Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “Are the laws or rules applying to a wrongful death claim different from a personal injury not involving death?”
A fatal pedestrian accident in Charlotte involving a high school student has highlighted the city’s crosswalk safety concerns. The 16-year-old Garringer High School student sustained critical motor vehicle injuries after being struck by a car near the intersection of Eastway Drive and E. Sugar Creek Rd., according to WBTV.
The student was lying in the road with visible injuries when the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department arrived. The initial investigation revealed that the high school student was crossing the road in a marked crosswalk when the collision occurred.
Witnesses alleged that the driver, who remained on the scene, had the green light, while the 16-year-old student did not have the right of way despite crossing in a marked crosswalk. The investigation has yet to determine whether the student’s family members have legal grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim against the motorist.
If you were struck while crossing the road, contact a Charlotte car accident attorney from Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to recover maximum personal injury compensation.
Crosswalk Safety Concerns in Charlotte
The intersection where the fatal accident occurred in Charlotte is the same intersection where another student from the same high school died while crossing the street back in 2012.
More than seven years ago, a car struck and killed a female high school student. After her death, her mother fought alongside the school district to implement safety improvements to the intersection.
The city added crosswalks and pedestrian lights to address the crosswalk safety concerns, but, apparently, it was not enough to prevent another pedestrian death.
The police investigation showed that neither impairment nor speeding was a suspected factor in the collision.
North Carolina’s Pedestrian Safety Law
North Carolina law provides specific protections to pedestrians to promote safety and avoid harm in pedestrian and car accidents.
In North Carolina, drivers of motor vehicles must yield the right of way to persons attempting to cross the road with a crosswalk. Pedestrians also have the right of way when cars are emerging from alleys, driveways, parking lots, and private roads.
A breach of this duty of care makes car drivers liable for pedestrian crashes and may require them to pay for the injured party’s subsequent medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages and losses.
Establishing that a driver violated any of these laws is key to obtaining compensation via a personal injury claim. Knowledge of state crosswalk laws can play a significant role in determining liability in pedestrian accident claims.
North Carolina’s Contributory Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents
The contributory negligence standard followed by North Carolina makes it more challenging for pedestrians to recover damages. The doctrine of contributory negligence bars a plaintiff who shares even minimum responsibility for causing the incident from recovering any compensation.
For example, a pedestrian who was struck by a motor vehicle may be found partially liable if he or she crossed the street without using a crosswalk, or crossed the road against the light. A pedestrian who shares responsibility is likely barred from receiving financial compensation in North Carolina.
That is why it is vital to have a Charlotte car accident attorney by your side to assign blame properly and ensure that you are eligible to recover compensation. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to get a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828 or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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