If I hit a pedestrian who had a "don't walk" signal, am I at fault?

Is it my fault if I hit a pedestrian?

Maybe.  A common misconception is that a pedestrian always has the right of way. This is not true.  As long as you were following all traffic laws (speed limit, traffic lights/signs, paying attention, etc.) and did everything in your power to avoid hitting someone once you saw them, then you are not at fault. A pedestrian is at fault if he or she is jaywalking or crossing outside of the crosswalk, crossing against traffic control signals, crossing highways or roads without traffic controls, or walking on highways/bridges/areas where pedestrian access is prohibited.  Virginia is one of the few places where “contributory negligence” is still applied, which essentially says that if a person is even a little at fault, they are prohibited from recovering anything in an accident.  Every case is unique and if you are involved in an accident, you should seek experienced Virginia legal counsel.

Kellam T. Parks
Managing Member of Parks Zeigler, PLLC