Any kind of accident can be tragic and traumatizing, but some of the worst accidents are those involving pedestrians. According to the CDC, more than 7,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2020 — and even when death does not occur, the injuries are often severe. In the same year, over 100,000 emergency department visits were reported for non-fatal pedestrian accident injuries.
If you or a loved one are injured in a pedestrian accident in Indiana, the team at Poynter & Bucheri is here to help. Our compassionate team of attorneys understands how devastating these kinds of accidents can be and are dedicated to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve for their pain & suffering.
How is a Pedestrian Defined With Regard to Traffic Laws?
The definition of a pedestrian is quite simple: Any person traveling on foot outside is considered a pedestrian. And just like drivers, pedestrians also have rights and responsibilities to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere at any time, however, certain factors can increase the risk of a pedestrian accident occurring, which can include:
- Distracted driving
- Road rage/reckless driving
- Drinking alcohol
- Driving at night
According to the CDC, in almost half of the fatal pedestrian accidents that occurred in 2019, alcohol was involved. This includes drivers who were drunk as well as pedestrians who were walking while drunk. Additionally, the CDC reports that most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas or on roadways where higher speeds are likely to occur at night.
Indiana Pedestrian Laws
Every state, including Indiana, has laws in place with regard to pedestrians and drivers to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads.
Is Jaywalking Illegal in Indiana?
Yes. In Indiana, pedestrians who are jaywalking are considered to have violated state law, and they can be charged with a Class C infraction, which could result in a fine of up to $500. Jaywalking means a person is crossing the road in an undesignated area or at an unmarked crossing.
Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in Indiana?
Pedestrians DO NOT always have the right of way in Indiana. This means that it is possible for a pedestrian to be at fault in an accident. Pedestrians only have the right of way under certain circumstances, primarily when crossing at a designated crosswalk and obeying pedestrian traffic control signals.
Other Indiana pedestrian laws include the following:
- Pedestrians are required to obey all traffic control signals unless otherwise instructed by a police officer.
- In some areas, pedestrians may be prohibited from crossing the street in a business district except when walking in a crosswalk.
- Pedestrians are not permitted to suddenly walk or run into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- If crossing a road where there is no designated crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles.
- When crossing the road at an intersection where traffic controls are in operation, pedestrians may only cross in a designated crosswalk.
- If a sidewalk is available, pedestrians may not walk on the road.
- If a sidewalk is not available or blocked for some reason, pedestrians may walk along the shoulder of the road as far to the edge of the road as possible.
What are Driver Laws With Regard to Pedestrians?
There are also laws and safety tips that drivers must follow with regard to pedestrians, which are as follows:
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians AT ALL TIMES.
- Use extra caution when driving at night and during bad weather, as pedestrians may be harder to see.
- Slow down and prepare to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where a pedestrian might be present.
- Yield to ALL pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Stop far enough back from crosswalks where pedestrians are crossing to allow other vehicles to see that someone is crossing.
- NEVER pass stopped vehicles at a crosswalk, as they may be waiting for pedestrians to cross.
- Follow the speed limit, especially in areas where there are pedestrians out walking.
- Pay particular attention to speed limits in school zones and neighborhoods where children are present.
- Check for pedestrians that could move into your path when backing up.
What Are My Rights As a Pedestrian Injured in an Accident in Indiana?
If you are injured as a pedestrian due to another driver’s negligence, you have the right to file a claim against them to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Such damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Physical pain & suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent impairment
- Scarring and disfigurement
If you are the loved one of someone who was killed as a pedestrian, you may also be entitled to compensation for your losses through a wrongful death claim.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery — Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident in Indiana, the experts at Poynter & Bucheri can help. We have experience handling a wide range of cases, including those involving pedestrians and violations of Indiana pedestrian laws.
Don’t hesitate — one of our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.