As pedestrians and motorists navigate the bustling streets of Portland, questions often arise regarding the right of way. A common misconception about traffic laws is that pedestrians always have the right of way. Just like motorists, pedestrians are required to obey traffic laws, such as crossing the street in a crosswalk or at an intersection and obeying all traffic signals.

Understanding who has the right of way is crucial for promoting safety and preventing accidents on the streets of Portland. Let’s delve deeper into the concept of pedestrian right of way in Oregon.

The Basics of Pedestrian Right of Way

In general, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked. According to Oregon law, drivers must stop and yield to pedestrians who are either already in the crosswalk or approaching it in a manner that indicates their intention to cross.

If a pedestrian is in the way of oncoming traffic, motorists are required to stop if at all possible. Failing to exercise reasonable care when pedestrians are crossing a roadway can result in a driver being held liable for any injuries that result from a pedestrian-versus-car accident.

In some areas, motorists have to look out for pedestrians. For example, on roadways around a school or school bus, drivers should expect that they’ll need to look carefully to ensure no children are crossing the road in front of oncoming traffic.

In some cases, an accident may be unavoidable. If a pedestrian darts out in front of oncoming traffic and a motorist driving at a safe speed can’t stop in time, the driver may be able to argue that the accident happened even though they were careful. In other cases, the driver may be able to avoid liability. There are exceptions and scenarios where the right of way may vary.

Exceptions to Pedestrian Right of Way

1. Traffic Control Devices

Pedestrians must follow indications when traffic signals or signs control an intersection. For example, pedestrians should not enter the crosswalk if the “Do Not Walk” signal is displayed.

2. Jaywalking

Jaywalking refers to crossing the street outside a marked crosswalk or against traffic signals. In such cases, pedestrians may not have the right of way, and drivers are expected to exercise caution.

3. Intersections with Stop Signs

Pedestrians should move with caution when crossing intersections with stop signs. Although pedestrians generally have the right of way, they must still yield to vehicles if crossing when it is impractical or unsafe.

Overturning incorrect attributions

In cases involving pedestrian accidents, there can be instances where the initial attributions of fault are incorrect or disputed. This can happen due to biased eyewitness testimonies, incomplete evidence, or a lack of thorough investigation.

Overturning incorrect attributions in pedestrian right-of-way cases can be a significant challenge, but it’s an area where our experienced pedestrian injury attorneys at Pickett Dummigan Weingart excel.

Let’s take a look at these two fictional cases:

Case 1: Pedestrian v. City Transit Authority

A hypothetical case involving a pedestrian struck by a city bus while crossing at an unmarked crosswalk. This is how we could approach the situation:

  • Thoroughly investigate the accident scene to determine the existence and location of the unmarked crosswalk. We would consult witnesses, surveillance footage, street maps, or even traffic engineering experts to establish the presence of a legally recognized pedestrian crossing.
  • Analyze the relevant statutes and regulations to confirm that the unmarked crosswalk falls within the legal definition of a pedestrian right-of-way area.
  • Aim to demonstrate that the bus driver failed to yield the right of way, advocating for the pedestrian’s rights.

Case 2: Pedestrian v. Negligent Driver

Let’s consider another hypothetical case where we represent a pedestrian hit by a vehicle at an intersection with a malfunctioning traffic signal. In this scenario, the defense argues that the pedestrian crossed against the signal and shares partial blame for the incident. We would:

  • Investigate the nature of the malfunction, whether it was a complete signal outage or a specific component failure. Understanding the exact issue with the traffic signal is crucial in determining the pedestrian’s right of way.
  • Aim to establish that the driver of the vehicle involved failed to exercise proper caution and yield to the pedestrian despite the malfunctioning signal, thus breaching their duty of care.

It’s not always clear who’s at fault — we’re here to help!

“Our commitment goes beyond the courtroom. We take pride in thoroughly investigating each case, uncovering crucial evidence, and utilizing our extensive knowledge of pedestrian right-of-way laws to build your defense. Our goal is to hold responsible parties accountable and secure fair compensation for you.”

Deena D. Sajitharan, personal injury attorney at Pickett Dummigan Weingart

Pedestrian right-of-way laws can be complex, and their interpretation may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each situation. That’s why having knowledgeable and experienced pedestrian injury lawyers can be invaluable if you’re involved in a pedestrian-related accident.

Promoting pedestrian safety and preventing accidents is a collective responsibility. Both pedestrians and drivers in Portland must remain vigilant and adhere to the established rules of the road. By understanding and respecting pedestrian rights of way, we can foster a safer and more harmonious environment for everyone.

At Pickett Dummigan Weingart, we recognize the nuances of these laws and how they apply to different scenarios. With our expertise, we can provide valuable guidance and advocacy to ensure you receive fair compensation in the event of an accident.

If you want to learn more about pedestrian right-of-way laws or seek legal advice specific to your situation, contact us online or request a free consultation with one of our pedestrian injury attorneys in Oregon at (503) 223-7770.