Pedestrians and motorists alike are required to obey all traffic laws. When a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle, one of the key legal issues is whether the pedestrian had the right of way. For example, if the pedestrian is in a crosswalk and crossing with a green light or WALK signal, the pedestrian has the right of way. If a driver fails to yield to the pedestrian, then the driver usually is considered negligent.
Liability is less clear when the pedestrian is jaywalking, crossing outside the crosswalk, or wearing dark clothing at night. A driver is not absolved from responsibility for hitting or running over a pedestrian in these circumstances. Drivers still must exercise reasonable care to avoid car accidents. This includes keeping a lookout for pedestrians who might be crossing the street inside or outside of a crosswalk.
Joggers also are required to follow all traffic laws. When a jogger is injured by a car, truck or some other type of motor vehicle, the driver might claim that the jogger could have avoided the accident by running against the flow of traffic to make it easier to see oncoming vehicles. The driver also might assert that the jogger should have run on grass or a sidewalk to avoid the road.
Oregon is a comparative fault state, which means that a pedestrian can recover compensation for injuries so long as the pedestrian is not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
PIP Covers Medical Bills
If you have an automobile policy, but got hurt as a pedestrian, you are eligible for Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage under your policy. PIP provides coverage for certain medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault. There are time limits and caps on PIP benefits. In Oregon, PIP coverage is limited to $15,000 in necessary medical treatment for up to one year, unless you elect, and pay for, higher limits. PIP coverage generally can be “stacked,” which means that when more than one policy is available the benefits are cumulative. Therefore, if the driver of the car that hit you is insured (PIP coverage is mandatory in Oregon), then you can receive benefits from the driver’s insurance company if you exhaust all the benefits available under your own automobile policy.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When a pedestrian is injured in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the injured person can make a claim against their own automobile insurance policy. Coverage extends to pedestrians so long as the uninsured or underinsured motorist was at fault for the accident. To learn more, click on the uninsured and underinsured motorists link.
If you have been injured, it is important to have a skilled personal injury lawyer evaluate your claims. Rob Kline is available to discuss your injuries and legal rights. Call today or request a confidential, free case evaluation.
What to Do After an Accident
If you have been in a pedestrian accident, there are a number of critical steps you should take to protect yourself and your legal rights. Learn More.