It can be difficult to determine who is responsible for a car accident. That is something that a personal injury lawyer deals with often. Every personal injury case is different in a variety of ways because there are many factors that must be considered in determining fault. When it comes to accidents involving pedestrians, the issues can be even more complicated. As our Rogers car accident attorney understands, accidents that occur in crosswalks can be particularly serious.
The dangers of crosswalks
Crosswalks, the place where pedestrians and automobiles intersect, are an obvious danger zone. Despite the intention that crosswalks be “safe zones” for pedestrians, all too often they are the scene of tragic pedestrian accidents in Arkansas. Even when traveling at slow speeds, if a two-ton vehicle collides with a pedestrian the physical injuries are often very severe. Basically, because a person who is walking across a street has no protection, any contact with a moving vehicle will be serious, even fatal. If you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident, our Rogers car accident attorney can help you.
Why crosswalk accidents are so common
In some situations, pedestrians assume they are safe in a crosswalk and that all vehicles will yield the right of way. The reality is that the majority of the time, drivers will see someone standing at a crosswalk waiting to cross and will drive past them, expecting them to wait. That really defeats the purpose of the crosswalk because pedestrians must still cross at their own risk. However, many pedestrians expect drivers to comply with the rules of the road and yield the right-of-way to them so they walk across without hesitating. This is when accidents occur. In many cities, pedestrians walk as soon as they see the “walk” light change. Drivers, even subconsciously, feel that because they are in a bigger vehicle, the pedestrian will just have to wait for them to go by.
Pedestrian accidents in Arkansas
On the University of Arkansas campus alone, one report claims there have been at least 33 pedestrian accidents in the last five years. Three of those accidents occurred in 2017. Many people argue that the pedestrians are responsible because so many students on college campuses are “jaywalking.” However, according to the same report, 25 of those accidents actually occurred in a crosswalk. Ultimately, this means that drivers are not complying with the rules of the road and performing their duty to protect innocent pedestrians from injury.
Protections for pedestrians under Arkansas law
Under Arkansas Code § 27-51-1202, pedestrians are to be granted the right-of-way in a crosswalk unless there is a “Do Not Walk” symbol lit or flashing. In other words, all motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in clearly painted crosswalks and implied crosswalks at intersections. Unfortunately, too many drivers completely ignore the laws pertaining to crosswalks. As a result, crosswalks have become an extremely dangerous situation, further complicated by speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence.
Ultimately, each year there are dozens of pedestrian accidents in Arkansas that could be avoided if drivers followed traffic laws, slowed down, and watched for pedestrians in the crosswalks.
What happens to the at-fault drivers if they cause injuries
In most cases, drivers who violate the crosswalk laws in Arkansas are charged with traffic violations for failure to yield. This punishment alone, usually a small fine as opposed to a jail sentence, does very little to compensate a victim for his or her injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crosswalk accident in Arkansas, our Rogers car accident attorney can help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Steps to take if you are injured by a car in a crosswalk
Anyone who has been injured by a negligent driver while crossing the street in compliance with the law, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the person who was at fault. You have many options, including settlements with the insurance company representing the at-fault driver or filing a civil personal injury lawsuit in court. Our Rogers car accident attorney can assist you and your family receive the monetary compensation that will help you cover physically and financially.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.