Connecticut provides significant legal protections for pedestrians, including a 2002 law that requires moving traffic to grant the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks and uncontrolled intersections. However, pedestrians are still in danger of being hurt in accidents caused by distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding and other types of negligence. These accidents can result in head and neck injuries, broken bones and fractures, abrasions, soft tissue damage and other serious harm.

The law that mandates yielding to pedestrians applies to motor vehicles in roadways as well as to bicycles, electric bicycles and electric foot scooters that travel in roadways or on sidewalks, shoulders or bikeways. Drivers who fail to yield are subject to a $500 fine. The law further allows municipalities to set lower speed limits and to establish pedestrian safety zones.

Even with these broad protections, pedestrians must exercise high caution while crossing the street. This includes opting to cross at intersections with traffic signals, making eye contact with drivers before crossing, indicating an intention to cross and avoiding distractions such as cell phones or headphones. Pedestrians can also take measures to increase their safety, such as wearing bright or reflective clothing, using designated crosswalks, and being aware of their surroundings.

Pedestrians hurt while crossing the street have the right to seek compensation from those at fault. When the vehicle and driver can be identified, the injured pedestrian can file a personal injury lawsuit demanding money damages for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. In cases where the driver flees the scene — known as a hit and run — the injured pedestrian may still have legal remedies. Taking certain immediate actions can increase the chances of identifying the responsible driver. These include reporting the accident to law enforcement and gathering as much information as possible about the vehicle and driver involved. Additionally, eyewitnesses to the accident can provide valuable details.

If you are injured in a pedestrian accident involving any type of vehicle, an experienced personal injury attorney can investigate, gather evidence and take the best course of action to uphold your rights and to recover the compensation you deserve.

The O’Neil Law Firm, PC provides effective legal assistance to pedestrians who have been injured in Hartford, Middlesex and Tolland counties in Connecticut. Please call 866-418-7593 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.