Crosswalks are designed for protection, but are not fool proof. Let us fight for you if you have been injured while crossing the street.
A crosswalk provides a legal and safe place to cross busy streets without fear of being hit by a car. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, those crosswalks are not observed by drivers. When a car collides with a pedestrian, the results are often tragic and painful, both for the person struck and for their friends and family. While no monetary compensation may fully restore you if you’ve been severely injured by a car while using a crosswalk, you may very well need compensation for expensive medical bills and lost wages.
Common Causes of Crosswalk Accidents
Washington law requires drivers to stop and remain stopped whenever pedestrians are in a crosswalk, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked. Additionally, drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid striking pedestrians at all times. Despite these laws, pedestrians are often struck while crossing the road.
Common causes of crosswalk accidents include:
- Distracted driving caused by drivers using cell phones, eating, adjusting the radio, or other distractions.
- Speeding is a common cause of all kinds of accidents, and a leading cause of pedestrian accidents.
- Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Reckless driving.
- Drivers passing cars who are stopped to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Drivers blinded by sunlight.
- Drivers failing to take care to observe pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Failing to observe traffic signals.
While no amount of precautions can guarantee your safety, wearing bright, noticeable clothing and keeping a sharp lookout for cars that could potentially be unaware of pedestrians can help prevent accidents in a crosswalk. Additionally, it is important to always observe and obey traffic signals at a crosswalk.
Injuries and Damages from Crosswalk Accidents
Anytime a pedestrian is involved in a collision with a car, serious injuries may result. Examples of common injuries from crosswalk accidents include:
- Broken arms, legs, hands, and feet.
- Back injuries.
- Damage to internal organs.
- Broken ribs.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Deep lacerations.
- Amputation of limbs.
Injuries from a crosswalk accident often require ongoing, expensive medical treatment and specialized medical equipment for dealing with the effects of the injury after release from the hospital. In addition to medical expenses, lost wages from missed time at work can add up to financial strain, as regular bills do not stop only because you’ve been in an accident.
Even if you were partly responsible for the accident, for example, if you crossed outside of a crosswalk or against traffic signals, you may still be eligible for compensation if the driver was also partly responsible for the accident. Under Washington law, including in Vancouver, comparative negligence laws mean that your compensation will be reduced by the amount that you are found to be at fault in an accident, but your part in the accident does not bar you from receiving compensation for your injuries.
Steps to Take Today
According to the NHTSA, almost 70,000 injuries to pedestrians take place each year, including injuries to those properly using a crosswalk. If you’ve been injured, it is usually a good idea to consult an attorney about your accident to find out if you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. There are strict time limits for how long you have to file a claim after an accident, so the best advice is usually to act sooner rather than later.
While no amount of money can replace what you’ve suffered due to an injury, getting the compensation you deserve to pay for medical expenses and lost time at work is your right.
Please call NW Injury Law Center at (360) 695-1624 if you have any questions or would like to speak with us regarding a crosswalk accident or injury.