What Are Drivers’ Responsibilities to Pedestrians in North Carolina?
When we refer to the “right of way,” we are describing who has the right to advance when drivers and pedestrians meet. Who has the right of way depends on the circumstances, and both drivers and pedestrians are required to follow the state’s rules.
North Carolina enforces the following right-of-way laws involving pedestrians:
- At an intersection with traffic signals, pedestrians always have the right of way when they are presented with a green signal. Turning vehicles must allow pedestrians to pass. If the signal turns yellow or red while a pedestrian is already crossing, drivers must allow them to finish crossing.
- At an intersection without traffic signals, pedestrians have the right of way.
- At mid-block intersections with marked crosswalks but no traffic signals, pedestrians have the right of way, and drivers must yield.
- In any situation where a pedestrian is crossing despite not having the right of way, drivers must warn the pedestrians with a honk. If a warned pedestrian does not move out of the way, the driver must stop and yield.
Can I Recover Damages if I Did Not Have the Right of Way?
Pedestrians are expected to observe traffic rules just like drivers. That means you must only cross the street when you have the right of way. If you are injured in a collision when you did not have the right of way, you, unfortunately, may not be able to recover any compensation, even if the other driver was intoxicated or behaving egregiously. This is the result of North Carolina’s contributory negligence rules, which bar an accident victim from obtaining compensation if they are found to have any shared fault in causing the collision. A pedestrian crossing without the right of way will almost certainly be found to share some percentage of the blame, preventing them from recovering damages. That is why it is important to choose a lawyer who has successfully* represented pedestrian accident victims. Our attorneys at Stewart Law Offices are familiar with how to effectively combat the arguments defendants will often use to imply even a tiny percentage of fault in these cases.
We are available to discuss your case 24/7, so do not hesitate to give us a call at 866-783-9278 or contact us online
What Damages Can I Recover For Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
To recover any damages, you must file a lawsuit against the negligent driver before the statute of limitations expires. In North Carolina, that means you will have three years from the date of the accident to start the legal process. If a pedestrian accident leads to fatal injuries, certain survivors of the deceased have two years from the date of the victim’s passing to bring a wrongful death claim.
Our North Carolina pedestrian accident lawyers will fight to get you full compensation for all economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering