Everything You Need to Know About Unmarked Crosswalks in California

by Staff | March 1st, 2021

Unmarked crosswalks are very common throughout California. With the absence of pedestrian traffic signals, drivers and pedestrians might be confused about who has the right of way, but fortunately the law is very clear.

First, let’s look at what an unmarked crosswalk actually is.

What Is an Unmarked Crosswalk?

An unmarked crosswalk is the extension of a sidewalk, trail, or any other pedestrian pathway. They’re located exclusively at intersections. In other words, an unmarked crosswalk is anywhere a marked crosswalk could be but does not feature painted lines or a “walk” signal.

If there are no sidewalks or pedestrian pathways near the intersection, then there is no unmarked crosswalk either. However, the rules for pedestrians using an unmarked crosswalk and the rules for crossing a street where there is no unmarked crosswalk are the same.

What Should You Do at an Unmarked Crosswalk?

As a pedestrian, you must check to make sure that stepping into the unmarked crosswalk won’t put you in the way of oncoming traffic that presents a safety risk, for example, vehicles that are rapidly approaching and not stopped at a traffic signal or far away. However, once a pedestrian starts crossing the road, drivers should yield the right of way to the pedestrian.

Who Is at Fault When a Driver Hits a Pedestrian Using an Unmarked Crosswalk?

California law states that a pedestrian has a “duty of using due care for his or her safety.” That means they can’t walk into oncoming traffic. So, as long as the pedestrian entered the unmarked crosswalk safely, they may be able to hold the driver responsible for any injuries they suffer.

Determining fault isn’t always simple in cases involving a pedestrian collision. Drivers often assert, rightly or wrongly, that they weren’t at fault for the crash. Witnesses to the collision can be valuable resources for injured pedestrians who need to prove a driver’s fault when seeking compensation. Street cameras can also help establish liability in pedestrian collision cases.

What to Consider If You Were Injured at an Unmarked Crosswalk

If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver for the costs of your injury. It’s essential you also seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the injury.

In the hours, days, or weeks following your injury, you might be contacted by a representative of the driver’s insurance company. They’ll want you to give them a statement on the record. It’s important that you NOT speak to that representative.

Insurance companies often attempt to offer lowball settlements to injured people. It’s possible the offer an insurer makes you will be nowhere near enough to cover the many costs you face due to the actions of the at-fault driver.

Consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your injury occurs. Your lawyer will be able to help you determine how much you’re owed and deal with the insurance company on your behalf to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Need Legal Help? Get Berg!

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California car accident attorneys have years of experience fighting for the maximum amount of compensation our clients deserve. We offer free consultations to help you explore your legal options. Contact our team today to get started.