By: Matthew Tievsky
If you are a pedestrian crossing the road in the District of Columbia,
and a car hits you, whose fault is it?
The answer is always going to depend on the unique circumstances of the
collision, but D.C. sets a basic ground rule in its traffic regulations:
A pedestrian has the right-of-way inside crosswalks, but cars have the
(Note that under D.C. law, there are both marked
and unmarked crosswalks. Everyone knows what a marked crosswalk looks like,
and an unmarked crosswalk automatically exists within the imaginary line
that connects two street corners.)
This does not mean that whoever has the right-of-way automatically wins.
But it does mean there is a presumption that a collision is the fault
of whoever did not have the right-of-way. If you attempt to walk across
the street in the middle of the block and you are struck, it may be hard
to win a personal injury claim. However, that might change if it turns
out that you looked both ways before crossing, but you were struck only
because the car appeared suddenly after making a sharp turn around the
corner, and was driving extremely fast.
If you were in a
pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle and you have questions about whether you should
bring a personal injury claim, then you should
contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., for a free consultation.