The purpose of having crosswalks is to provide safe passage to pedestrians. Yet, the number of crosswalk pedestrian accidents is high. While pedestrians have the right way to cross the road at the marked crossing, it is also important for them to know when they should be in the crosswalk and when they should not be. However, getting injured in a crosswalk due to the negligence of the driver is a harsh reality. If you were hit or injured in a crosswalk, it is crucial to remain well-informed of your legal rights. You should be well-prepared to file a pedestrian injury claim.
Since pedestrian crossing accidents can lead to serious consequences, the victim needs to know what to do. No matter what excuse the driver gives, if the motor vehicle crash happened due to their recklessness or negligent driving, the driver will be held accountable for the damage.
‘Right of Way’ for Pedestrians in a Crosswalk
Though you have the right of way in the crosswalk, there are some rules you should abide by to get full protection by the law. It is not as if you will always have the law on your side regardless of when or under what circumstances you step onto the big white lines or cross at an intersection.
- If a pedestrian is in the crosswalk in the absence of a traffic signal, the driver must give him or her the right of way.
- If a vehicle is halted at a crosswalk to allow the pedestrian to cross, the operator of another vehicle approaching from behind the stopped vehicle may not obstruct the safe passage of the pedestrian.
- A pedestrian may not step into the crosswalk all of a sudden from a place of safety and in the path of a vehicle and get as near as it becomes impossible for the operator to come to a halt.
- Pedestrians should try to keep the right half of the crosswalk, if possible.
In California, pedestrians generally have the right of way. In many states of the US, a pedestrian who is crossing the road at a crosswalk with either the WALK signal or the Green Light signal has the right of way. However, this right of way is not absolute for all kinds of situations. There are some circumstances where pedestrians are required to yield the right of way to vehicle operators.
Types of Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accident
Getting hit by large, speeding vehicles in the crosswalk can cause severe injuries or even lead to death. In fact, death is very common in these types of pedestrian accidents. Even if the vehicle is moving at an average or low speed, the injuries can be devastating. They might take a long time to heal.
Pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries such as concussions
- Spinal injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve damage
- Soft-tissue injuries
Unfortunately, most victims of pedestrian accidents sustain severe injuries. In the case of the death of the pedestrian, their family and kids feel utterly helpless. If the victim happens to be the sole bread earner, their family is left under a tremendous financial burden with no one to take care of them.
Who is to Blame for the Collision?
Not every driver intends to hit pedestrians. However, all drivers need to exercise caution and pay attention while driving. Motorists are legally bound to remain extremely careful at crosswalks because it is a location where pedestrians frequently cross the road. It is due to reckless driving that pedestrians crossing the street at the crosswalk get hit. At times, drivers show gross negligence at the pedestrian crossing, which leads to fatal injuries and even death of the pedestrian.
The pedestrian may sometimes be at fault. If a pedestrian jumps into the crosswalk at the last minute or walks onto it while the traffic signal says “Don’t Walk,” it is the pedestrian who is to blame.
In many states, you are entitled to receive an injury compensation, if you are not more at fault than the driver involved in reckless driving. If your fault is more than 50% than that of the other party, you can typically expect to receive no compensation for your crosswalk accident injuries. However, every pedestrian crosswalk case is different and it is only a personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and determine whether you are entitled to compensation. Reach out to Mr. Yneges at the Accident Injury Law Center in Orange, CA, to discuss the details of your case and find out how he can help you with your injury claim.
It is Likely the Driver’s Fault
Whether or not a pedestrian uses a crosswalk to cross the road, it is often the driver who is the culprit. As a general rule, drivers are duty-bound to stay alert against all kinds of hazards including pedestrians. The driver already knows that people cross the road at the crosswalk. Since the legal duty of the driver at a crosswalk is much clearer than the pedestrian’s, your case against the driver is often very strong. However, there can be exceptions to these types of pedestrian accidents.
If you were hit by a moving vehicle in the crosswalk, you can hold the driver liable for his or her negligent driving. It is also possible to sue the city government for walk signal malfunctioning or poorly visible crosswalk lines.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
After you have been hurt in a crosswalk accident, things can get really chaotic. The first priority should be to seek immediate medical help so that your life can be saved. So, give the emergency services a quick call. On their arrival, tell them briefly what led to the crosswalk accident.
Hit and runs are very common when a pedestrian is hit. The driver knows that the injured person is unable to chase them. So, the former tries to flee to avoid getting recognized or caught. Therefore, it is for the pedestrian to quickly get out their cell phone and take photos of the vehicle that hit him or her. In fact, you should try to gather as much evidence as you can.
Key things you should do include:
Note down the name of the driver
Get the driver’s insurance information
Collect names and contact information of witnesses
Take the photo of the vehicle involved
Take photos of obstructions, if any
If the traffic lights were not functioning properly, you can take a photo of the same as well. Likewise, you should take pictures of any other obstructions, which might have led to the crosswalk car crash. The more evidence you have, the stronger you are against the driver. It will help your personal injury attorney to build an air-tight case and demand maximum compensation.
What Claims Can I Raise?
Who you can bring the claims against depends on what reasons led to the crosswalk accident. While the driver is most likely to be at fault in most cases, you can sue the local municipality along with the driver. The local municipality is liable for your pedestrian accident if certain bad street conditions contributed to the accident. For example, if the traffic lights failed to function properly or the street planning was poor, the local municipality should also be held accountable.
If You Hear from the Driver’s Insurance Company
If you were hurt in a pedestrian crosswalk accident, you should expect to get a call from the driver’s insurance company. You hear from them because they want to hear what actually happened. However, you need to exercise a great deal of caution while telling them and recording your statement.
The driver’s insurer will try to avoid paying you the compensation you rightly deserve. Worse still, they will try to make it look as if it was totally your fault. Be prepared to make a strong rebuttal if you hear them say anything such as “You were not looking to the other side” or “You were drunk” or “You were listening to loud music”. This is their tactic to deny compensation. So, if you receive a phone call from the insurance company, be prepared. Simply tell them that you will get back to them after consulting with your attorney as soon as you can.
A personal injury attorney will help you understand the case. He will guide you throughout the entire process of recovering from your financial loss. The attorney will always work to protect your best interests.
Discuss Your Rights with Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Mr. Yneges
If you sustained injuries in a crosswalk accident due to the driver’s negligent driving or speeding, you should head straight to The Accident Injury Law Center (TAILC) and have a discussion with Mr. Yneges.
A highly competent car accident attorney, Mr. Yneges specializes in building up a strong case against the driver in a pedestrian accident. He also maximizes the value of your case so that you can receive fair injury compensation for your physical and emotional loss. He will explain every detail of your case. It will help you understand where you stand legally. He will also show you how you should proceed and how your case should be prosecuted most vigorously.
To schedule your free consultation with Mr. Yneges, you can give us a quick phone call or send us a form. We respond to all phone calls and forms to get the injury claims process started without any delay.
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