Salem Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Handling Pedestrian Accidents in Salem, OR
Pedestrians are vulnerable to motor vehicle collisions. When a driver strikes a pedestrian, it is usually the pedestrian who suffers the most serious injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes pedestrians are killed in these collisions. In Oregon, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks and at intersections with stoplights and stop signs. If a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian, causing an accident, the driver can be held liable for the victim's injuries.
At The Gatti Law Firm, our Salem pedestrian accident attorneys understand the challenges that victims of pedestrian accidents face. We know how to build a strong case on behalf of our clients, who deserve the compensation they are owed. Our team is dedicated to holding negligent drivers accountable and advocating for the rights of injured victims.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident refers to a collision or incident involving a motor vehicle and a person who is on foot, such as walking, running, jogging, or standing. These accidents can have severe consequences for pedestrians due to the size and speed of motor vehicles involved. Pedestrian accidents can occur on roads, intersections, crosswalks, parking lots, and other areas where pedestrians and vehicles interact.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles include:
- Distracted Driving: Drivers using mobile phones, adjusting the radio, eating, or engaging in other activities that divert their attention from the road may fail to notice pedestrians.
- Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver's ability to react to unexpected situations and increases the severity of collisions, making it more dangerous for pedestrians.
- Failure to Yield: Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks, intersections, and other designated pedestrian areas.
- Drunk or Impaired Driving: Alcohol and drug impairment can impair a driver's judgment, reaction time, and coordination, leading to accidents with pedestrians.
- Reckless Driving: Aggressive driving behaviors such as running red lights, making illegal turns, and disregarding traffic signals can lead to collisions with pedestrians.
- Poor Visibility: Inadequate lighting, bad weather conditions, and obstructed sightlines can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Jaywalking: Pedestrians crossing the road at non-designated areas or not following traffic rules can put themselves in danger.
- Backing Up Accidents: Drivers reversing their vehicles without checking for pedestrians behind them, especially in parking lots, can lead to accidents.
- Right Turn on Red: Drivers making right turns on red lights may not notice pedestrians crossing the street in front of them.
- Inadequate Infrastructure: Poorly designed roads, lack of crosswalks, inadequate signage, and insufficient pedestrian facilities can contribute to accidents.
- Driver Inattention: Even when not distracted, some drivers may simply fail to notice pedestrians due to inattention or a lack of awareness.
- Fatigue: Drowsy drivers may have reduced reaction times and impaired judgment, increasing the risk of accidents involving pedestrians.
- Vehicle Blind Spots: Large vehicles like trucks and buses have significant blind spots that can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians around their vehicles.
- Turning Vehicles: Left-turning vehicles may not see pedestrians crossing in front of them, leading to accidents.
Oregon Right-of-Way Laws
In Oregon, pedestrians generally have the right-of-way in marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Pedestrians are expected to use crosswalks when available and follow traffic signals and signs. They should not suddenly step into the path of a vehicle that is too close to stop safely.
Here are some main points to understand:
- Marked Crosswalks: When pedestrians are within a marked crosswalk (usually indicated by white lines on the road), vehicles are required to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrians. This applies even if there are no traffic signals or signs present.
- Unmarked Crosswalks: In Oregon, any intersection that doesn't have marked crosswalks is considered an unmarked crosswalk. Pedestrians still have the right-of-way at these intersections, and vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians crossing the street.
- Traffic Signals and Signs: Pedestrians should obey traffic signals and signs at intersections. When a "WALK" signal or green pedestrian symbol is displayed, pedestrians are typically allowed to cross the road, and vehicles should yield. However, pedestrians should not begin crossing the road if the signal changes to "DON'T WALK" or an equivalent symbol.
- Mid-Block Crossings: If a pedestrian is crossing the road at a point between two adjacent intersections with marked crosswalks, they should yield the right-of-way to vehicles unless they are already within a crosswalk.
While pedestrians generally have the right-of-way, they are also required to exercise reasonable care for their safety. Jaywalking (crossing the street outside of crosswalks or against traffic signals) can still lead to legal consequences, especially if it endangers the pedestrian's safety or disrupts traffic flow.
Ready to Fight for You Today
Our team of legal experts will work closely with you to understand the specific circumstances of your injury, assess liability, and develop a customized legal strategy. We will guide you through the entire legal process, ensuring that you are well-informed and empowered to make decisions that align with your best interests.
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