations. The right of way is explicitly defined in Arizona’s “right-of-way at crosswalk” statute. It says that:

  • Vehicles must yield the right of way—slowing down or stopping if need be—to pedestrians crossing the street within any marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
  • A pedestrian shall not suddenly leave any curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

For pedestrians, crossing the street where there is no crosswalk is a lot different. Under the “crossing at other than crosswalk” law:

  • Pedestrians who cross the road outside of marked crosswalks or within unmarked intersection crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to vehicles.
  • Pedestrians who cross the road when tunnels and overhead paths are available must yield the right-of-way to vehicles.
  • At intersections controlled by traffic signals, pedestrians must use available marked crosswalks to get to the other side.

Negligent drivers and their insurance providers are eager to find any reason to deny responsibility in a pedestrian accident. They will often claim that a pedestrian was outside a legal crosswalk at the time of the accident. Or they may say that the walker jumped out in front of their car. Therefore, while pedestrians have rights, they frequently must fight hard to get the compensation and justice they deserve.

Drivers have a legal duty to safely operate vehicles regardless of infrastructure

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the consequences can be severe, ranging from minor injuries to fatalities. Immediate effects often include physical trauma requiring emergency medical care. In the long term, an individual may face disabilities, chronic pain, or emotional distress affecting their quality of life. The financial burden from such an accident can be devastating. However, injured crash victims are entitled to compensation for damages. Depending on the case, a pedestrian hit by a car or truck may be entitled to recover damages for:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Specialists
  • Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Future medical expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Home modifications to accommodate disabilities

In fatal pedestrian accidents, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, funeral expenses, and more.

Who is at fault in an Arizona pedestrian accident?

Arizona operates under a comparative negligence system, which means that in an accident, all parties involved may share some degree of fault, and compensation is reduced proportionally by their percentage of fault. Therefore, when a pedestrian is hit outside of a crosswalk, the determination of liability largely depends on the actions of both the pedestrian and the driver.

In the extremely unlikely scenario that a car driving within speed limits and following traffic laws is unable to stop in time because a pedestrian “jumped out of nowhere,” some liability may fall on the pedestrian.

Conversely, if the driver is distracted, impaired, or violating traffic laws, the driver will likely be held responsible despite the pedestrian's location outside the crosswalk.

While being hit outside a crosswalk doesn't nullify a pedestrian's right to sue or seek compensation, it directly influences the potential outcome of such a claim or lawsuit.

How a pedestrian accident lawyer can help if you were hit by a car

In Arizona, a personal injury lawyer's role in a pedestrian accident case is critical. State laws leave plenty of room to blame the victim – and insurance companies will take every opportunity to do just that.

Based in Gilbert, AZ, the Browne Law Group knows how to counter insurance company tactics and protect the rights of injured pedestrians. We cut through the bull to get to the heart of your case and aggressively pursue maximum compensation with hard evidence and legal authority. Experienced in Arizona pedestrian accident law, our law firm helps victims by:

  • Conducting comprehensive crash investigations
  • Collecting evidence
  • Building a strong case
  • Negotiating aggressively for maximum compensation
  • Filing a lawsuit, if necessary

Most pedestrian accident victims start their journey to justice by filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance provider. However, if that fails to result in a fair settlement offer, a lawyer can file a lawsuit in civil court to recover damages.

The Anti-Lawyer Lawyer holds negligent drivers accountable

Drivers in Arizona have a duty to ensure the safety of pedestrians at all times. If a pedestrian is injured in an accident, the responsible party must be held accountable. Pedestrians are vulnerable, and they deserve aggressive representation.

Attorney Byron Browne and his dedicated legal team are committed to fighting for pedestrian accident victims in Maricopa County and throughout Arizona. If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. Our team is ready to listen, answer your questions, and explain your potential legal options.

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