Pedestrians are a common sight in any metro region, and that includes the East Valley area. Millions of tourists visit Arizona every year. In addition, many of the people who work and live here take advantage of the dry weather to walk where they need to go. The downside to this is that it sometimes leads to collisions between pedestrians and cars, many of which happen at a crosswalk. Personal injury attorneys have represented numerous people who have suffered pedestrian crosswalk injuries.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence statewide – not just in the Valley region. Every year more than 1,500 collisions take place, and nearly all of them result in some form of injury. Those numbers hold relatively steady from year-to-year with no sign of decreasing anytime soon.
Besides the overall statistics, the frequency of crosswalk collisions are especially worrisome. Of those who find themselves injured in pedestrian accidents, about half of them take place while crossing the road. Of the hundred or so fatal pedestrian accidents statewide every year, more than 80% of them are due to injuries sustained when being struck by a car at a crosswalk.
Not surprisingly, the majority of pedestrian crosswalk accidents occur during the day simply because of the higher traffic volume, both on the road and on foot. However, the ones that happen after dark often cause more serious injuries or death. Eight out of every ten pedestrian fatalities in the state of Arizona take place during the nighttime hours.
Whenever a person is injured or killed in a pedestrian crosswalk accident, they or their loved ones could have legal options for pursuing damages. The result of the lawsuit would depend largely on the specifics of the case and should be discussed with an experienced pedestrian injury attorney. The details of the incident would determine who was at fault and if comparative negligence took place, which means the pedestrian was at least partially at fault for causing the accident.
Basic traffic laws dictate behaviors within Arizona crosswalks. Pedestrians can cross the street within those crosswalks when it is safe to do so, typically when a traffic signal gives the indication. If no traffic signal is available, pedestrians are to check for oncoming traffic from all directions and cross only when it can be done safely. Once the crosswalk has been entered under reasonable circumstances, pedestrians automatically have right-of-way.
A lot of crosswalk accidents occur because motorists either forget that they do not have the right-of-way or they miscalculate whether their driving could injure a pedestrian. Distracted drivers and motorists who simply did not see a person on the street are other frequent causes of vehicle and pedestrian collisions. It is especially important for an attorney to examine the case if any of these types of negligent behaviors have taken place.
Most often, the previously described scenarios would ultimately find that the driver who harmed the pedestrian was being negligent behind the wheel. This would mean the pedestrian (or the family, in the case of a fatality) would be entitled to monetary compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income, among other damages. However, there will be situations where it is determined both the motorist and the pedestrian caused the collision.
In the event of comparative negligence, Arizona law uses something called the pure comparative negligence standard. This means the court decides the level of responsibility for each party and whether the damages for which the defendant would otherwise be held accountable can be reduced based on plaintiff liability. This generally happens if the pedestrian crossed the street against traffic or ran into the road and the driver had little chance of avoiding a collision.
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a pedestrian crosswalk accident, please consider contacting our attorneys to schedule an initial consultation.