Jul 122012

Recovering for Injuries Sustained in a Pedestrian Accident in Pennsylvania

Pedestrian accidents in major cities like Philadelphia occur almost every day. Whether crossing the street at a marked crosswalk or crossing mid-block, pedestrians who are hit by cars, trucks, buses, etc. have legal recourse for the often serious injuries which result. Pennsylvania law recognizes the right of injured pedestrians to recover for pain and suffering as well as financial losses such as lost wages, medical bills and out of pocket expenses.

Pennsylvania Laws Commonly Violated in Pedestrian Accidents

Depending on where the accident occurred, Pennsylvania state laws and/or local, municipal laws may apply. Two of Pennsylvania’s pedestrian laws are commonly at issue in pedestrian accidents: 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3542 and 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3547.

75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3542 gives pedestrians the right of way when crossing a street in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when there is no traffic control signal controlling the intersection. Drivers must yield to such pedestrians and failure to do so constitutes a summary offense.

Section 3542 provides:

(a)  General rule.–When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

(b)  Exercise of care by pedestrian.–No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard.

(c)  Limitation on vehicles passing.–Whenever any vehicle is stopped at any crosswalk at an intersection or at any marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

(d)  Application of section.–Subsection (a) does not apply under the conditions stated in section 3543(b) (relating to pedestrians crossing at other than crosswalks).

(e)  Penalties.–The driver of a vehicle who violates subsection (a) commits a summary offense and shall, upon
conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $50.

Another Pennsylvania statute commonly at issue is 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3547, which gives pedestrians the right of way when on a sidewalk. Section 3547 specifically requires that a driver entering or emerging from a building, driveway or private road yield the right of way to pedestrians on adjacent sidewalks.

Section 3547 provides:

Right-of-way of pedestrians on sidewalks.  The driver of a vehicle emerging from or entering an alley, building, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk extending across the alley, building entrance, road or driveway.

In addition to these Pennsylvania state statutes detailing the rights of pedestrians, local municipalities and cities like Philadelphia, often have ordinances which further specify the rights of pedestrians. Violation of any laws, state or local, may establish negligence per se, or conclusive evidence of negligence.

For more information call our Pennsylvania car and pedestrian accident lawyers at 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle pedestrian accident cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Published: July 12, 2012

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