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Giving a Voice to the Injured

Virginia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Bilingual Award-Winning Attorneys Located in Alexandria, VA

pedestrian crosswalk signal with walk signDespite the presence of sidewalks and crosswalks designed to keep pedestrians safe, the unfortunate truth is that accidents between pedestrians and motor vehicles happen all the time. If you or a loved one was injured by a car or truck while walking, contact The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible. You may be owed compensation for your medical bills and other damages related to your accident, including lost wages and pain and suffering.

Backed by more than six decades of experience, the Virginia pedestrian accident lawyers at our firm have recovered millions of dollars for the injured. In fact, Attorney Daniel Barrera has been inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We truly care about our clients and strive to give each case we handle the individual attention and level of care it deserves.

Contact us today to request a free initial case evaluation.

Virginia Pedestrian Laws

Drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians and must give an audible warning when necessary to avoid a collision.

Similar to motorists, pedestrians must obey pedestrian signals at traffic lights. Cross only when the signal indicates it is safe to do so.

Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing at marked crosswalks or unmarked intersections. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in these situations.

Pedestrians are generally required to use crosswalks at intersections, and they must obey traffic signals. If there is a pedestrian signal, pedestrians should follow the indications for crossing.

Drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks or at intersections. It is important for drivers to be alert and cautious, especially in areas with high pedestrian traffic.

Jaywalking, or crossing the road outside of a marked crosswalk or intersection, is generally prohibited. Pedestrians should use crosswalks and intersections whenever possible.

Pedestrians are generally prohibited from standing on or walking along highways, tunnels, or bridges where pedestrian access is restricted.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian accident refers to a collision between a pedestrian (someone traveling on foot) and a motor vehicle. These accidents can result in a range of injuries for pedestrians, from minor bruises to severe or even fatal injuries. Understanding the common causes of pedestrian accidents is crucial for improving road safety and implementing preventive measures.

Here are some common causes of pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles:

  • Distracted Driving: Drivers who are distracted by activities such as texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or using in-car entertainment systems may fail to notice pedestrians crossing the road.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed reduces the driver's reaction time and increases the severity of injuries in the event of a collision. Speeding drivers may not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
  • Failure to Yield: Drivers not yielding the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections is a common cause of accidents. Pedestrians usually have the right of way in marked crosswalks.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair a driver's judgment, coordination, and reaction time, leading to an increased risk of pedestrian accidents.
  • Poor Visibility: Low visibility conditions, such as nighttime, bad weather, or inadequate street lighting, can contribute to pedestrian accidents as drivers may have difficulty seeing pedestrians or recognizing them in time.
  • Ignoring Traffic Signals: Pedestrian accidents can occur when drivers disregard traffic signals, such as running red lights or failing to stop at stop signs, thereby putting pedestrians at risk.
  • Drowsy Driving: Fatigued or drowsy drivers may have reduced attention and reaction time, increasing the likelihood of accidents with pedestrians.
  • Poor Infrastructure Design: Inadequate pedestrian infrastructure, such as poorly marked crosswalks, lack of pedestrian signals, or poorly designed intersections, can contribute to accidents.
  • Backing Accidents: Drivers backing out of driveways or parking spaces may not see pedestrians behind their vehicles, leading to collisions.
  • Reckless Driving: Aggressive or reckless driving behaviors, such as aggressive overtaking or weaving through traffic, can endanger pedestrians.

Who is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?

Liability in a pedestrian accident in Virginia, as in many other jurisdictions, is determined based on the principles of negligence. The party found to be negligent, or at fault, is typically held responsible for the damages resulting from the accident.

Here are some key considerations regarding liability in pedestrian accidents in Virginia:

  • Driver's Negligence: If a motor vehicle driver fails to exercise reasonable care, such as speeding, running red lights, distracted driving, or driving under the influence, and this negligence leads to a pedestrian accident, the driver may be held liable.
  • Pedestrian's Negligence: Pedestrians are also expected to exercise reasonable care for their safety. If a pedestrian's actions contribute to the accident, such as jaywalking or crossing against traffic signals, the pedestrian may be found partially or wholly at fault. Virginia follows a contributory negligence rule, which means if a plaintiff (pedestrian) is found even slightly at fault, they may be barred from recovering damages.
  • Property Owner's Liability: In some cases, property owners may be held liable for accidents that occur on their premises. This could be relevant if poor maintenance or hazardous conditions on the property contribute to the accident.
  • Government Liability: If the pedestrian accident is caused by a defect in the roadway or inadequate signage, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable. However, suing a government entity often involves specific procedures and limitations, and sovereign immunity may apply in some cases.
  • Employer Liability: If the driver at fault was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, their employer may be held vicariously liable for the employee's negligence.

It's important to note that Virginia follows a contributory negligence system, meaning that if the injured party (pedestrian) is found to have contributed to the accident in any way, they may be barred from recovering damages. This is a strict standard compared to the comparative negligence system used in many other states.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Accidents with large, heavy motor vehicles often result in catastrophic injuries to pedestrians who don’t have any physical protection. Recovery can be a long and expensive process, resulting in enormous medical bills that can be a challenge to meet without being able to work. In times like these, it is important to team up with an attorney who can fight for the money you need to cover these costs.

Pedestrian accidents may result in:

What Damages Can You Recover In a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?

In a pedestrian accident claim, you may be able to recover various types of damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: This includes current and future medical costs related to your injuries, such as hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and therapy.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for the income you have lost and any future earning capacity that may be affected.
  • Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries, including pain, anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Property damage: If your personal belongings were damaged or destroyed in the accident, you may be entitled to reimbursement or replacement costs.
  • Disability and disfigurement: If the accident results in permanent disability or disfigurement, you may receive compensation for the impact on your quality of life and future earning potential.
  • Wrongful death: If a pedestrian accident results in the death of a loved one, certain family members may be able to seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional toll of losing a family member.

The specific damages you can recover will depend on the circumstances of your case. Consulting with a Virginia pedestrian accident attorney from our firm can help you understand the potential damages available to you.

How to Prevent a Pedestrian Accident

Although you can’t control the behavior of others, there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent pedestrian accidents.

For drivers:

  • Always obey crosswalk signals and yield signals
  • Don’t drive above the speed limit
  • Slow down in areas where there tends to be a large concentration of pedestrians

For pedestrians:

  • Never jaywalk – always cross the street at designated crosswalks
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street
  • Watch out for turning vehicles
  • Never assume a vehicle is going to stop for you
  • Be aware of your surroundings – avoid wearing headphones while walking

Call Today for Experienced Help and a FREE Consultation

Being injured can be a stressful experience – not only is it physically painful, but it can also cause undue financial hardship that can make an already difficult situation even more frustrating. Allow The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC to stand by your side during this time. With the help of a Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer, you may stand a much better chance of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries. Our team is ready to do what it takes to ensure that you are made whole again.

Contact us today at (571) 290-2390 to discuss your case with us. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.

What Our Clients Are Saying

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Why Choose The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC?

  • Over 75 Years of Combined Legal Experience
  • $75 Million in Recoveries for Clients
  • Client-Centered, Hands-On Approach
  • Bilingual Staff & Attorneys
  • Over 100 Cases Taken to Trial
  • Complimentary Case Consultations
  • Available to You 24/7
  • Licensed in Virginia, Maryland, & DC