You and your friends are walking down the street on the sidewalk, without a care in the world, and approach an intersection. You wait for the walk signal, but your friends grow impatient, and dart across the intersection and, unfortunately, get hit by a car.

Are your friends at fault? Or is the driver of the car at fault? While most pedestrians believe they always have the “right of way” that is not always necessarily true.

As a pedestrian, you have a legal responsibility to use the appropriate measures and precautions to ensure you are safe. This includes avoiding any potential dangers and anticipating life-threatening consequences.

Unfortunately, unlike most states that have comparative negligence laws, that calculates each individual, damages, percent of the responsibility, and extent of injuries to determine compensation, the state of Virginia practices a contributory negligence law.

This law means there must be one party without fault.  In other words, even the smallest amount of fault on your part could result in a denial of compensation for your injuries.

Some of the most common acts that a pedestrian commits negligence consists of the following:

  • Darting in front of a car
  • Failure to use a crosswalk
  • Ignoring the ‘Walk” signal at an intersection
  • Entering and disrupting the flow of traffic

There is no such thing as a simple car accident case. Holding the other driver responsible in a comparative negligence setting can be extremely challenging and, thus, you may require the services of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. It is essential to understand your legal options because you may have only one opportunity to bring your case.