A Pedestrian accident is tragic and devastating. More than 80% of pedestrians who are hit by drivers end up dying or suffering from serious injuries. In Michigan alone, more than 100 pedestrians die in traffic accidents every year.
While these incidents can happen by accident, they are most often the result of negligent drivers and people who don’t know the laws concerning pedestrians. To help, we’ve put together a guide to the pedestrian accident laws you should know.
If you have further questions after reading this article and need help with a pedestrian accident case, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Our Michigan pedestrian accident attorneys are well-versed in pedestrian law and can help you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
Michigan’s Pedestrian Laws
Michigan legislation provides traffic laws and rules of the road for those on foot (pedestrians) and motorists sharing the road with pedestrians.
Traffic laws specific to pedestrians:
- Pedestrians are not permitted on limited-access highways.
- Pedestrians shall not start crossing the road once a “Don’t Walk” signal has started flashing. If the pedestrian was already in the crosswalk before the signal displayed “Don’t Walk,” they may proceed.
- If a sidewalk is provided, pedestrians shall not walk on the road. If a sidewalk is unavailable, the pedestrian can walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
Pedestrian traffic laws specific to motorists:
- Whether the signal is green, yellow, or red, drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or crosswalk.
- Drivers must stop before a crosswalk or limit line when the signal is red to avoid hitting pedestrians crossing the road.
- Drivers shall not approach a crosswalk or any pedestrian crossing without taking all necessary precautions to avoid hitting a blind pedestrian carrying a cane or using a guide dog. The same goes for disabled pedestrians crossing in a wheelchair or using any other assistive device.
Additionally, Michigan authorities suggest the following precautions when driving around pedestrians:
- Do not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, as there may be people crossing who you cannot see.
- Avoid distractions that could lead to an accident with a pedestrian.
- Stay alert when entering an intersection and making turns.
- Make eye contact with pedestrians waiting to cross roadways to avoid hitting them.
- Always double-check for pedestrians when backing up and reversing your vehicle in areas where pedestrians could be walking.
What Happens When a Pedestrian Gets Hit By a Car in Michigan?
If a pedestrian is hit by a driver in Michigan, they may be able to sue the at-fault driver for their injuries and other potential damages such as pain & suffering and emotional distress. However, Michigan is a no-fault state, which means to sue, you must be able to prove that you have a threshold injury, or are injured enough to qualify. You must also have enough evidence to prove the driver was at fault for the accident.
If you have any questions, please contact an experienced Michigan pedestrian accident lawyer.
What if the Pedestrian Was at Fault for the Accident?
If you, as a pedestrian, are at fault for the accident, you can still file a claim to recover compensation. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, you can recover no-fault benefits no matter who was responsible for causing the accident.
These no-fault benefits are provided through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. The benefits help pay for accident-related medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
If you were at fault for the accident, then your own no-fault auto insurance policy will compensate you. If you do not have your own policy, then your spouse’s policy will cover you. If you do not have a spouse, a resident relative that lives with you will cover your damages.
If you do not live with a relative that has PIP insurance, then the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan will assign an auto insurance company to pay your benefits.
Proving Fault After a Michigan Pedestrian Car Accident
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident and want to sue the driver for the damages they caused, you will need to work with an experienced Michigan pedestrian accident attorney who knows how to handle these cases.
Again, although Michigan is a no-fault state, you still most prove the driver was at least 50% at-fault for causing the accident.
Your attorney can help investigate the accident to prove what happened. They can help you obtain evidence to prove fault. This is done through witness statements, obtaining video surveillance and hiring experts. And they can handle negotiations to ensure you are awarded the full settlement you deserve.
Even if you do not intend to file a lawsuit, a Michigan pedestrian accident lawyer can still help you navigate your no-fault benefits claim. These claims can be confusing and insurance companies may try to offer you fewer benefits than you fully deserve.
A Michigan pedestrian accident law firm can protect you in these situations and make sure you get the full amount of no-fault benefits you can recover.
Lee Steinberg: Michigan Pedestrian Accident Law Firm
Pedestrian accidents can be confusing and complex. Let our team of experienced pedestrian accident attorneys help. Call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or contact us online. Our consultations are free and confidential, and you’ll pay nothing until we settle your pedestrian accident case.