Motorist Hits Passenger in Crosswalk – Negligence per se

Posted on: June 29th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

A 2006 Superior Court of Pennsylvania Decision awarded a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident victim a new trial after a Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas judge gave faulty jury instructions.  A woman was crossing with a green light at an intersection when a negligent driver turned right and his passenger side mirror struck her.  The pedestrian was knocked unconscious and received medical care.

Despite the request of the Pennsylvania pedestrian accident lawyer, the trial judge refused to provide the jury with a charge that the driver was negligent per se if they found the evidence proved that the pedestrian was in the intersection at the time of the crash.  Section 3112 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code requires a driver to yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian lawfully within an intersection or crosswalk.

The Superior Court noted that the driver and pedestrian did not have the same obligation to look for the other.  The driver’s duty to yield the right-of-way was the primary responsibility.  The failure to inform the jury of that legal requirement necessitated a new trial.  Jenkins v. Wolf, 911 A.2d 568 (PA Super. 2006)