In Virginia, if a pedestrian is walking down a street that has no sidewalks, which side of the street is the pedestrian required to walk on?

Personal Injury Lawyers in Virginia Beach

The below information was written by our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach.

The far left side of the street. According to the Virginia Code:

Pedestrians shall not use the roadways for travel, except when necessary to do so because of the absence of sidewalks which are reasonably suitable and passable for their use. If they walk on the hard surface, or the main travelled portion of the roadway, they shall keep to the extreme left side or edge thereof, or where the shoulders of the highway are of sufficient width to permit, they may walk on either shoulder thereof.

Commenting on the purpose of the Virginia Code section quoted above, the Virginia Supreme Court has written:

The provisions of the statute protect a pedestrian from the quiet approach of vehicles or the confusion that may arise from the noise of the mechanism of a vehicle approaching from the rear. They give him the benefit of seeing an oncoming vehicle and an opportunity to take such action as may be necessary for his own safety.

A pedestrian who fails to stay as near as reasonably possible to the extreme left side or edge of the travelled portion of the roadway is considered negligent as a matter of law. If a pedestrian is injured in a car accident and such pedestrian failed to stay as near as reasonably possible to the extreme left side or edge of the travelled portion of the roadway, the pedestrian’s personal injury claim could be barred by the doctrine of contributory negligence, if the jury determines that the pedestrian’s failure to abide by the above quoted statute was a proximate cause of the accident. Such hypothetical pedestrian’s personal injury claim can potentially be barred by the doctrine of contributory negligence, even if the driver of the car that struck the pedestrian was negligent in the operation of his or her vehicle. Click here to learn more about the contributory negligence doctrine in Virginia.

Questions regarding the rights and duties of pedestrians are specific to the facts of the individual personal injury case, and we encourage you to contact one of our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach.  Such experienced personal injury lawyer can assess whether the pedestrian was proceeding in accordance with Virginia law and whether there is a basis for a defendant to raise a contributory negligence defense. As in all personal injury cases, an experienced personal injury lawyer can also advise the injured person as to the value of the injury claim, can guide the injured person through the process of making a claim with the applicable insurance company or companies, and can represent the injured person in the litigation of the personal injury claim, if a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary.

Waiting can hurt your case. To find out how our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach can help you, please contact us at (757) 486-2700.

Personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach serving all of Hampton Roads.

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