Alabama, one of the worst states to be an injured pedestrian

Nov 9, 2018 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen's Answers


Seems you can walk anyway in LA but not in AL

You can talk all you want about distracted driving and whether a walker or a driver has the right of way, but in Alabama there is one law that tops all of this.

Unlike most states, Alabama has a contributory negligence law.  Under this law, if an injured pedestrian is just 1 % at fault, he or she will get nothing from the driver. You might think that is unfair … but it is true.

As a practical matter, you need to cross at crosswalks. This offers you the best legal protection. It is unlawful in our state for a car not to stop if you are walking in a crosswalk and the sign says to walk. At almost any other time, a pedestrian must yield to a car.

There is one law that cancels this protection … if you walk diagonally in a crosswalk. It is illegal to do that under any circumstance that does not have a law enforcement officer stopping traffic on all sides. It is very rare, but I have seen this at concerts and sporting events.

Want another Alabama law? Here goes. If there is a sidewalk, you must use it. If you don’t and you are hit, you have almost no defense. Just because you want to walk in the street doesn’t mean you have the right.

Here is another bit of Alabama law. We all know that you are prohibited from DRIVING drunk. But did you know that you are also prohibited from WALKING drunk. If you are walking drunk and are hit by a car, you are at least partially at fault … so you will collect nothing.

With all these laws, you see why you may need a lawyer.

If you are hurt in a traffic accident or suffer a personal injury, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Also join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We do a short show on tape during the football season but will take your calls live again after the first of the year.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama personal injury lawyer