Whenever there is a pedestrian accident, many people will assume that the driver must have made a mistake that caused it. On the other hand, many others still will assume the pedestrian probably wandered into the road and should be to blame for their own injuries. Who is right and who is wrong, though? Pedestrian right-of-way laws will play a significant part in determining liability.
In Colorado, Section 42-4-802 covers pedestrian right-of-way in most situations, such as:
- Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when a pedestrian is entering the roadway within a crosswalk without dedicated traffic signals. Drivers can enter the crosswalk to continue driving if the pedestrian is on the other side of the crosswalk, but not if they are so close that they would feel endangered by the vehicle’s passing.
- Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles that are legally occupying and moving through lanes of traffic to the extent that a pedestrian cannot “suddenly leave a curb” to place themselves into the vehicle’s immediate path.
- Drivers cannot attempt to pass a vehicle that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the street, even if it is not clear if the pedestrian had the right-of-way to enter the street in the first place.
- Drivers and pedestrians must adhere to “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” traffic signals as expected. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians with a “Walk Signal” and to those who are in the crosswalk when the “Don’t Walk” signal begins to flash. Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way and not enter a crosswalk when the “Don’t Walk” signal is solid or flashing.
- Pedestrians can cross from the corner of an intersection to any other corner when a “Walk” signal is presented and traffic is halted in all directions.
Where Did Your Pedestrian Accident Occur?
The location of your pedestrian accident, the presence of a crosswalk, and what signals any crosswalk signs were displayed at the time of the accident are all able to significantly change liability. If you were walking in a crosswalk with a “Walk” signal, then liability will probably be placed mostly or fully on the driver who hit you. If you stepped off the curb unexpectedly and right in front of an approaching vehicle where there was no crosswalk, then you could probably be found as the liable party.
Investigating liability is not something you are going to want to do on your own, especially if you are recovering from your injuries. To figure out if you should file a pedestrian accident claim, come to Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. For your convenience, we have offices in Loveland, Longmont, and Broomfield, and we offer FREE initial consultations to get you started. Call (720) 809-8310 now.