Understanding the pedestrian right-of-way laws in Mississippi is critical for any road user. It’s one of the first things new drivers and pedestrians must learn to prevent car accidents. Right-of-way laws vary from state to state, and if you use roads in Mississippi, it is essential to understand the pedestrian traffic rules.
Even with traffic laws, pedestrian accidents occur, leaving victims with severe injuries and significant financial losses. Morris Bart, LLC is an experienced pedestrian accident law firm dedicated to helping you recover your economic and non-economic damages following an accident. We take a personalized approach to each claim, working with you through the complex court process, even in the event of wrongful death.
Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws in Mississippi
The Mississippi Code Title 63: Motor Vehicles and Regulations §63-3-1105 clearly outlines how pedestrians must use the road for their own and other road users’ safety. Still, the negligence or ignorance of road users leads to the increasing number of pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities each year.
Mississippi’s traffic laws specify that pedestrians must always have the right of way. As a driver, you must stop and allow a person to cross the road safely at marked or unmarked points. You must also exercise extra caution when a visually impaired or blind pedestrian crosses the road.
Below are the Mississippi traffic regulations for pedestrians:
Crossing the Road at Marked and Unmarked Points
Any person intending to cross a roadway at a point other than a marked or unmarked crossway at an intersection must yield the right-of-way to all motorists/vehicles using the road. A motorist must slow down and stop for pedestrians even if the traffic control devices are missing or not functional.
Crossing at Points with Pedestrian Tunnels and Overhead Bridges
Any person crossing a roadway where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing bridge is provided must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles using the road.
Crossing at Intersections with Traffic Control Signals
Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control devices are provided, pedestrians must not cross at any other point except the marked crosswalk. When practical, they should use the right half of the crosswalk.
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Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Mississippi
Driver negligence and recklessness are the primary causes of pedestrian accidents, although other risky behaviors contribute to the increasing number of fatalities. Some of these incidents can be linked to:
Distracted walking or driving is a serious concern. People use their smartphones for everything, including GPS mapping, online shopping, and browsing. Focusing on a smartphone can cause one to lose touch with their surroundings, and it’s easy not to notice an approaching vehicle or pedestrian crossing the road.
Listening to Music
People listen to music using their earphones, which puts them in danger when walking or crossing the road. Modern earphones (such as AirPods) fit tightly into the ear, preventing pedestrians from hearing noise cues like honking or sirens. It’s not uncommon to hear of pedestrians being knocked down by cars because they were listening to music.
Unsafe Walkways and Roads
Some areas lack sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to share the road with vehicles. That increases the risk of accidents. Other pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas where traffic control signals (such as traffic and streetlights) are broken.
How Negligence Is Determined in a Mississippi Pedestrian Accident
Even with traffic laws in place, pedestrian accidents still occur. The driver inside the car may be fairly protected, but any pedestrian involved in an auto accident usually suffers severe injuries. To file a pedestrian accident claim and receive compensation, you must prove negligence on the driver’s part.
Proving Driver Negligence
To establish negligence on the driver’s part, you must prove that the motorist owed you a legal duty of care under the specific circumstances and breached it through their negligent acts or failure to act. You must also show beyond doubt that the injuries you sustained in the accident caused you physical, financial, and emotional suffering.
Drivers are often charged with a duty of care to pedestrians under special circumstances, but they breach that duty due to negligence. Some factors that commonly contribute to negligence or recklessness include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to adhere to the posted speed limits
- Failure to yield right-of-way at marked and unmarked crosswalks
- A disregard for traffic control devices
- Intentional disregard for extreme weather and unusual traffic conditions
- Driving while intoxicated
It can be overwhelming to deal with a pedestrian accident lawsuit while recovering from injuries. A seasoned pedestrian accident attorney knows what to do and look for to prove driver negligence. They can take a critical look at the details of the circumstances leading to the accident to identify evidence that proves the driver is at fault.
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Comparative Negligence in Mississippi Pedestrian Accident Claims
Although your attorney will closely analyze the facts of the case, you are not the only party with an interest in the details. The at-fault driver’s insurance company also has the right to analyze the facts. What happens if the insurer establishes that you are also partially to blame for the accident?
Mississippi follows a “pure comparative law” rule under the Mississippi Code §11-7-15. That means you can get a settlement for the injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident. However, the amount is reduced by the percentage equal to the proportion of negligence you contributed to the accident.
For instance, suppose the jury determines that your injuries, pain and suffering, and economic damages total $25,000. But it also determines that you were 20% responsible for the accident. In that case, the court can reduce your settlement fee by 20%, giving you the remaining 80% or $20,000.
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Partner with Morris Bart Pedestrian Accident Attorneys and Get the Rightful Compensation
Struggling with medical bills, lost income, and economic losses after a pedestrian right-of-way accident in Mississippi can be devastating. The pedestrian accident attorneys at Morris Bart, LLC, are here when you need us most. Contact us to speak to a seasoned and professional lawyer who can help you file a claim and get the maximum compensation you need.
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