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Legal Blog

Who Has Right of Way: A Car or Pedestrian?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 5,684 accidents involving Texas pedestrians in 2018, resulting in 1,146 serious injuries and 617 fatalities, with Harris County and Houston seeing large increases.

When a car hits a pedestrian, the injuries can be severe and may result in lifelong disability. As you can probably imagine, after any serious pedestrian-involved car accident, questions like, “who is at fault and who had the right of way?”, come up immediately.

The Krist Law Firm, P.C. has a lot of experience and success representing injured pedestrians in the Houston area. Let us review the details, find who was negligent, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

If you were injured by a car while you were walking or riding your bike, it’s important to know your rights and what to expect. The pedestrian injury lawyers with The Krist Law Firm, P.C. will work with you every step of the way to make sure you get everything you need.

Call 281-283-8500 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-risk consultation today.

Cars vs Pedestrians: Who Has the Right of Way?

There is a popular misconception that the pedestrian always has the right of way. Although Texas lawmakers continue to work to make Houston roadways safer for pedestrians, this is not the case.

Instead, the right of way depends on a variety of circumstances defined by law.

At a crosswalk with a traffic signal but no pedestrian signal

  • A pedestrian cannot enter the intersection on a red or yellow light.
  • A pedestrian may enter the intersection when the light is green, except when it is a turn arrow.

At a crosswalk with a pedestrian signal

  • A pedestrian may enter the intersection on a “Walk” signal, and motor vehicle drivers must yield the right of way.
  • A pedestrian may not enter the intersection on “Wait” or Don’t Walk” signal. If the light changes after the pedestrian has entered the intersection, the pedestrian shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island.

At a crosswalk with no signal

  • Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians if they are on the same side of the road as the driver traveling or is close enough to be in danger
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way if they enter the roadway and it is impossible for a driver to yield in time.

Crossing anywhere other than a crosswalk

  • Motor vehicles have the right of way.

Drivers must yield the right of way

  • To pedestrians when entering a roadway from an alley, private road, or driveway.

A Pedestrian’s Right of Way & Determining Fault

The question of who has the right of way is important because it may determine who is liable for any injuries or the damage caused by a car accident. If a pedestrian is walking in a crosswalk as directed by the signal and is struck by a car, the driver is likely going to be held responsible. On the other hand, the driver may not be at fault if the pedestrian was jaywalking.

Comparative Fault in Texas

Like many states, Texas applies the “modified comparative fault” rule in cases where both parties were negligent.

Using the jaywalking pedestrian example, let’s say the driver was also drunk. In that case, both the driver and the pedestrian share responsibility. The modified comparative fault rule will factor into the pedestrian’s negligence and help determine how much compensation they are entitled to recover. If the pedestrian was 51% or more at fault, they will be barred from recovering anything.

Contact a Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorney

When pedestrians are hit by cars, their injuries can be life-altering. If you’ve been struck while walking, you need an experienced Houston personal injury attorney who can help you sort through the issues, deal with the insurance companies, and recover what you need to heal.

Schedule a free consultation with The Krist Law Firm. P.C. by calling
281-283-8500 or contact us online. there is no risk becasue there are no up-fronts costs. We olny get paid when you recover compensation.