Wilmington, NC Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Were You a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?
North Carolina is a hub of activity for motorists and pedestrians alike. There’s a lot of walking done around the state’s towns and cities, and that can cause some confusion as to the rights of pedestrians.
Some motorists think that pedestrians have the right of way at all times, and this is true to some extent. Because injuries from a pedestrian accident can be so severe, motorists may be held responsible even when the pedestrian is partly to blame for the accident.
Do Pedestrians Really Have the Right of Way?
It’s said over and over that pedestrians have the right of way at all times. But is that really true? The short answer is no. Just like motorists, they must follow traffic signals and laws at all times. Pedestrians have certain laws regarding how they share the road with motorists.
- Use crosswalks when available.
- Use sidewalks when available or walk on the far left-hand side of the road facing traffic.
- Obey traffic signals.
- Yield to cars when needed, such as when they approach a crosswalk and a car is already halfway through it.
Pedestrians do usually have the right of way, especially when they’re obeying the above traffic laws. But that doesn’t mean that a motorist doesn’t have to watch out for a pedestrian breaking the law.
Catastrophic Injuries and Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians have no protection when they’re sharing the roads and walkways with others. They certainly don’t have airbags or a large steel frame around them, and they don’t even have the benefits of a helmet that cyclists and motorcyclists have. Because of this, pedestrians rarely walk away from a collision with a vehicle unscathed. And most of the time, the injuries they suffer are catastrophic in nature.
These injuries occur more often than most people would think. The majority of pedestrian accidents in North Carolina occur when the pedestrian is hit from behind, most often when the pedestrian is walking on the side of a road facing the same direction as traffic.
Injuries involving the brain and skull are often secondary. These injuries occur when a pedestrian falls after being hit by a car, and hits his or her head on the car or the surrounding pavement. Brain injuries, like spinal injuries, can be permanent and can greatly affect the victim’s quality of life.
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