If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident, then Alabama law may entitle you to a significant amount of damages as compensation. Pursuing compensation under Alabama law isn’t always straightforward. There are unique issues in pedestrian accident law that can complicate the dispute and make it more difficult to obtain damages.
Let’s take a brief look at some of these issues. By exploring these basic concepts, you’ll have a better understanding of whether your claims are likely to succeed.
In Alabama, pedestrians may only cross the street at unmarked crosswalks if there is not a nearby marked crosswalk. Failure to cross at a marked crosswalk (under such circumstances) is unlawful.
What does this mean for a pedestrian who crosses at an unmarked crosswalk (when there is a marked crosswalk nearby or a traffic signal)?
In Alabama, the state implements the doctrine of contributory negligence — this means that if the plaintiff is at fault for their own injuries, even partially, then the defendant does not have to pay out damages. If the plaintiff illegally crosses at an unmarked crosswalk, they have committed negligence, and the defendant will likely be able to avoid having to pay out damages.
Pedestrians have the right of way when they are legally crossing the street at a marked or unmarked crosswalk, as long as there are no traffic signals.
For example, if a pedestrian is at a crosswalk that has a traffic signal indicating that they should not cross, then they do not have the right of way. If they “do” cross, then they are committing negligence, and a defendant-driver who hits the pedestrian accidentally may be able to avoid liability.
Right of way determines negligence. In Alabama, given the strict nature of the contributory negligence doctrine, the plaintiff-pedestrian must have the right of way — this means that they crossed the street without engaging in negligent activity and can rightfully obtain damages.
Cross & Smith is a Tuscaloosa-based firm with decades of experience representing injured plaintiffs throughout the state of Alabama, helping them to secure the compensation they deserve. We are committed to advocating for our clients in a personalized manner. As such, we work closely with our clients from an early stage to identify the unique aspects of their disputes and develop a customized strategy.
Over the years, our client-centered approach has helped us obtain many favorable results in both negotiated settlements and trial verdicts. Further, our willingness to take a case all the way to trial (if necessary) helps give us the leverage we need to push for a positive result early on.
If you’d like to get in touch with an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney at our firm, call us at 877-791-0618 or contact us through our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.
"I have been friends with Dell Cross since we were roommates at UA Law and have had the pleasure of conferring with Cross & Smith, LLC in a professional capacity for many years. As a law office which specializes in domestic relations and family law matters, it is imperative that my office maintain a consistent client referral relationship with a law firm which can effectively address personal injury matters brought to us by our clients."
Posted By: Mark Sterling Gober