Pedestrian accident cases are very difficult cases in Virginia. So many people do not understand what side of the road they should be walking on, and when it is safe to do so. The law is designed to keep pedestrians safe but it can appear counterintuitive. In short, if you are walking on the hard surface of the road you should walk as close as you can to the edge and walk against traffic. That way you can see oncoming traffic and you will not get hit from behind while you are walking.
But, if you are walking on the shoulder, then you can walk on either shoulder.
We have seen many cases where the debate is over whether our client was walking on the shoulder or the hard surface of the road. If you break the law for which side of the road to walk on, then the jury could find you guilty of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a 100% bar of any recovery in Virginia. Many of these cases come down to this question: could you have seen and avoided the danger by exercising your own reasonable diligence.
In many instances, you simply need a lawyer who knows these rules inside and out. Your lawyer should be able to tell you when the insurance company is wasting time and should help you push toward a trial. The insurance companies almost never agree to liability in these cases as they are hoping for a contributory negligence verdict.