Unfortunately, many locations aren’t easy for pedestrians to travel around as they are built with cars in mind. Because of this car-centric design, many drivers do not pay attention to pedestrians, leading to a number of tragic incidents. Crosswalk accidents are far too common, and determining liability can be challenging without witnesses. The following blog explores everything you need to know if you were injured by a negligent driver in a crosswalk accident. You’ll also discover how a Broward County pedestrian accident lawyer can help you receive the justice you are entitled to.
How Is Liability Determined in a Crosswalk Accident?
There is a shared responsibility between pedestrians and motorists alike to avoid crosswalk accidents. In almost all instances, pedestrians have the right-of-way, meaning drivers must yield, allowing them to use the crosswalk. However, if a vehicle is too close to the crosswalk to safely stop as a pedestrian approaches, the driver can’t be held responsible. This means that pedestrians must also exercise caution when utilizing crosswalks. Those traveling on foot are not allowed to dart out into a crosswalk, as a vehicle may approach that does not have time to brake. Similarly, pedestrians need to pay attention; staying alert to their surroundings is vital.
As previously mentioned, drivers are traditionally liable for injuries inflicted on pedestrians and, in some cases, may even be responsible if the pedestrian is struck while jaywalking. For example, if a vehicle is 300 feet away and a pedestrian steps into the street outside the crosswalk, the driver can still be responsible for hitting them, as they have enough time to break. Also, cars at stoplights may be unable to make left or right-hand turns if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk with a “walk” signal, as they have the right-of-way, even if the car has a green light.
What Should I Do if I’m Injured?
If you were struck by a negligent driver while you were in a crosswalk, you’ll want to ensure you take the proper steps to protect yourself. If you are physically able to do so, you’ll want to take photos of the vehicle, including the license plate. You should contact emergency services immediately to request a police presence and emergency medical services.
If the driver does not stop, it can be challenging to hold them responsible as you will not have your information. You should immediately try to recall the make and model of the vehicle and any distinguishing features like tinted windows, a unique license plate, or damage to the car. You can also speak with local homes and businesses to see if they captured the footage of the accident on a security camera, which can help identify the driver.
The most important thing to do when injured in a crosswalk is to contact the Finizio Law Group to speak with a seasoned personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Though the statute of limitations in Florida is two years, the sooner you file, the better. Contact our legal team today to learn more about how we can help you navigate these circumstances.