Pedestrian fatalities in Virginia have been steadily rising in recent years. Distracted driving, the size of vehicles involved in incidents involving pedestrians, and crossing roadways outside of designated crossing zones are some of the factors that are contributing to this problematic trend. Virginia Beach and the larger Hampton Roads area is a heavily populated region with many pedestrian rich areas. Areas such as Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk and the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach where there is an increased level of pedestrians traversing heavily trafficked roads, the chance of accidents involving pedestrians increases.
Importantly, Virginia is a contributory negligence state which means that if a person is at fault, even in the smallest degree, they are prohibited from recovering anything in an accident. As such, to be awarded a settlement, pedestrians must follow certain regulations to not be ruled negligent:
- Only crossing at crosswalks or at intersections.
- Obeying pedestrian traffic signals (i.e. Walk/Don't Walk signs).
- Can not disregard oncoming traffic when crossing an intersection.
- No roadside hitchhiking.
- Pedestrians must use sidewalks and walkways when available.
If a pedestrian who has been involved in an accident is shown to have violated these regulations, he or she could be considered negligent. Insurance companies and other parties involved will certainly attempt to influence the case in their favor. Without an attorney to understands the details of relevant Virginia law, you could miss out on much needed, and much deserved financial compensation.