Unmarked crosswalk accident lawyers in California
In the 1930s, American officials were looking for a way to reduce deaths and injuries among pedestrians. They tried several methods, including putting up physical barriers to keep people from walking into streets and even installing rudimentary crossing signals. It wasn’t until the fall of 1951 that the world’s first crosswalk was painted on a road in Slough, England. Also known as a zebra crossing, the crosswalk has likely saved numerous lives. Yet, many crosswalks remain unmarked and pedestrians injured in unmarked crosswalks have legal rights.
If you were injured in an accident that involved one of these types of crosswalks, you can benefit from contacting a knowledgeable Los Angeles unmarked crosswalk accident lawyer. Your attorney can investigate how your accident occurred, who is responsible, and how much money you should receive to fairly compensate you for your damages.
What is an unmarked crosswalk?
Marked crosswalks are located in a controlled location; for example, where traffic signals are placed to control vehicles and pedestrians. Not all crosswalks are in these controlled areas, and some are not even required to be marked. An unmarked crosswalk is one that does not have any paint, signs, lights, or anything else that designates it as such.
Specific requirements exist for all crosswalks, such as their accessibility. However, the laws are different from one state to the next. Generally, roads found in residential areas are labeled as unmarked crosswalks. Pedestrians are allowed to cross the road at any point in unmarked crosswalks. However, they are not to put themselves or other drivers in danger when doing so. Depending on the circumstances, a Los Angeles unmarked crosswalk accident attorney can help pedestrian victims explore their legal options for recovering compensation for their damages.
Does the law protect you in an unmarked crosswalk?
Among the most common types of pedestrian accidents in California are those that occur in marked and unmarked crosswalks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Pedestrian Crash Report reveals that nearly 9% of all fatal pedestrian crashes occur while the victim is within a crosswalk.
As such, California law legally protects all pedestrians. All motorists are required to stop and let pedestrians safely cross the road before they pass through the intersection. Even if you were hit in an unmarked crosswalk, the law still protects you, and you can hire a personal injury lawyer to file a claim on your behalf. However, your legal protections will be limited by the following caveats:
- The presence of a “Do Not Cross” sign or light posted or flashing.
- That you allow a reasonable time (and space) for a driver to notice you and be able to stop—you cannot simply enter a crosswalk without looking first.
Whether you will be able to recover compensation depends on a variety of factors, and it may even be the case that the amount you can recover may be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. An attorney familiar with personal injury law will be able to help you explore all of your legal options.