Without the use of right-of-way laws, driving in a busy city like Philadelphia would be mayhem. Right-of-way laws help motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians navigate the city without suffering an accident. Unfortunately, there are some people on the road that follow these laws very loosely, leading to several kinds of accidents. If you or a family member was the victim of a car crash, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer. The personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm have over four decades of experience dealing with complex car accident cases. We explain whether you can sue for being hit by a car if you have the right-of-way in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Right-of-Way Laws
Pennsylvania right-of-way laws apply to pedestrians, motorists, and bike riders. The primary purpose of these laws is to determine which person has the right to advance through an intersection first. While various traffic signals can help a driver or pedestrian determine who has the right-of-way, there are some instances where it is difficult to determine who can advance first.
You can sue for being hit by a car if you had the right-of-way when you were injured, among other accident scenarios. However, before considering a lawsuit, you should understand how right-of-way laws work in Pennsylvania. For example, if you are driving and a pedestrian is crossing at an intersection without a traffic light, you must yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk. Other right-of-way laws that help avoid pedestrian accidents include:
- Yielding to pedestrians that are crossing at a traffic light
- Yielding to pedestrians that are walking across a driveway, sidewalk, or alley
- The need to yield to pedestrians that are blind or have poor vision
- Obeying posted yield signs that are not located at intersections
Motorists must also adhere to a number of right-of-way laws when operating their vehicle. A common example of this is yielding to oncoming vehicles if you are attempting to make a left turn. Motorists must also yield to drivers that are present within a traffic circle before they enter.
Many car accidents occur when a driver is trying to exit from a driveway, parking spot, or private road. The individual who is trying to enter traffic does not have the right-of-way in these situations. Due to the levels of traffic within Philadelphia, it is common for drivers to attempt to aggressively enter traffic, resulting in serious accidents.
Who is at Fault for Violating Right-of-Way Laws?
If a negligent driver fails to follow right-of-way laws, they will likely be held responsible for causing a car accident. However, there is a possibility that you will be held partially responsible as well. One way you could be at fault in a right-of-way accident is if you were speeding to force another driver to yield. Pennsylvania’s modified comparative fault rule is used to help determine the amount of fault that should be apportioned after a car accident. This rule will decrease a plaintiff’s total damages by the appropriate level of fault.
For example, if you are found to have a played a role in a car accident, the jury in your personal injury case will decide your exact level of fault. If you are found to be 20% responsible for a car accident and the defendant was 80% responsible, you will receive 80% of the total damages.
Another important factor to note is the 51% comparative negligence rule. This rule states that a plaintiff will be unable to recover any compensation for their injuries if they are more than 50% responsible for their injuries. This rule may seem harsh to individuals who are relying on a lawsuit to help them cover necessary financial needs after a car accident. That is why it is important to exercise caution in situations where the right-of-way is difficult to determine – and to work with an experienced car accident attorney when pursuing injury compensation.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Can File Your Injury Claim
If you or a family member was involved in a serious car accident in Pennsylvania, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. At The Reiff Law Firm, our dedicated attorneys will help you determine whether you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver that injured you. To schedule a free legal consultation, call us at (215) 274-0072, or contact us online today.