Regardless of whether you live in Arizona or are just visiting, this is a beautiful state and a wonderful place to experience on foot. Whether you are walking around a more crowded urban area or heading to the nearest hiking trail, our Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyers want you to understand the rules of the road for pedestrians. Just like laws that guide vehicles and bicyclists, pedestrians need to understand their rights and responsibilities as well. Additionally, drivers also need to understand the importance of pedestrian safety and their obligations to those who are out on foot. Pedestrian laws are essential for preventing severe injuries from occurring.
What are Arizona’s Laws on Jaywalking?
You will never actually see the term jaywalking appear in Arizona law, though state law does clearly define parameters for pedestrians crossing the road. When we turn to Arizona legislation Section 28-793, we can see that a pedestrian is allowed to cross the street in areas where there are no crosswalks, provided they do so responsibly. However, when there is a marked crosswalk or traffic-control signal in operation, pedestrians must cross there.
Pedestrians have a responsibility to yield to oncoming vehicles on the roadway. The law in Arizona requires that pedestrians wait until traffic is clear and it is safe to cross before doing so. A person who commits illegal jaywalking and causes a traffic collision may be held legally responsible for the incident and unable to recover for any personal injuries they may suffer. Different cities in Arizona have ordinances specifically related to jaywalking, so you need to be sure to understand the local laws in your Arizona municipality.
When Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way?
When discussing the pedestrian right of way in Arizona, we need to look at two areas of concern – sidewalks and crosswalks.
Sidewalks are areas of concern because many pedestrians do not use sidewalks correctly in Arizona. In some cases, pedestrians fail to use sidewalks at all. Under Arizona law, pedestrians are required to use a sidewalk whenever one is present. This means that the pedestrian may not walk along the roadway if the sidewalk is there. If there is no sidewalk present, state law requires that pedestrians walk in the opposite direction of traffic to help ensure pedestrians are more visible to motorists.
At crosswalks, vehicles are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians. This means that, when a pedestrian is present at the crosswalk, the vehicle must stop completely. Drivers must allow a pedestrian to walk all the way across the crosswalk before proceeding.
However, Arizona law does say that pedestrians should not enter a crosswalk so quickly in front of a vehicle that the driver does not have time to stop completely. In other words, pedestrians need to use some common sense before darting into the crosswalk. Pedestrians need to realize that drivers may be speeding or unable to slam on their brakes in time to avoid a collision. Pedestrian accidents are also much more likely to occur if the driver is distracted inside the vehicle or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
It is crucial that pedestrians in Arizona not assume that they always have the right of way. They need to understand state law as well as laws in each individual municipality they visit or live in.
Can a Pedestrian Be At-Fault for an Accident?
Yes, it is entirely possible for a pedestrian to be at fault in a car versus pedestrian accident. This is often the case if the pedestrian is intoxicated at the time that the crash occurs. Intoxicated pedestrians are responsible for a significant percentage of all pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Arizona. Alcohol impairs a person’s ability to make sound decisions as well as their motor functions.
Additionally, it is becoming much more common for pedestrians to be distracted by cell phones and other devices when they are on foot. If a pedestrian’s face is glued to their phone and they inadvertently walk out in front of a vehicle or otherwise ignore pedestrian safety laws, they could be held responsible for the incident.
Arizona Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to data available from the Arizona Department of Transportation, we can see that there were 1,842 total pedestrian crashes across the state during the latest year. Out of those incidents, 220 pedestrians lost their lives, and 1,697 pedestrians were injured. Unfortunately, pedestrians have very little protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them, and the injuries sustained in these incidents are often severe. It is not uncommon for our Arizona pedestrian accident lawyers to help clients who have sustained the following:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Facial fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other severe neck or back injury
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Amputation injuries
- Crush injuries
Proving Liability After an Arizona Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can become complicated, particularly when it comes to determining fault for insurance or lawsuit purposes. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and you believe that another party was at fault, there are various types of evidence that need to be gathered. This can include the following:
- Any video surveillance of the incident
- Any photographs taken at the scene of the accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Statements from other drivers and passengers involved
- Vehicle “black box” data
- Possible cell phone records
Determining liability in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident will play a large role in the outcome of any insurance settlement or jury verdict.
Contact an Arizona Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Help Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, contact the team at Torgenson Law for help with your case today. Our qualified and experienced personal injury lawyers in Arizona have the resources and legal expertise necessary to help you through this.
We will investigate every aspect of your claim in order to obtain full compensation for your losses, including coverage of your medical bills, lost income if you cannot work, household out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages, and more. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (602) 759-0012.
The post Hit by a Car? What Are Your Arizona Injury Rights as a Pedestrian? appeared first on Torgenson Law.