The Role of Crosswalks in a Colorado Pedestrian Accident Case

At Cook, Bradford & Levy, we are Colorado’s expert pedestrian accident lawyers and have handled a variety of car vs. pedestrian cases across Colorado. One of the questions we are frequently asked by people who have been hit by a car while walking is if it matters that they were in a crosswalk or not at the time of the crash. The short answer is that while it is a helpful factor in determining liability of the car or truck driver, it really does not matter if a person was walking in a crosswalk or not at the time they were struck. We have helped pedestrians recover hundreds of thousands of dollars whether they were hit by a car in a crosswalk, and often when they were not crossing the street in a crosswalk.

Below we will discuss in more detail what role a crosswalk plays in a car accident in which a pedestrian was hurt or even killed by the impact. If you have been injured by a car while walking, our lawyers can help. Call our award-winning attorneys today at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation so you can learn the options available to you as a pedestrian.

Examining the Crosswalk Accident and Why Where You Walk Is Not the End of the Story

Crosswalks came into existence during the rise of cities. Back in the 1860s, cities were faced with the idea of “traffic” for the very first time. In those days, traffic was made up of people walking as well as horses. This evolved to include trolleys and later, cars and trucks. The City of London was the first place to invent a method of keeping people safe from being hit by “traffic” when crossing the street, which is where the first crosswalk was invented. Today in Colorado, the crosswalk is simply a means to give pedestrians the right of way to keep them safe from speeding cars or trucks. People can still legally cross the street without a crosswalk, but that is a bit more complicated.

Who Is at Fault for Crashes in a Crosswalk?

In Colorado, cars and trucks must stop and give the pedestrian the right of way if the person is walking in a crosswalk. If a car or truck hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk, a good Colorado pedestrian accident attorney knows the truck driver will be given a ticket – and potentially sued court – for hurting the person walking. C.R.S. 42-4-802 creates the right of way for pedestrians and controls the rights of walkers and the duties cars, trucks, and motorcycles to avoid accidents. Cities like Denver, Boulder and Ft. Collins also have rules giving pedestrians the right to safely cross the street, with Denver’s regulations being found in 54-538 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code, for example. So, with few exceptions, if a person is crossing a street inside the white lines of a crosswalk, and that person is hit by a car or truck, the driver of that vehicle is not only guilty of breaking the law but is also responsible or liable for the injuries of the pedestrian which can include wrongful death, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any impairment the person has to deal with.

Do I Have Rights if I Was Hit by a Car and Not in a Crosswalk

Yes! If you were hit by a car and not in a crosswalk, you may still have a claim. An experienced Colorado pedestrian accident lawyer knows that there are laws addressing this exact scenario, which is quite common given that crosswalks do not always exist or are impractical in most scenarios where someone wants to walk across the street. Specifically, while crossing in a crosswalk is preferred and “required,” when this isn’t possible pedestrians may cross a street but need to yield the right of way to cars and trucks. C.R.S. 42-4-803 Meaning, when walking across the street with no crosswalk, walkers need to let the cars go before walking across. This is common sense. But the important part is cars and trucks also must exercise common sense to avoid hitting pedestrians, even if a person is walking outside the crosswalk. C.R.S. 42-4-807 states:

every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.

Real World Example – Hit by a Car While Not in Crosswalk

Cook, Bradford & Levy’s attorneys have helped people get financial compensation including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and physical impairment to their body. The below scenario is an example taken from an actual case where we made a successful recovery for our client.

In that case our client was taking his dog on its morning walk in a quiet residential neighborhood where there were no crosswalks nearby. Our client looked both ways before crossing the street, and seeing the no cars or trucks approaching, began crossing the street. Unfortunately, a man driving a Ford F-150 pulled out onto the street and began driving right towards the pedestrian who did not have time to safely cross the street before getting hit. The impact from the crash slammed our client onto the pavement where he sustained a serious head injury and several deep bruises.

Although the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk when hit by the truck, the truck driver was cited with Careless Driving and was found by his own insurance company to be at fault. Our client’s bills were substantial, and we were able to make a six-figure recovery for him. The payment was compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and impairment including scarring on his forehead. So to be clear, you have a valid claim – you have rights – even if you were hit by a car while crossing the street without a crosswalk.

Colorado’s Award-Winning Pedestrian Accident Attorneys – Call Us Today!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you are likely seriously hurt and potentially entitled to financial compensation for your losses. Have a lawyer review your case for free. Our firm has helped walkers, runners, and disabled people recovery financially after their crash and we want to speak with you. Our law firm will give you a free consultation where you can learn your rights under Colorado law as well as whatever city or town you were in at the time of your accident. Call us today at 303-543-1000 to arrange your free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

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“I was rear ended by a driver on his cell phone. I started with another attorney, but was not receiving adequate attention to my case. I switched to Brian and everything changed. He was attentive to my situation, listened to all I had to say, and worked to resolve my case in a timely fashion. He continued to communicate and touch base even during slow parts of the process. After the settlement was resolved, he has still reached out to check in on my health and well being. I would highly recommend Brian Bradford as a lawyer.” Randy
“A driver trying to get away from the police ran a red light and broadsided my car. My injuries affected me physically, emotionally and organizationally. Hiring Steve Cook allowed me to focus on healing while ALL the legal Issues were effectively handled by his firm. Steve's patience, honest, determination. competence and experienced evaluation of my case resulted in a great settlement without having to go to trial.” Shirley
“I was injured in a car accident and I was having a hard time getting much of a response from the insurance companies. I never thought I would resort to calling an attorney, but I am so happy that I did, and that Jason Levy was that attorney. He was respectful, knowledgeable, and kind. When I was healing from major surgery, he arranged for my deposition to take place all the way out in Harford County, at a library near my home, rather than having me come into the city. He was also very persistent with the other driver's insurance company, finally negotiating an excellent settlement” Kate