The right of way as a pedestrian
Q: As a pedestrian, I always have the right-of-way over vehicles, don’t I?
A: This is a tricky question and like most legal questions, there is no easy answer. The safest answer is to understand that “no”, you don’t always have the right-of-way as a pedestrian over a vehicle. You must always look after your own safety. If you decide to cross a busy road in the middle of a block, and you get hit by a car, you might be held 100% at fault for causing the accident. If you decide to run into a cross walk wearing dark clothing at night and you get hit by a car, you might be held 100% at fault for causing the accident. Our courts will assess your actions against that of the fictional “reasonable person” standard.
Our courts are often called upon to assess fault in accidents involving pedestrians. In the end, the court must assess the actions of both the driver and the pedestrian when determining fault. Our courts have long accepted that even if a pedestrian has the right of way, the common-law duty to use care for one’s own safety remains active. Be safe and be cautious as a pedestrian around moving traffic. In the end, when car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian generally gets the worst of it. If you have a specific question of law, do consult a lawyer you can trust.