FAQ: As a pedestrian, what are my rights to recover damages?

NWA Car Accident Attorney Answers:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle related accidents each year, and more than 78,000 pedestrians suffer injuries when hit by a car or truck.

If someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to the incident, a pedestrian may recover damages for the injuries suffered, whether a vehicle or property defect was the cause.  Negligence is the legal term for the failure to do (or not do) something that a reasonable person would, in a similar situation, in order to protect others from foreseeable risks. In order to establish negligence in a pedestrian accident, the injured person must prove that the person at fault acted in an unreasonable manner.

According to Arkansas law, statute § 27-51-1202  discussing pedestrians’ right-of-way in crosswalks, establishes the following:

(a) Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this subchapter.

(b) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

Read Arkansas codes about pedestrians crossing at other than crosswalks here: http://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2010/title-27/subtitle-4/chapter-51/subchapter-12/27-51-1204

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