Approximately 5,000 pedestrians lose their lives annually in motor vehicle involved accidents. Hundreds of these victims are fatally injured while attempting to lawfully cross within the borders of a crosswalk. The remainder suffer damage such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, scarring, organ or tissue damage, traumatic brain injury, and/or disfigurement.New Hampshire’s Laws Concerning Yielding to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk
Crosswalks are supposed to provide a place for pedestrians to safely cross a road. However, some pedestrians may get a false sense of security and need to always be on alert to motorists who either are ignoring the pedestrian’s right of way or who fail to observe someone in a crosswalk. While New Hampshire law requires a driver to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, pedestrians are also required to exercise care to avoid accidents. New Hampshire Revised Statute 265:35 states: "No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard." Therefore, just because you have a crosswalk doesn't necessarily mean you have the right of way. Pedestrians also have to obey traffic-control signals. If there is no marked crosswalk, the pedestrian has to yield the right of way (RSA 265:36).
So, while drivers need to be aware of where they are and what's going on around them, the pedestrian at the same time needs to be aware when they cross the roadway into oncoming traffic. Simply put, if a car is in a position where if you stepped out into the roadway, you're clearly going to get hit, you don't have the right of way.
New Hampshire state law also prevents drivers from passing another vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross the street.
We have successfully handled several cases involving disputes over whether our client, who was crossing a street in a crosswalk, “darted out” in front of a car and, according to the driver, gave the driver no chance to avoid hitting our client. One key to our success in these cases was obtaining witness statements and taking photographs and measurements of the accident scene, including skids marks left by a vehicle. In most of these cases, we have been able to show through witnesses and accident scene reconstruction that the driver was operating in excess of the speed limit. Operating a vehicle even a few miles per hour over the speed limit can make all the difference in whether an accident occurs with a pedestrian. In one recent case we handled, we were able to obtain video footage from a nearby store which corroborated our client’s account that he did not dart out in front of the defendant motorist’s car. In another case, we obtained a statement from an employee in a Dunkin’ Donuts immediately adjacent to the crosswalk where our client was hit. Our private investigator located this witness by visiting all the nearby businesses to find out who was working at the time of the accident and then tracking them down to see whether they saw or heard anything. Based on our philosophy to “leave no stone unturned” in order to get the best possible result for our clients, we were able to find a witness who was not interviewed by the police and who ultimately was crucial to our ability to win that case.
In yet another case we handled, we were able to obtain data from the motorist’s cell phone to show that she was texting immediately before the accident. Even though she claimed that she was not texting in the minute or so prior to the accident, the evidence was extremely helpful in obtaining a favorable outcome for our client.Peter Thompson & Associates: Towards Justice for all Injured Pedestrians
Peter Thompson & Associates provides excellence of legal representation to pedestrians who were hit by a motorist when trying to cross a road. Call us today at 800.804.2004 to speak with one of our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys.