If a pedestrian is injured on a road that is not up to standards, they may have a claim against the state governmental entity that designed the road, a local government agency that designed the road, or a private contractor hired by one of these governmental entities to design the road. This claim may be based on a legal theory of defective road design or faulty road maintenance (or a failure to maintain roads in a seat condition).
The governmental entity may be responsible because it failed to provide a sidewalk or guardrails to protect pedestrians from traffic. Similarly, the failure to provide adequate signage and traffic control devices can lead to a claim for the negligent, defective, or dangerous design of a road causing a pedestrian’s injury.
As pedestrian accident lawyers, we work with accident investigators and experts so that we many understand the circumstances that existed at the accident scene.
Marked Crosswalks Can Lead to Pedestrian Death
In a tragic case in Kansas City, a young woman was killed while walking across a busy street in a crosswalk. Unfortunately, there were no signals to warn oncoming drivers of the crosswalk.
In finding against Kansas City, the Court found that the city was liable because the existence of a crosswalk, without adequate warnings to cars, tended to enhance the danger to a pedestrian by creating an illusion that there was a zone of safety within the crosswalk. The danger that existed was that a pedestrian who crossed in front of a lane of cars might have difficulty seeing around these cars to be able to spot oncoming cars in the adjacent lane. Similarly, oncoming vehicles in the adjacent lane might have difficulty seeing the pedestrian. Therefore, there was a need to alert vehicles to the potential danger posed by pedestrians.
In daily situations drivers often become impatient with stopped traffic in their lanes, and decide to change lanes to go around the stopped traffic. They may make lane changes, even when they are uncertain as to the reason for the stopped traffic.
If there is a crosswalk with pedestrians, such as if they are in a school zone, the drivers may hit pedestrians, even school children. The more signs, signals, or flashing lights that exist to warn the driver, the more likely the driver is to discern that a pedestrian could be crossing.
Cities and Municipalities Can Be Responsible for Pedestrian Deaths
This tragic case illustrates that even if a pedestrian is struck in a marked crosswalk, cities and other municipalities can still be liable (in addition to any liability of the responsible driver).
Call Our Firm If You Have Been the Victim of a Pedestrian Accident
We carefully investigate pedestrian accidents so that we can understand the totality of the event. Once this is understood, we seek to hold all parties accountable for the damages that they caused.
It’s important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible so that important evidence can be preserved. If you hire our firm, we will work for you on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is no fee to us unless and until we recover damages for you. We will meet with you for a free, no-cost private consultation so that we may learn about your case.
Please call us today to get started.