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Pedestrian Rights & Crosswalks

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 right-of-way outside crosswalks.

DC Pedestrian Accident Attorney

(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 invoiving 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.