I Was Hit By a Car While Crossing the Road at an Unmarked Crosswalk. Do I Have a Case?
Drivers are not always at fault for car accidents involving pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks, even if there is a pedestrian crossing sign. In cases where a pedestrian has violated a traffic rule, such as jay walking laws, it can be difficult to bring a valid claim against the driver.
This article can help you answer common questions about pedestrian accidents:
- Do I need a pedestrian accident lawyer?
- How can a pedestrian accident lawyer help me?
- What is the difference between a marked and an unmarked crosswalk?
- Do pedestrians have the right of way at every pedestrian crossing?
- Is liability for unmarked crosswalk accidents shared?
- Why are comparative negligence laws and modified comparative negligence laws important?
- How do I find the best pedestrian accident attorney for me?
Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
If you were hurt while crossing the road at an “unmarked crosswalk,” you may be entitled to compensation. The unique circumstances of your case determine whether liability attaches to the driver, or some other party. For this reason, at an early stage, an experienced attorney is a valuable resource.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A skilled pedestrian accident attorney will:
- Evaluate the facts of the accident case
- Provide detailed guidance on whether you have a legal claim, and
- How you should proceed
What Is the Difference Between a Marked and Unmarked Crosswalk?
What Is a Crosswalk?
Technically, a crosswalk is an area of road where street intersections occur. It is a part of the prolongation, or connection of sidewalk boundaries. This includes marked crosswalks, where signs are in place to warn you, and unmarked crosswalks.
What Is an Unmarked Crosswalk?
Unmarked crosswalks connect sidewalk boundaries at an intersection. They involve any area where two roads intersect at a right angle. If you imagine a four-way stop where two roads have sidewalks on their border and meet at an approximate right angle, an unmarked crosswalk exists between all of the corners that connect the sidewalks.
Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way at Every Pedestrian Crossing?
This may not be obvious, but pedestrians sometimes have the right of way when crossing at an unmarked cross. Pedestrians always have the right of way when crossing a marked crosswalk, but street signs can make pedestrian crossings illegal. With unmarked crosswalks, the right of way is not absolute. Rules of the road vary by state, so injuries from accidents at unmarked crosswalks can be more complicated legally.
How Can You Avoid an Accident in an Unmarked Crosswalk?
Drivers must operate their vehicles with reasonable care and safety. If they do not cross via a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles. Drivers could be held liable for an accident leading to a collision, if they fail to slow down or stop for a pedestrian.
Negligent and Reckless Driving
If the driver who caused your injuries broke traffic laws, they may also be found liable for negligent or reckless driving. Examples can include:
- Intoxicated or drunk driving
- Distracted driving
Is Liability For Unmarked Crosswalk Accidents Shared?
The sharing of liability can happen. It depends on state laws, and on the facts of your case.
Comparative Negligence Laws
Comparative negligence laws reduce the damages in proportion with the plaintiff’s own contribution of fault. In pure comparative negligence states, like California, there is no fault threshold. For example, if the plaintiff is found 10 percent at fault for their own injuries, they have the right to recover up to 90 percent of the total damages. This is important in crosswalk accident disputes, as pedestrians may be partially at fault.
Modified Comparative Negligence Laws
Modified comparative negligence states, like Oregon, are different. There, the plaintiff’s fault cannot exceed 50 percent. If the plaintiff is 51 percent at fault for the accident, for example, they cannot recover ANY damages from the defendant. However, if they are 50 percent at fault or less, they can recover damages.
Injured at an Unmarked Crosswalk? Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Guidance.
For pedestrians who try to cross at any roadway other than a marked crosswalk, the legal expectation is that they give the right-of-way to passing vehicles. So, if a car hit you at an unmarked crosswalk, and you suffered injuries, you may have a right to recover damages.
Unmarked crosswalk cases are inherently complex, and the amount of compensation you can potentially recover depends on the circumstances of the case. You’ll need extensive legal knowledge, experience, and expertise to succeed. As such, an attorney is a valuable resource at every stage.
Take the first steps by working to find the right pedestrian accident lawyer for your case. Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 or contact us to get started with a free legal consultation.