Who is Liable if a Pedestrian is Injured in an Unmarked Crosswalk?
Who is Liable if a Pedestrian is Injured in an Unmarked Crosswalk?

According to the California Vehicle Code, pedestrians have the right of way when walking in a marked crosswalk. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, drivers have a legal duty to yield to that pedestrian.

But what if you were hit while crossing the street, but not in a marked crosswalk? Does that mean the driver is not liable for your injuries? The short answer is no—it does not absolve the driver from legal responsibility. However, it can make it more complicated.

Defining a Crosswalk in California

First off, where you were crossing the street is significant. If you were crossing at an intersection but not in a marked crosswalk, you still have the right of way. In California, every intersection is considered a crosswalk, regardless of whether it is marked. While crossing in a marked crosswalk is usually a safer option, this is not always possible, especially on more rural roads. If you were struck while crossing at an intersection, it is still considered to be a crosswalk, and the driver can still be liable for your injuries.

Crossing Outside of a Crosswalk

If you were crossing the street outside of a marked crosswalk or intersection, things might be a little more complicated. Drivers are of course still responsible for safely operating their vehicles to avoiding hitting pedestrians. However, pedestrians are also expected to uphold the law, which requires that pedestrians yield the right of way to vehicles when they are walking outside of a crosswalk.

That doesn’t mean that a driver who hits a pedestrian outside of a crosswalk automatically escapes liability, though. A driver is still required to “exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway,” according to the California Vehicle Code. A driver can still be considered partly or fully liable for a pedestrian’s injuries if he failed to slow down or stop for the pedestrian.

“Pedestrians should always cross the street at an intersection—preferably a marked crosswalk. However, in cases where pedestrians were struck while crossing outside of an intersection, they can still be entitled to compensation if the driver was negligent. If you were injured in this type of accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case further,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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