blog home Pedestrian Accident Understanding Crosswalk Laws and Pedestrian Right-of-Way

Understanding Crosswalk Laws and Pedestrian Right-of-Way

By Joseph Low on July 30, 2023

Shot of pretty young woman crossing the street while listen to music with the wireless earphones.

Pedestrians are vulnerable due to their lack of protection as they cross the road, which is why these types of accidents often lead to life-altering injuries. Both motorists and pedestrians alike need to understand crosswalk laws and pedestrian rights-of-way to try to prevent pedestrian accidents from occurring. If you sustained injuries caused by a negligent driver, they could be held liable for your losses and suffering.

Understanding Crosswalk Laws

Although crosswalk laws vary by jurisdiction, they generally share certain common principles. For example, motorists are expected to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, ensuring their safety and right-of-way. There is also typically a distinction between marked and unmarked crosswalks. An unmarked crosswalk essentially exists anywhere a marked crosswalk may be, such as a trail, sidewalk, or other type of pathway. A marked crosswalk will always feature painted lines or a walk signal.

Pedestrian Right-of-Way

In California, pedestrians have the right-of-way in both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Although, as a general rule, motorists are expected to yield to pedestrians, pedestrians must still cross the street in a manner that is safe.

Pedestrians may also cross a street outside of a marked crosswalk or an intersection if the vehicles are not close enough to endanger them. Drivers are also expected to exercise reasonable care and keep an eye out for pedestrians.

Duties and Responsibilities of Motorists and Pedestrians

It is crucial for motorists to always obey all traffic laws and maintain awareness of any pedestrians, so they can yield to them when necessary. Failing to yield to a pedestrian could result in a catastrophic accident as well as liabilities for the injuries and other losses the pedestrian may have suffered.

Pedestrians also have certain obligations when crossing the road. They are required to use crosswalks whenever they are available, follow pedestrian signals, and exercise caution at all times. As a pedestrian, it is important never to assume you have the right-of-way, especially since doing so could put you in danger.

Legal Implications and Seeking Compensation

When a negligent driver fails to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, resulting in an accident, the injured victim could pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation. To pursue the best possible outcome, it is crucial to be represented by a skilled personal injury lawyer to build a strong case on your behalf. Compensation in a pedestrian accident could include the following:

  • Medical expenses, including emergency room visits, surgeries, medication, and assistive devices
  • Missed wages and reduced earning capacity
  • The value of any damaged or lost property
  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in California is two years, so it is important to take legal action quickly.

Hire an Experienced Long Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

If you sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident caused by a vehicle operator’s negligent or reckless actions, speak to our experienced Long Beach pedestrian injury attorney. Joseph H. Low IV has a reputation for legal excellence with a “10.0 Superb” Avvo rating. Low is a trial lawyer first and foremost, and as a former U.S. Marine, he has the tenacity to take on big corporations and fight on your behalf.

Reach out to The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV to start pursuing the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (562) 901-0840 today.

Posted in: Pedestrian Accident

"Joseph, Thank you for your assistance. Your understanding compassion & incredible expertise are admired & appreciated. I will be referring any of my clients who require legal help to you."
- M.D.