Dark Rainy Morning

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Q: Early on a dark and rainy morning, I needed to walk southbound across an east-west highway.  I waited for the light controlling its traffic to turn red.  I looked to my left and right.  At a steady normal pace, I walked through the unmarked crosswalk.  When I had almost completed crossing – in the eastbound lane – I was struck by a car.

The car had turned left from a street to my right, starting its approach from behind and to the right of me – from behind my right shoulder and out of my view.  I was basically in front of the car, but I guess the motorist did not see me.  The car had not yet completed its turn.

A: As you tell it, the story seems fairly simple.  You waited for the pedestrian signal to be in your favor before entering the crosswalk, and exercised due care by looking in both directions, and for any vehicles turning left, before you entered the crosswalk.  This motorist was under a duty to yield the right-of-way, but failed to do so.

But it is the job of the defendant’s attorney to give you a hard time.  He may argue that, given the configuration of the roadways, the car could not possibly have been behind you at the time of the impact.  He may say that you should have seen the car’s headlights – which were there to be seen through the proper use of your senses.  At deposition, the attorney may seek your admission that, actually, you failed to look to your sides and instead looked only ahead.

The defendant’s attorney may try to show that your point of impact with the car was above its left rear wheel – so that, actually, you walked into the side of a passing vehicle.  Surely, he will argue that a pedestrian’s duty of care does not end when she leaves the curb.  Instead, the duty is a continuing one, throughout the entire time of crossing across the roadway.

Even when your case seems like a strong one, never underestimate the amount of hard work your attorney may need to do, and the years it may take, for the possibility of your prevailing to become a reality.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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