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Pedestrians who always wait to cross the street until they have reached a crosswalk should be able to expect that they will not be at risk of injury in a crosswalk accident involving a motor vehicle driver. Yet motorists often fail to pay attention or fail to stop at crosswalks, leading to serious collisions involving pedestrians. When a driver crashes into a pedestrian and causes a crosswalk accident, it is important for that pedestrian engage a crosswalk accident lawyer and file a claim for financial compensation and to hold the negligent motorist accountable.Drivers Must Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalks
Each state has traffic laws pertaining to motorists and crosswalks, most of which make it a citable offense for a driver to move through a crosswalk without stopping for pedestrians. Under Section 21950 of the California Vehicle Code, for example, drivers are required to yield the right-of way to any “pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”
The law further specifies that a driver who is approaching a pedestrian within a marker or unmarked crosswalk must “exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
In other words, motorists owe a duty of care to pedestrians crossing the street. If motorists do not exercise due care when driving through a crosswalk and a pedestrian is injured, that motorist can be liable for injuries in the crosswalk accident.Filing a Crosswalk Accident Claim
If you were injured in a crosswalk accident, the first step toward seeking compensation is to get in touch with a crosswalk accident attorney about your case. The sooner you speak with a personal injury attorney who has experienced handling crosswalk accident claims, the sooner you can be eligible to receive compensation.
You should also know that California’s personal injury statute of limitations requires any pedestrian injured in a crosswalk accident to file a lawsuit within a particular period of time. Most crosswalk accident lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. Yet in some cases where the at-fault party is a government employee or entity, the statute of limitations may be reduced to six months or one year from the date of the accident.Comparative Fault in a Crosswalk Accident Lawsuit
Even if you are partially at fault for the crosswalk accident, you should still file a claim. The California Vehicle Code, for example, emphasizes that a pedestrian in a crosswalk still has a “duty of using due care for his or her safety” when crossing the street. But even if you are partially at fault, California’s comparative fault law still allows you to recover damages. Your total recovery will simply be reduced by your own percentage of fault.Contact a Crosswalk Accident Lawyer to File a Claim
If you or someone you love sustained severe injuries in a crosswalk accident, you should begin the process of filing a claim as soon as possible. An aggressive crosswalk accident attorney at our firm can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm to begin working with a personal injury lawyer on your case.