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Car Accident Claims: What to Know About Pedestrian Collisions and Crosswalks in Arizona

By Karnas Law Firm |

Pedestrian safety is a critical concern in Arizona. Unfortunately, we are a state that consistently ranks among the top ten in the nation for pedestrian fatalities. With most using crosswalks—either marked or unmarked—to navigate busy roads, it is essential to understand the laws and regulations governing pedestrian crossings. Additionally, pedestrians should understand the rules when crossing outside of a crosswalk. In this article, our Tucson car accident lawyer provides a guide to the key things that you need to know about pedestrian collisions and crosswalk laws in Arizona.

Arizona Law: When Pedestrians Do and Do Not Have the Right-of-Way

The “right-of-way” is perhaps the most important legal concept to understand regarding pedestrian accident claims. The right-of-way refers to the legal right of a person or vehicle to proceed first or have priority in a particular situation, such as when crossing an intersection or merging onto a highway. In essence, it is the right to proceed without interference from other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstructions. The right-of-way is typically determined by traffic laws and regulations. A party that fails to properly yield the right-of-way may be liable for a resulting crash. When pedestrians do or do not have the right-of-way in Arizona is determined largely by crosswalks. Here is what you need to know about the pedestrian right-of-way in four common scenarios.

  • Marked Crosswalk, “Crossing” Signal Displayed: If there is a marked crosswalk and there is a “crossing” signal actively displayed, then the pedestrian has the right-of-way. They are entitled to enter and cross the road. A motorist must yield, regardless of whether or not there is a red light or stop sign.
  • Marked Crosswalk, “No Crossing” Signal: Under Arizona law (ARS 28-646), a pedestrian cannot lawfully cross against a crosswalk signal in a marked crosswalk. In other words, a pedestrian who enters a marked crosswalk when there is a “no crossing” signal does not have the right-of-way.
  • Unmarked Crosswalk (Intersection): In Arizona, intersections are presumed to be unmarked crosswalks unless displayed otherwise. If there are no signals of any kind at an intersection, it is an unmarked crosswalk and a pedestrian has the presumed right-of-way.
  • Other Locations (No Crosswalk): Outside of marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks, pedestrians do not have the right-of-way. In other words, pedestrians are required to yield to oncoming traffic in Arizona when there is no crosswalk. For example, a pedestrian crossing a neighborhood street in Tucson away from an intersection does not have the right-of-way unless there is a marked crosswalk. They must yield to any vehicles.

Every Pedestrian Crash in Arizona Should Be Thoroughly Investigated

No matter the situation, a pedestrian crash should be carefully investigated. As a fault-based liability state, Arizona law requires a determination of who is liable for a pedestrian crash. In cases where both parties may share some level of responsibility, the concept of comparative negligence comes into play. Each party to a pedestrian collision can be held responsible for their proportionate share of the damages. Your crash should always be carefully investigated by an experienced attorney.

Injured Pedestrians Need Compensation to Pay their Bills and Support their Family

Pedestrians are exposed. They are inherently vulnerable when a collision occurs. Alarmingly, the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that pedestrian fatalities hit a 40-year high in the United States in 2021. More than 7,400 pedestrians were killed and many thousands more were severely injured in crashes. Following a pedestrian collision in Arizona, injured victims need compensation to pay bills and support the people in their life. Unfortunately, the insurance companies do not make the claims process easy. Our Arizona car accident lawyers help injured pedestrians fight for the maximum financial recovery, including for:

  • Emergency medical treatment;
  • Hospital bills and medical bills;
  • Physical therapy or mental health support;
  • Lost wages and loss of earning potential;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Disability or scarring; and
  • Wrongful death of a family member.

Contact Our Arizona Pedestrian Collision Attorneys for Immediate Legal Help

At The Karnas Law Firm, our Arizona pedestrian accident lawyers provide the high quality legal advice that you can rely on in even the most complex of pedestrian accident claims. If you or your family member was hurt in a pedestrian crash, we are standing by, ready to get started on your legal case. Contact us right away for a free, no strings attached case review. With legal offices in Tucson, Yuma, and Phoenix, we represent injured pedestrians throughout the wider region.