Posted on March 31, 2010 in Personal Injury
As a pedestrian, just because you have a "walk" light or a painted
crosswalk doesn’t mean it’s safe to cross the street. If you step in
front of a moving vehicle, even if that vehicle has a red light, you
will carry a share of the blame for your injury. Please, be careful!
Look both ways and make sure it is safe. "Right of way" is a legal
concept and it won’t save you from serious injury.
A few years
ago I got a phone call from a woman who told me she was crossing the
street in the crosswalk, with the light, and was hit by a Metro bus. I
asked her to come in to discuss the case, and we obtained the police
report. The report named several witnesses. When I called the
witnesses they all said the same thing: The light had in fact changed,
but the oncoming bus was in the middle of the intersection. When the
light changed, she immediately stepped into the street RIGHT IN FRONT OF
THE ONCOMING BUS! Fortunately, the woman was not seriously injured,
but I had to decline the case.
Washington is a "comparative
liability" state. That means each person involved in a collision is
responsible for their share of the fault. In the above example, even
though the pedestrian technically had the right of way, logic tells us
that she was almost entirely responsible for the injury.
roads are dangerous. Drivers are angry and aggressive. Everyone is in a
hurry. Please, take the time to insure your own safety before stepping
into traffic. Your health and the welfare of your family is worth it.