A catastrophic personal injury lawyer, like from Mishkind Kulwicki Law, CO., L.P.A., will often investigate cases arising out of a knock down in a crosswalk. Oftentimes, a negligent driver fails to see the individual, runs into the individual and knocks them to the ground. The resulting injuries can cause fractures, traumatic brain damage and death from a severe head injury.
In investigating a crosswalk injury case, a personal injury lawyer will first obtain the police report in order to identify any potential eyewitnesses. A careful police officer will obtain statements from eyewitnesses who observed the accident. Of critical importance is whether the individual was within the bounds of the crosswalk and whether they had the right-of-way. Often the right-of-way is in dispute and only the driver and the injured pedestrian know who is telling the truth.
Additional information can be obtained from surveillance cameras maintained by surrounding businesses or residences. Evidence.com is a resource for obtaining access to surveillance footage in the area of a pedestrian accident or hit and run. Surveillance videotape can also be useful in identifying criminal activity in the area of an assault, rape or murder. We have used surveillance footage to show that an individual was overindulging in alcoholic beverages at a racetrack prior to knocking down our client with his car and causing her traumatic brain injury. The videotape showed the individual drinking several beers shortly before drunk driving to his neighborhood where the injury occurred.
An investigation into a crosswalk knock down case should also include examination of the pedestrian’s clothing to determine whether the pedestrian should have been visible. The personal injury lawyer will also want to look at sunrise and sunset data to determine what degree of daylight illuminated the accident scene. Finally, weather conditions are important, because on an overcast day or fog, or rain, sleet or snow, can reduce visibility.
A careful personal injury lawyer will also visit the accident site in order to time the crosswalk signs and measure distances in order to be sure that pedestrians have adequate time to cross the intersection. Municipalities maintain signal data that will confirm how much time is allotted for pedestrians to cross the street while still having the right-of-way.
A recent lawsuit illustrates how a crosswalk knocked down case turns into a civil lawsuit. According to reports, “[t]he family of a mother of 2 young children, who was hit by a pickup truck and killed … last year, has settled a lawsuit against the driver for 1.25 million ….” The 39-year-old mother was walking in a marked crosswalk when she was fatally struck. She died in a hospital 2 days later.
The driver who struck the woman was charged by police for failure to yield to a pedestrian, reckless driving, careless driving and obstruction of a windshield for vision. He did not operate his truck in a safe manner and also did not maintain proper control of the vehicle. In some instances, a large truck, like a commercial box truck, delivery truck or semi-tractor-trailer (“semi-truck”) may cause a crosswalk knock down because the driver does not have adequate visualization in front of the vehicle. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury or wrongful death as a result of a crosswalk accident, you should contact a wrongful death lawyer or a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.