Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Explains Crosswalks & Right of Way

Who Has the Right of Way? A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Explains

Everyone has heard the term right-of-way, but not everyone knows exactly what it means and how the rule applies in day-to-day traffic situations. In today’s Tolbert Beadle blog, our pedestrian accident lawyer explains the meaning behind right-of-way. This idea pertains to not only pedestrians but also other cars on the road. It has to do with sharing the roads which we all travel. And the different ways of interpreting the law offer different benefits depending on the situation. Know this, however, the law always favors the pedestrian. Any good pedestrian accident lawyer will ask you to err on the side of caution when dealing with right-of-way and pedestrians, especially if they are in a crosswalk.

Defining Right-of-Way

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, right-of-way is defined as follows: the right to move onto or across a road before other people or vehicles.

In a nutshell, this means that one person will have the right to cross a road before other people. As pedestrian accident lawyers, we see the debate about right-of-way arise mainly in conjunction with intersections and crosswalks. When two people want to cross one another’s path, one person must go first. Who does and doesn’t get to go first is regulated by law, and that person has the right-of-way.

Who Has the Right-of-Way?

Think of right-of-way not as an inherent right of an individual but as something one individual gives to another. You give someone the right to walk or drive in front of you. Different situations call for different individuals to give up the right to cross first. A driver gives a pedestrian her right to cross first when that pedestrian walks on a crosswalk in her lane or close enough to soon enter her lane. A driver gives a pedestrian her right to cross first when that pedestrian is near enough the crosswalk to enter the street. A driver gives a pedestrian her right to cross first when a car in the lane next to her has already stopped to give the pedestrian right-of-way. A driver cannot pass another driver who has stopped for a pedestrian.

When the Driver Has the Right-of-Way

The driver has the right of way when she cannot stop in time to allow the pedestrian to cross. Think of it similar to a yellow light. If you have the ability to stop, you must stop. If you are incapable of stopping, then you should not attempt to stop.  A pedestrian must give a vehicle right-of-way when crossing the street anywhere other than a crosswalk, however, a car must stop if a pedestrian is already in the street or their lane. This can cause a bit of confusion. For this reason, a pedestrian accident lawyer would be happy to discuss any concerns you might have.

Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at Tolbert Beadle

If you have gotten into an accident at a crosswalk or while crossing the street, then you should speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer. He or she can help you understand your rights. Together you can build a case, and you can get just compensation for your pains. Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer at Tolbert Beadle today.