Pedestrian Crossing Accident: What You Need To Know
A pedestrian crossing accident can result in serious injury and even death. To prevent these tragedies, drivers are supposed to yield the right-of-way to people in crosswalks. An experienced attorney can help injured walkers recover pain and suffering compensation and No-Fault benefits.
Pedestrian crossing accident statistics
The pedestrian crossing accident statistics show that fatalities for people traveling by foot occurred more often when they attempted to cross the street at locations other than an intersection crosswalk. In Michigan, more than 34% of deaths from people walking are outside an intersection crossing. Nationally, the figure was 74%.
Specifically, in Michigan in 2019, “crossing not at an intersection” was the “most deadly” cause of fatalities, accounting for 34.2% of all deaths resulting from pedestrian-involved motor vehicle crashes, according to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts.
Nationally, in 2018, 74% of all deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes and people walking “occurred at locations that were not intersections,” whereas only 17% of walking fatalities occurred at intersections, according to NHTSA.
Pain and suffering compensation for a pedestrian crossing accident
If you were injured in a pedestrian crossing accident, you may be able to sue the at-fault, negligent driver for compensation for pain and suffering damages, excess medical bills, excess lost wages and other economic damages.
In order to successfully recover pain and suffering after a crash, you will need to prove the following: (1) the at-fault driver was negligent in causing the crash; and (2) you suffered a “serious impairment of body function.”
The “serious impairment of body function” requirement is the legal threshold under Michigan’s No-Fault law for car crash victims seeking to recover “noneconomic loss” damages.
Excess medical bills and excess lost wages are some of the economic damages you can recover from the at-fault driver. These damages will help to pay for your medical bills and to reimburse you for lost income that is not covered by the limits of the auto insurance policy through which you are claiming benefits and/or what is guaranteed to injured people walking under the No-Fault law.
How much compensation for a pedestrian crossing accident?
The amount of compensation you may be able to recover for a pedestrian crossing accident will depend significantly on the limits of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage.
Under Michigan law, all drivers must carry a minimum of $250,000/$500,000 in liability insurance coverage also known as third party car insurance. However, the law also gives them the option “to purchase lower limits” of $50,000 and $100,000. (MCL 500.3101(1); 500.3131(2); 500.3009(1)(a) and (b), (5))
If the at-fault driver who caused your crash was driving for Uber or Lyft or was operating a truck or commercial vehicle or was an employee of a business and acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time that he or she injured you, then the liability insurance coverage limits that apply to your crash may be higher.
The compensation after a crash can also be affected by the amount of umbrella insurance coverage the at-fault driver has as well as his or her personal assets that could be used to contribute to the compensation that he or she is liable to you for.
Crosswalk laws to prevent a pedestrian crossing accident
The crosswalk laws in Michigan are intended to prevent a pedestrian crossing accident by requiring drivers to: (1) stop before the crosswalk when the traffic light facing them turns red or yellow; and (2) yield the right-of-way to people walking in the crosswalk when the driver turns on a red or green arrow.
Here are more details about the laws intended to prevent a pedestrian crossing accident:
- When a driver turns right or left on a green light he or she “shall yield the right-of-way . . . to pedestrians . . . lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time the signal is exhibited.” (MCL 257.612(1)(a))
- When a driver encounters a “steady yellow” light, he or she must “stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at the intersection . . ., but if the stop cannot be made in safety, a vehicle may be driven cautiously through the intersection.” (MCL 257.612(1)(b))
- When a driver has a “steady red” light, he or she must “stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection . . .” (MCL 257.612(1)(c)(i))
- To turn on a “steady red” light, a driver must first stop “before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection” and then must “yield the right of way to pedestrians . . . lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.” (MCL 257.612(1)(c)(ii))
- To turn on a “steady green arrow,” a driver “may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by the arrow,” but must “yield the right-of-way to pedestrians . . . lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.” (MCL 257.612(1)(d))
People walking should also know about the following laws that protect them when they are crossing the street:
- If there are no “special pedestrian control signals” at an intersection, then pedestrians who are “facing” a green light “may proceed across the roadway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk.” (MCL 257.613(1)(a))
- If “special pedestrian control signals” have been installed at an intersection, pedestrians who have the “walk interval” signal “may proceed across the highway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right of way by the drivers of all vehicles.” (MCL 257.613(2)(a))
- For a people who have already started to cross the street when the “Don’t walk” signal comes on, the people “shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the don’t walk interval of the signal is showing.” (MCL 257.613(2)(b))
No-Fault benefits after being injured
If you have been injured in a pedestrian crossing accident in Michigan, you may be entitled to recover No-Fault PIP benefits that will help to pay for medical expenses, lost wages (if your injuries prevent you from returning to work), mileage and transportation costs for traveling to and from your doctor appointments, household replacement services and attendant care services.
You must file your application for No-Fault benefits – which is also called a “written notice of injury” – with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year of your crash. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4))
The responsible auto insurance company will be one of the following: (1) your own auto insurance company; (2) the insurer for your spouse or a relative who lives with you; or (3) the auto insurance company assigned by the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (when No-Fault coverage is not available through any other source).
Failure to timely file your application will give the insurance company a legal basis to deny all No-Fault benefits that you would have otherwise been entitled to.
Have questions? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you were injured in a pedestrian crossing accident and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced car crash attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.
(Sources: Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Fact Sheets, Pedestrians, 2019; NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts, Pedestrians, published March 2020)