It may seem obvious that the driver is automatically at fault if you get hit by a car while crossing the road. However, the law requires you to prove that you were crossing legally when the car hit you. You can then seek compensation for your damages through a pedestrian accident claim. But what if the crosswalk was unmarked? Can you still file a claim?
It may come as a surprise that California allows pedestrians to legally cross unmarked crosswalks by providing the same protection as if they were marked. However, pedestrians should still take due care for their own safety. Setareh Law can help you figure out any legal complications following an accident on an unmarked crosswalk.
Who Has the Right of Way in an Unmarked Crosswalk?
An unmarked crosswalk is a part of the street between sidewalks at an intersection. They are not specifically painted or signed as crosswalks, but they are still treated as such. According to the California Vehicle Code Section 21954, pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles on sidewalks and marked or unmarked crosswalks. At any of these places, the driver must allow adequate time for the pedestrian to cross safely, and failure to do so may result in negligent actions and filing a claim.
However, the following exceptions to receiving compensation in this instance include:
- If you cross where a “do not cross” sign or light is posted or flashing
- If the pedestrian does not allow adequate time and space for a driver to see them and stop. They must look in order to step into a crosswalk.
- If the pedestrian unnecessarily delays oncoming traffic
If you get hit by a car while doing any of the above, you can be held liable or partially liable. If you jaywalk on the street away from a crosswalk, marked or unmarked, you must yield right of way to any vehicle close enough to you to create an immediate hazard. Hiring a California pedestrian accident lawyer can help you establish fault.
What Damages Can You Recover Following a Pedestrian Accident?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident involving an unmarked crosswalk, especially due to no fault of your own, you may receive compensation. You may be able to recover damages for the following types of losses:
- Medical costs arising from the accident
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and companionship
If you are found partially liable in the accident, you will receive the compensation awarded less your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 10% at fault, you will only receive 90% of the awarded compensation. This is because California follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine to resolve personal injury claims where the fault is shared.
Also, California allows pedestrian accident victims two years from the date of the accident to file a claim, and six months if the claim is against a government entity.
Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
A pedestrian accident on an unmarked crosswalk can be complicated. It can be an opportunity for the defendant to try and confuse you into a settlement. Oftentimes, this settlement offer will be less than what you deserve. Having a lawyer by your side will ensure you get fair and reasonable compensation. A pedestrian accident lawyer will also help you by:
- Advising what you are entitled to in both a settlement and a lawsuit
- Gather evidence, such as street camera footage and eyewitnesses, to support your injury claim
- Handling all communication with the defendant’s lawyers and insurance claims adjuster
- Filing a lawsuit if no fair offer is made and representing you in court
If the accident proves fatal, a lawyer can help the surviving family of the deceased file a wrongful death or a survival action claim.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident on an unmarked crosswalk, you may be overwhelmed with any next steps to take, which is why partnering with a lawyer can greatly help you and your case. Our skilled and Spanish-speaking attorneys at Setareh Law are here to help you through every step of the claims process.
We will fight for the maximum possible compensation to cover all the damages you incurred due to the accident. Call us at (310) 659-1826 or fill out our contact form online to schedule a free consultation.