Although a pedestrian is often injured more severely than the driver in a car accident, that does not mean that the driver is always the party at fault. While pedestrians are more vulnerable on the roadways, they can still be liable for accidents involving motor vehicles. If you have been in an accident involving a pedestrian, but you were not the sole party at fault, it may be in your best interest to contact an Michigan pedestrian accident lawyer at White Law PLLC to help you protect your rights.
Pedestrian Laws in Michigan
Michigan considers a pedestrian to be any person who is traveling on foot, skis, roller skates, a horse, a non-motorized wheelchair, or a power-driven mobility device. There are certain laws pedestrians must follow. The laws in Michigan that pertain to pedestrians include the following:
- Pedestrians are not permitted on limited-access highways.
- Pedestrians are not permitted to begin crossing a highway when a “Don’t Walk” traffic signal is steady or flashing.
- Pedestrians are not permitted to walk on a highway when there is a sidewalk available.
- Pedestrians must walk on the left side of a highway facing traffic if there is no sidewalk available.
- Pedestrians are forbidden to block, obstruct, impede, or interfere with the normal flow of traffic on a highway or public street.
If a pedestrian in Michigan does not follow these laws, they can be cited with a civil infraction. Penalties for such violations can include fines, court costs, and points assessed against your driver’s license. There is no jail sentence for civil infractions in the state.
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Driver Laws in Michigan
Of course, there are also laws that drivers must adhere to in Michigan. These laws are intended to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. Laws relating to pedestrians that drivers must follow include the following:
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians who are lawfully within an intersection or crosswalk, regardless of the color of the traffic light.
- Drivers must stop before entering a crosswalk or intersection when the traffic light is red.
- Drivers must operate at reasonable speeds, considering the traffic and other conditions.
- Drivers are forbidden from turning at intersections when not directed to do so by traffic signals or other markers.
- Drivers must take necessary precautions to avoid accidents and injuries to pedestrians.
Drivers who violate these laws can also be cited with civil infractions. In addition to the penalties listed above, both drivers and pedestrians who violate these pedestrian laws run the risk of causing a motor vehicle accident. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you should contact a car accident attorney in Okemos as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights.
When a Pedestrian Can Be Considered at Fault for an Accident
Drivers are not always the liable parties in car accidents in Michigan. Pedestrians can be to blame, as well. Here are examples of when a pedestrian can be at fault for accidents:
- If they are jaywalking or crossing a street outside of a crosswalk or intersection
- If they rush into traffic without warning
- If they are traveling while distracted
- If they are traveling under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- If they are traveling on roadways where pedestrians are prohibited
- If they are not following the directions of traffic signals
If a pedestrian takes any of these actions, they can cause an accident. If you have been involved in an accident that a pedestrian caused, it is in your best interest to consult with an Okemos car accident attorney. We can review the legal options you have for recovering compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Proving Liability in an Accident When a Pedestrian Is at Fault
If a pedestrian is at fault for your accident, it may be difficult to prove they were to blame. A car accident lawyer in Okemos can help investigate your accident and collect the evidence necessary to establish that the pedestrian was liable. Evidence to help prove liability in your accident case can include the following:
- Photos or videos of the accident or the accident scene
- Statements from witnesses to your accident
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
To prove liability in a personal injury lawsuit involving your pedestrian accident, you must show that the pedestrian owed you a duty of care and violated that duty through their negligence. You must also demonstrate that the pedestrian’s carelessness caused your accident and led to your monetary damages. Our experienced car accident attorneys at White Law PLLC can help you prove liability when a pedestrian is at fault for your accident.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
When You Are Also Partly at Fault for Your Pedestrian Accident
In some instances, both you and the pedestrian may be at fault for your accident. This is known as comparative negligence. Michigan has a modified comparative negligence system.
In Michigan, comparative fault means that if one person’s percentage of fault is greater than another’s, the damaged party’s economic damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if you are deemed 25% liable for your pedestrian accident, and a jury awards you $100,000, you will recover $75,000, or 75% of your award for damages. However, if you are more than 50% liable for your accident, you can only recover economic damages and are barred from recovering non-economic damages.
Because you may be eligible to receive compensation for the injuries you sustained in your pedestrian accident even if you were partly responsible, you should consult with our personal injury lawyers at White Law PLLC. We can review the details of your accident and determine what compensation you may be entitled to collect. Comparative negligence can be complex, and our skilled lawyers can help you navigate your rights.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Okemos Today to Protect Your Rights
Many people are unaware that pedestrians have a certain duty of care to drivers, just as drivers have a certain responsibility to protect pedestrians. If a pedestrian breaches their duty of care, they can be considered at fault for an accident. If your accident was caused, in whole or in part, by a pedestrian, you have legal rights and should contact our car accident lawyers at White Law PLLC today.
We will investigate your accident and gather the necessary evidence to demonstrate liability. We will negotiate with the insurance companies and opposing attorneys to help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. We can help you get the compensation you deserve after your pedestrian accident.
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