Sep 13 2019

Determining Responsibility in Vehicle-Pedestrian Accidents

Whether you’re the driver of a vehicle or a pedestrian, you are responsible for safely and appropriately sharing the road. There are numerous basic laws and regulations in place to assist with this concept, from traffic lights and pedestrian crossing areas to turn signals and simple vehicle warnings.

However, we still see a number of unfortunate pedestrian accidents at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, including many where our car accident attorney services are requested by one party or another to help recover damages based on someone else’s negligence. Generally speaking, fault and liability in a pedestrian-vehicle accident can be grouped into three categories: Driver, pedestrian or municipality. Let’s look at examples of each area and how a pedestrian accident you’ve been involved with may shake out.

responsibility vehicle-pedestrian accidents

Examples of Driver Responsibility

In virtually every state in the US, it is the driver’s responsibility to be alert to their surroundings, including everything from potential road hazards to pedestrians (technically pedestrians qualify as road hazards as well). If the pedestrian in question is acting within the law and observing their right to certain areas of the road, and is hit by a vehicle driver, responsibility will usually lie with the driver.

The simplest example here is when a pedestrian is within a legal crosswalk, but it’s not the only one. Even if the pedestrian is elsewhere, for instance, a speeding driver may still be found liable for such an accident. The same goes if the driver ran a red light or otherwise broke the law soon before the incident occurred.

Examples of Pedestrian Responsibility

Pedestrians themselves have responsibilities here too, however, and it’s important not to forget about these if you’re walking near or between busy roadways. If a pedestrian uses a non-crosswalk area in a reckless manner while attempting to cross, and is struck in the process, they may be held liable for both their own damages and any to the vehicle or driver. Pedestrians can’t simply enter the street anywhere and expect moving traffic to stop for them.

Examples of Municipality Responsibility

Finally, there are cases where neither the driver nor the pedestrian in question is responsible. An example of this would be if a traffic light and connected pedestrian signals malfunctions, telling a pedestrian it’s okay to walk despite directing oncoming traffic their way. Similar examples may include concealed or improperly printed stop signs, unsafe crosswalk placement or any other safety hazards based on the way a given roadway or traffic markers are designed. In these cases, both pedestrians and drivers involved in pedestrian accidents may have liability cases against the municipality responsible for such hazards.

For more on who is responsible for a given pedestrian accident, or to learn about any of our personal injury or auto accident attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates LLC today.

Jan 10 2019

Basic Tips for Pedestrian Road Safety

Whether you like to take a stroll around the neighborhood in the evenings or you walk through a busy downtown area every day for work, most of us are pedestrians on the road at sometime or another. And while we all assume general safety during these situations based on traffic and pedestrian laws and visual assists like signs and crosswalks, the unfortunate fact is that pedestrians are hurt or killed every year in accidents that could have been avoided.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, our personal injury attorneys are here to help if you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in an accident where someone else may be liable. But of course, we’d rather avoid these incidents altogether – here are some tips for staying safe during any periods where you’re a pedestrian, plus to avoid any potential liability if an accident does take place involving you (yes, pedestrians can be partially or fully at fault for accidents if they were not obeying the law).

tips pedestrian road safety

Be Visible

You should make efforts to make yourself visible and easily seen to drivers, especially if you’re walking on busy streets or during the evening or night time. Just like a biker or someone else sharing the road, use lit or reflective clothing at night to make sure you can be seen – some others like to carry a flashlight with them that helps with both visibility and their own personal walking path.

In addition, use the assists already present on roadways to remain visible and obvious. Only cross busy streets at marked intersections and crosswalks, while obeying all walk or stop signs or signals. If you do have to cross an unmarked intersection at night, seek a well-lit area where drivers can see you without any obstructions.

Stay Aware

Be aware of the things you’re doing as a pedestrian on the road. Failure to do this may not only lead to injury, but could cause liability concerns as well. Some areas to consider:

  • Signs: Traffic signs and various signals are there to keep you safe. Follow them at all times.
  • Listen: You don’t have a 360-degree range of vision, and you may not always see traffic from every angle. You might be able to hear it first, however, but not if you’re distracted by music or talking on the phone.
  • Looking: The phrase “look both ways” is cliché for a reason – it’s necessary. Traffic comes from both directions, and vehicles may turn at intersections.

