Can I Recover Damages if I Was Hit While Walking on a Roadway?
If you have sustained serious injuries in a pedestrian accident while you were walking on a roadway, then you might be somewhat confused as to your rights — after all, it may not be clear whether you were actually entitled to walk on the roadway (under Arizona law) at the time of the collision.
Arizona regulates pedestrian roadway use quite stringently. Let’s take a look at the basics.
Sidewalk Use is Highly Controlled
Section 28-796 of the Arizona Revised Statutes governs pedestrian use of roadways in situations where sidewalks may or may not be present. More specifically, Arizona statutory law prohibits pedestrian use of roadways when there are sidewalks on (or adjacent to) the roadway at-issue.
Where no sidewalk has been provided, pedestrians are allowed to walk along the roadway, but this accessibility is limited. Pedestrians may only walk:
- On the left side of the roadway, or
- On the shoulder of the roadway, facing traffic that may be approaching from the opposite direction.
Further, you may not stand in a roadway — even briefly — to solicit a ride. For example, it is illegal to step onto the road to call a taxicab. You must stay on the sidewalk (assuming that a sidewalk has been provided).
Arizona Comparative Negligence
In the event that you did, in fact, violate the various statutory regulations concerning sidewalk use and pedestrian roadway use, then Arizona law may not necessarily preclude you from suing and recovering damages for your injuries — though your recovery will likely be influenced quite significantly.
Arizona applies pure comparative negligence rules. In other words, an injured plaintiff may bring an action for damages in situations where they are at-fault, even if they are 99 percent at-fault for their own injuries. Critically, however, the total damages will be reduced by their proportional fault contribution.
For example, suppose that you are hit by a car while traveling on a roadway without a sidewalk. Your damages total $100,000. As it turns out, you were walking in the same direction as traffic, and therefore were violated section 28-796(b) of the pedestrian roadway regulation. The court determines that you are 50 percent at-fault, and that the defendant-driver is 50 percent at-fault. You are entitled to recover $50,000.
Contact a Skilled Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Assistance With Your Claims
Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys bring to bear over six decades of combined experience handling claims relating to motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents, and have successfully resolved numerous lawsuits over the years, including those that involve pedestrian roadway collisions.
Unlike many other personal injury firms, we are committed to the provision of client-oriented legal advocacy — as such, we make ourselves available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have, and we even offer discounted contingency fees so that our clients can keep more of what they secure through a verdict or settlement. This approach has brought us a significant amount of success over the years, reflected in our case results.
Interested in learning more about your claims?
Call (602) 535-1900 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney at Hirsch & Lyon. We look forward to helping you move forward with your lawsuit.