When most people think of pedestrian accidents, their minds jump straight to someone being hit by a car. But really, pedestrian accidents take many forms. For instance, pedestrian accidents may happen without a car being involved at all — they can be a result of many factors, such as poor sidewalk maintenance, unsafe parking lot conditions, and construction-related issues.
There are two types of crosswalks: marked and unmarked. An unmarked crosswalk is one that extends basically from the sidewalk and curb lines across certain intersections, without painted lines. A marked crosswalk is one where there are lines painted on the roadway surface at an intersection. It is legal to cross the street in either type of crosswalk, so long as the pedestrian has the right of way. Pedestrians in an unmarked crosswalk, although crossing legally, run a greater risk of injury or death. Without painted lines to attract their attention, drivers are likely not aware when they drive through an unmarked crosswalk.
Pedestrian Accident Liability Issues
When a driver strikes a pedestrian, many liability issues arise. If the driver had the right of way then generally the pedestrian will be found at fault. But, if the driver is not paying close attention, they have responsibility. For example, even where a pedestrian is crossing outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk, drivers have an obligation to scan the roadway. When a pedestrian can be seen in the roadway for some distance, drivers should perceive the danger and react. Failing to perceive and react to a pedestrian can lead to a fatal pedestrian accident, like the one above.
Investigating Pedestrian Accidents
After a pedestrian accident, determining fault can be difficult. The driver’s attention, the pedestrian’s action and the roadway configuration all come into play. If the driver is not paying attention and should have seen the pedestrian from 100 feet away, they have some fault. If the pedestrian darts off a curb, they have the fault. On occasion, because of sight obstructions (such as a significant curve or rise in the roadway) the government is to blame. Analyzing pedestrian accidents involves careful reconstruction and expertise.