Avoid Dangerous Activities

Finally, you have to avoid certain behaviors at all times while a pedestrian. These include walking on streets instead of marked sidewalks, plus walking facing traffic – this lets drivers see you more easily. Finally, never assume you’re completely safe or that drivers will always obey the law perfectly; take additional precautions in any busy area just to be sure.

For more on staying safe as a pedestrian, or to learn about any of our personal injury or auto accident services if you’re involved in an accident, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.

Sep 15 2016



A verdict was rendered regarding the case of a 15 year old boy who died after being hit by a car at a dangerous crossing while heading for the school bus stop.  The jury awarded the guardian of the boy $20 million for her losses.

Mar 03 2016

Utah Traffic Deaths Rise for third year in a row.

The Desert News is reporting the for the first time in 15 years, the number of traffic fatalities in Utah has risen for the third year in a row. Last year, 275 people died on Utah roads. Officials say as many as 94 % of those deaths were preventable.  We all share the same roadway, and we need to find a way to do it safely protecting not just those in vehicles, but pedestrians and bicyclists.

Feb 29 2016

Truck Accident / Auto Accident / Pedestrian Accident: Why you need Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Truck Accident/ Auto Accident/Pedestrian Accident:  Why you need Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

It was recently reported that a man is in the hospital in serious condition after he allegedly stole an SUV and crashed it into a concrete flood control tunnel during a police pursuit.   The thief found the SUV running and unlocked at a convenience store.   Investigators said the owner of the vehicle quickly called police after watching the thief hop in the driver’s seat and take off.  Police located the SUV traveling on the freeway a short time later.

Feb 16 2015

Pedestrians and Fatal Car Accidents

A man was killed in a Salt Lake County car accident when a car struck him in the roadway. According to a news report, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred downtown Salt Lake City near Temple square. Officials say the man was crossing the road when a vehicle turned and struck him. He succumbed to his injuries at LDS hospital a few hours later. The driver remained at the scene and it is unclear if the motorist will face charges.

Feb 11 2014

10 Ways To Help Improve Child Pedestrian Safety

Cars aren’t the only things out there being hit by other cars.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 34,000 pedestrian fatalities last year in the United States.  As adults, we understand the basics when it comes to safety and walking and crossing our streets.  Our kids, however, can actually be quite vulnerable when they are outside near streets and traffic. They are full of energy, but they also sometimes lack judgment when it comes to walking or riding their bike.

Teaching children basic crosswalk rules and rules of the road are just some of the ways to keep our kids safe.   Safe driving is critical to keeping our communities and our children accident free.  We all have a role to play, whether you own a car, bike or just a good pair of shoes.

Here are 10 ways to help improve child pedestrian safety, whether you’re walking or driving:

Jan 18 2014

Accident Aftermath – Now What Do I Do?

Have you or a loved one been involved in a car, truck or pedestrian accident recently?  Do you want to take action but are unsure of what or how to do it?  Here are the answers to a few questions our new clients ask frequently:

Will I ruin the life of the person who hit me if I make a claim?

NO!  You are making a claim AGAINST THEIR INSURANCE COMPANY, not the individual.  The premiums they have been paying all these years protect them and pay for your damages and injuries.  The same would be true if you caused an accident.  YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY WILL PROTECT YOU!

Jan 08 2014

Ice Ice Baby!

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Ice and snow ruining your morning commute?  Your tires may not be the only thing sliding around this winter.  Car accidents aren’t the only accidents keeping emergency rooms busy.  Emergency rooms get plenty of business from slip and fall accidents, too.

Snow and ice slip and fall walk

Protect your family, friends, customers and clients by being proactive with snow removal.  Shovel early and often.  Be sure your sidewalks and stairs are salted several times a day.  Fix any gutters that may leak and cause ice patches to form on your sidewalks and entrances to your building.

Dec 21 2013

“They Paved Paradise to Put Up a Parking Lot”


Holiday shopping can be enjoyable and stressful at the same time.  One thing that is never enjoyable and always stressful is navigating your way through the parking lot.  How many times have you stretched your neck to see if there is a free spot hiding behind a big car just to see a little car?  How many times have you slyly stalked shoppers leaving the store so you can steal their spot?

Let’s be honest.  We have all been there.  We will do anything to get the perfect parking spot.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing but here are some things you can do to take the stress out of getting that perfect spot!