If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian while using a crosswalk, you might be unsure of your legal rights and if you have grounds for a civil lawsuit. However, the Michigan Uniform Traffic Code requires drivers to yield to pedestrians who are on crosswalks when a driver approaches.
Therefore, hiring a lawyer who is well-versed with claims arising from Michigan crosswalk pedestrian accidents might prove to be essential. No matter how clear a failure to yield was, the simple fact remains that an injured pedestrian must demonstrate that a driver was negligent in order to recover compensation in a civil lawsuit.
As a result, a pedestrian proving they were on a crosswalk at the time of the collision does not ensure that the defendant was at fault. A knowledgeable lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could help to assess the facts of your case and work to gather evidence for a persuasive claim.
Crosswalk Laws in Michigan
Michigan Uniform Traffic Code R 28.1702 states that, in situations where there are no traffic control signals—such as a stop sign or light—motorists must only yield the right of way to pedestrians who are using crosswalks. As a result, there is technically no obligation for a motorist to come to a complete stop when approaching crosswalks, unless a pedestrian is already in the road and in their lane.
Furthermore, in Michigan, a failure to follow this law is not usually a criminal offense, but rather a civil infraction. Even so, a citation for violating this rule might serve as powerful evidence in a pedestrian accident claim in Michigan. To this end, a skilled lawyer could work to determine if there are citations or relevant traffic reports that might indicate fault for a claim.
The pie chart below shows a pedestrian’s action prior to a crash in Michigan in 2018. Pedestrians involved in accidents while crossing at a crosswalk accounts for 36% of all crashes.
Filing a Civil Claim
Like with any injury claim, a pedestrian always has the burden of demonstrating that a defendant was at-fault for the incident. This is done by establishing a series of legal elements which, essentially, prove fault. These include:
- Duty—the defendant owed a legal duty of care—to, in this case, stop appropriately at a crosswalk
- Breach of duty—the defendant breached this duty of care—by, for example, failing to yield to a pedestrian
- Causation—the defendant’s breach of duty caused the collision between the pedestrian and motorist
- Damages—this accident injured the claimant and was the root cause of their associated costs that are included in a claim
Typically, in these cases, that an evaluation is conducted to determine both the potential liability of the defendant and injured plaintiff. As mentioned above, a police report indicating that an officer cited a driver for violating the state’s crosswalk rules might, therefore, be a valuable piece of evidence for a Michigan pedestrian crosswalk accident case.
Seeking Legal Help After a Michigan Crosswalk Pedestrian Accident
Because of the nuanced laws regarding crosswalks and the duties of driver’s in Michigan, you might benefit from reaching out to a seasoned lawyer if you were injured in a Michigan pedestrian crosswalk accident. Even when your injuries are apparent, demonstrating fault often involves extensive legal knowledge and exhaustive preparation.
Instead of navigating this process alone, a compassionate attorney could help to shoulder the burdens of a claim and allow you to focus on your recovery. Call a legal professional today to discuss your legal options.
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