Sometimes pedestrian accidents happen outside of a marked crossing. You should never assume the pedestrian has responsibility in these cases because other circumstances may shift liability to the driver.
Recently, a pedestrian was hit by two vehicles while crossing Central Avenue outside of the crosswalk. He suffered most of his injuries when hit by the first driver; however, the second driver fled the scene. Police are still looking for the driver of that vehicle.
When interviewed, other pedestrians in the area admitted they also cross where the injured pedestrian crossed because it is easier to cross there. The unmarked crossing has one-way traffic in each direction. Up the road at the pedestrian crossing, there is a turn lane which makes crossing more difficult. At that crossing you must be aware of 3-way traffic.
Another contributor to driver liability is that this unmarked crossing is near a bus stop. When the bus is stopped cars speed around the bus and don’t really think about pedestrians in that area. This has caused several pedestrians to have collisions with cars at this often used crossing.
If you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian your injuries are usually covered under the policy of the driver that hit you. In a case like this one, there are other circumstances that need to be taken into consideration. The fact that the crosswalk is located in an inconvenient and more dangerous location, vehicles speeding around the parked bus, and laws set forth to protect pedestrians are just a few means of possible recovery for a pedestrian crossing outside of the crosswalk. However, North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. That means that if you are found even one percent at fault, you are barred from collecting on your claim.
Since liability is not always a clear cut picture, do not talk to any insurance adjustor or admit any fault when involved in an accident. Speak to an experienced attorney first. They can give you advice on how to handle your specific situation so that you may avoid common pitfalls that may bar recovery in your case.
Auger & Auger are skilled attorneys that understand the laws pertaining to personal injury and they can help you avoid the pitfalls of a contributory negligence claim. Don’t take the chance of making a mistake. Call us today.