The reason the City of Philadelphia put crosswalks in years ago was to keep pedestrians safe. While pedestrians are allowed to cross anywhere they choose, the crosswalks are supposed to provide them with a safe clearing. Unfortunately, our accident attorneys in Philadelphia have seen just how quickly motorists ignore these crosswalks.
The Law in Philadelphia is Clear When it Comes to Crosswalks
According to Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code, motorists are always supposed to yield at a crosswalk. The code is very specific in that it says that until a pedestrian steps into the crosswalk, they don’t have the right of way.
However, it is clear that if a driver sees someone entering the crosswalk, they must stop and wait for the person to completely cross through the crosswalk. The driver isn’t supposed to slowly roll through the crosswalk or start to cross while the pedestrian is still protected inside that space.
Philadelphia Accident Lawyers Know That Drivers Must Yield at a Crosswalk
Your Philadelphia accident lawyer is familiar with the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. They know that the motorists are meant to stop and yield to the pedestrian. If your attorney can prove that the defendant didn’t do this, it will go a long way toward proving fault.
If the defendant claims that they didn’t see the pedestrian, it may explain their behavior, but it won’t excuse it. Your accident attorney in Philadelphia will use this to help prove that the defendant was negligent.
Pedestrians Must Still Use Common Sense When Crossing the Street
While the law does state that drivers must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, it also says that people need to use common sense. Before someone steps into a crosswalk, they need to look both ways.
Just because there are white stripes painted on the asphalt, that doesn’t take all responsibility out of the pedestrian’s hands. The defendant in your case may try to argue that you were partly (or completely) at fault.
Did the Driver Even Bother to Stop?
One thing your Philadelphia accident lawyer would need to find out is if the defendant even tried to stop. The good news is that there could be intersection cameras available to provide this information.
There could also have been witnesses to the event. Philadelphia is a busy city. There tends to be people out and about almost all times of the day.
Hopefully, the police report will identify any witnesses that saw the accident. This way, your accident attorney in Philadelphia can speak with them as well.
Did the Driver Flee the Accident Scene or Did They Wait for the Police to Arrive?
One other question your lawyer will have for the witnesses is whether the defendant even stuck around. With pedestrian accidents, it’s not uncommon for a driver to pretend they didn’t realize what had happened.
What this means is that the police aren’t always called right away. As the victim, you may not have been able to call 911.
Hopefully, a bystander will do this for you. There is also the hope that a witness would let the cops know if the driver had fled the scene after hitting you.
Your Accident Attorney in Philadelphia Will File an Insurance Claim First
Before you sue anybody, your Philadelphia accident lawyer will file an insurance claim. Ideally, your claim will be paid and you can focus on your physical recovery. However, if your claim is denied, a lawsuit may be your only option.
You may wonder why the insurance company would deny a claim filed by a pedestrian. There could be any number in reasons, such as:
- Witnesses all said that you ran out into busy traffic
- The insurance adjuster doesn’t think you were injured
- You have a history of filing these types of claims
Once your accident attorney in Philadelphia has an idea of why your claim was denied, they’ll know which direction to take your case.
Your Accident Attorney in Philadelphia Can Still Collect Damages if You’re Partly at Fault
Even if the defendant argues that you were partially at fault, you can still file suit. According to Pennsylvania statute §7102, a plaintiff can still collect damages as long as they are less than 50% at fault.
The way this rule works is that your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, imagine that you sue the other driver for $250,000. The court agrees that you were 20% at fault for your injuries.
Your damages would then be reduced by 20%, or $50,000.
Your Accident Attorney in Philadelphia Will Try to Negotiate a Settlement
Even if you were partially at fault, that doesn’t mean you’ll walk away empty handed. Your attorney is still going to try to negotiate a settlement of your case. While this may not be the outcome you had hoped for, it is how most of these cases are resolved.
As long as your accident attorney in Philadelphia can negotiate a fair settlement, it’s something you should at least consider. You can also trust that your lawyer wouldn’t entertain a settlement if they didn’t think it was fair to you.
Reach Out to an Experienced Philadelphia Accident Lawyer
If you were hit while walking in a crosswalk, you probably suffered very serious injuries. Our Philadelphia accident lawyers have represented victims in pedestrian accidents that suffered life changing injuries. If this is the situation you find yourself in, we can help.
Many of the pedestrian accident cases our accident attorneys in Philadelphia handle involve people in a crosswalk. Rather than stop to let the pedestrian cross the street, some drivers try to speed through instead.
It’s sad to think that someone can be seriously injured or even killed so that another person can save less than a minute in driving time.
We recommend that you contact our office as soon as you’re ready to speak. We understand that it may take some time for you to receive your emergency medical treatment. If need be, one of our Philadelphia accident lawyers can come to you.
We do offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. Take advantage of this opportunity and see if our attorneys can help get you the compensation you deserve.