When a pedestrian accident occurs at a busy intersection, there may be several possible causes. For example, a vehicle may fail to yield to pedestrians at a designated crosswalk. On the other hand, a pedestrian may fail to use a crosswalk or sidewalk and collide with oncoming traffic. In other cases, a pedestrian may lack a designated crosswalk and have no choice but to walk near traffic. Under these complex circumstances, injured pedestrians may be unsure whom to sue for their injuries or how to prove fault.
For example, according to a recent news article, a pedestrian suffered injuries after being struck at an intersection in Augusta, Maine. It is unclear whether the pedestrian was using a crosswalk when the accident occurred. An ambulance transported the pedestrian to the hospital for his injuries, where he was then flown to a Portland hospital for further treatment. The crash comes three years after Augusta officials implemented changes to improve pedestrian safety near the same intersection where the pedestrian was struck. The changes came in response to a previous pedestrian accident there. These additional safety measures included reducing the number of lanes pedestrians had to cross, and installing flashing lights to warn oncoming vehicles that a pedestrian would be crossing.
Who Has the Right of Way at an Intersection?
Maine law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at a crosswalk or sidewalk. However, in the absence of marked crosswalks, pedestrians must yield right-of-way to drivers when crossing an intersection. Pedestrians who seek to establish a driver’s fault for an accident may present evidence that they were crossing within a designated crosswalk, requiring the driver to yield to them. In fact, Maine law requires drivers to exercise due care by leaving distance between their vehicle and the pedestrian when passing through a public road. Accordingly, if a driver fails to do so, a pedestrian plaintiff can develop an argument that the driver failed to exercise ordinary care, a key component of a successful negligence lawsuit.
Who Is at Fault for Maine Pedestrian Accidents?
At the same time, problems with establishing fault may arise if injured pedestrians lacked crosswalks or other protections when they were struck by a vehicle. In this scenario, a plaintiff may seek to attribute fault for the accident to the driver. At the same time, the government may be at fault for failing to implement safety measures to avoid pedestrian accidents. Maine law grants broad immunity for government actors against claims involving bodily injury, death, or property damage, providing few exceptions. However, the government may be liable for failing to take legislative action. In theory, a plaintiff could argue the government failed to enact laws that provided for pedestrian safety measures at busy intersections. However, Maine law construes these exceptions from immunity quite narrowly. An experienced Maine personal injury attorney can help you decide the most appropriate parties to sue for your injuries.
Do You Need a Maine Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries after a Maine pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to relief. The dedicated Maine personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates possess the skills and experience to help you put your best case forward. Our team will help gather evidence and develop a case theory to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. For a free initial consultation, contact our office at 800-804-2004.