While pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way when sharing the roads with vehicles in Louisiana, the law does offer them protection when an accident occurs. If you were hit by a vehicle while on foot, you could consider speaking with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer from our team about your rights.
If you wonder if pedestrians always have the right-of-way in Louisiana, keep reading. You will learn more about the duties of pedestrians and what the law says drivers must do to keep them safe when they share the roads.
When Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way?
La. Rev. Stat. § 32:212 outlines when pedestrians have the right-of-way and when they should yield to traffic. In general, pedestrians always have the right-of-way in marked crosswalks if they are obeying traffic lights and other signals.
When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, any approaching drivers should come to a complete stop and allow them to cross. This is true whether the driver is going straight or the pedestrian is crossing the road the vehicle is turning onto.
If there are no traffic lights or crosswalk signals, or if they are not functioning, all drivers should yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Outside of the crosswalk, pedestrians must yield to drivers and only cross when it is safe to do so. Some pedestrians do have the right-of-way at any time, however. These includes:
- Individuals with visual impairments walking with a white cane or guide dog
- Young children
Of course, this law also outlines a few responsibilities for pedestrians, as well. Primarily, they cannot step into the path of a moving vehicle when that vehicle does not have time to stop. In addition, pedestrians must use sidewalks when possible. If they must walk on the road, they should remain close to the shoulder and face against oncoming traffic for safety.
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Drivers Must Avoid Hitting Pedestrians
At first glance, it may seem that Louisiana’s pedestrian laws favor motorists, but this is only half the story. In fact, the state’s laws favor pedestrians when it comes to civil cases for compensation. This is because drivers must avoid hitting a pedestrian—regardless of who has the right-of-way.
Because the law requires them to honk or take evasive action to avoid a crash, they may be legally responsible when they hit someone crossing the road. Car accidents occur because of negligence, and a breach of duty is always involved in a negligence case. Proving liability in a pedestrian accident requires:
- Showing the driver had a duty to try to avoid the crash
- Providing evidence to show they failed to do so
- Demonstrating that this failure allowed the collision to occur
- Documenting the victim’s injuries caused by the accident
In many cases, pedestrian accidents are based on shared fault. The pedestrian may be partially at fault since they did not have the right-of-way. However, the driver’s failure to see them and avoid the accident could be the primary cause. When this happens, the victim’s financial recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them. They can still recover some damages under Louisiana law, however.
Building a Case Against a Driver in a Louisiana Pedestrian Accident Case
An injured pedestrian is often entitled to compensation after being hit by a car. This is true even if the court decides they are partially at fault for their own injuries. However, these cases can be difficult to prove and even harder to recover an appropriate settlement because of the state’s comparative fault law.
If you were hurt in a car versus pedestrian collision in Louisiana, you do not have to try to investigate, gather evidence, and file a claim on your own. Working with an attorney allows you to focus on healing from your injuries. You would have someone handling your case-related tasks. At the Morris Bart law firm, we represent accident victims every day. In 2019, we recovered compensation for 6,500+ clients.
This is also a good option because of how quickly you must act in Louisiana after an accident to secure damages. Pedestrian accident injuries can be serious, and your recovery could take weeks, months, or longer. Under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492, the state only offers up to one year to sue in most cases. You could have less time in some situations, though.
What Our Lawyers Can Do for You
Before this date arrives, your lawyer can:
- Determine what happened
- Identify the liable party or parties
- Value your case
- File a claim, demand compensation, and negotiate for a fair settlement
- Determine if suing is in your best interest
- Prepare the paperwork and file it before the deadline, if needed
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Speak to a Pedestrian Accident Team From Morris Bart, LLC
You can connect with a pedestrian accident team at the Morris Bart law firm for free. We provide complimentary consultations and case assessments for those injured in these collisions. We represent our clients on a contingency-fee basis. Call (800) 537-8185 to get started today. Our lawyers could secure damages for your accident that occurred despite the fact that you had the right-of-way.
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