You have certain rights as a pedestrian in Minnesota, the most basic being that you have the right to legally cross intersections without being injured. When we think about pedestrian injuries, you probably picture a person crossing the street and getting hit by a car, but pedestrians can also receive claims if they slip and fall due to negligence of the city or property owner. Today, we take a closer look at your rights as a pedestrian in Minnesota.
Pedestrian Accidents In Minnesota
The advent of the smartphone has made it easier for people to stay in touch with one another when we’re on the go, but it’s hard to believe that their rise in popularity and the rising number of pedestrian deaths in Minnesota aren’t in some ways linked. More people own a smartphone than ever before, and it’s not that surprising that Minnesota saw its highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in decades in 2016. 60 people died after being struck by a vehicle in Minnesota last year, the highest total since 1991. Similar trends were seen in the cities and the suburbs.
Slip and fall pedestrians accidents are also far too common in Minnesota, but that’s due to part to our unpredictable seasons. Heavy rain, sheets of ice and feet of snow are all common here in Minnesota, and these can all serve to make walkways slippery. If the city or a property owner fails to take due care of their sidewalks or crosswalks, and you are injured because of it, you can seek compensation under Minnesota’s personal injury law.
Partial Fault Rights For Pedestrians Minnesota
At the basic level, pedestrians are granted more freedom and drivers are assumed more responsibility when crossing city streets or walkways. The drivers assume more responsibility because they are operating heavy machinery that could kill a pedestrian if they were to collide.
Both drivers and pedestrians have certain rights as they are getting from one point to another. At crosswalks with a signal, pedestrians are given the right of way until the “Don’t Walk” sign returns, and at unsignaled intersections, drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians. This isn’t always the case, so always be aware of your surroundings and ere on the side of caution.
If you are injured by a vehicle while you were legally crossing the street, you can file a personal injury claim. If you were partly to blame for the accident, you can still file for an injury award because Minnesota is a partial law state. We’ll give some examples to help explain this. Note that the below percentages are just being used as estimates, and are not a defined percentage by the state.
1. You are crossing the street with the walk sign when a driver makes an illegal right turn on a red light and strikes you. The driver would likely be considered 100% at fault, and you would be entitled 100 percent of a jury award.
2. It’s dark out, and you’re nearing a crosswalk when the signal starts to change. Not wanting to wait for the next light, you dart across the road outside of the crosswalk. A car making a legal left turn goes through the intersection and strikes you. A review of the driver’s phone finds they were texting at the time of the accident. In this instance, the jury may find you 50 percent at fault for running across the street outside of the crosswalk at night. If the jury determines your injury would be worth $100,000 if the driver was completely at fault, you’d be entitled to 50 percent, or $50,000 since you partially contributed to the injury.
3. After a night of drinking, you decide to bike home instead of driving. Wearing dark clothes and without flashers on your bike, you ride through an intersection when the signal says stop. A grandma driving the speed limit clips your bike and you break your arm. A jury may find you 90 percent at fault, meaning you’d be entitled to 10 percent of a normal award.
Again, these percentages are by no means set in stone, and they can fluctuate depending on how good your personal injury firm is, but they help explain your partial fault rights as a pedestrian. The biggest takeaway in that last sentence is the part about your legal representation, because the better case they can prove, the bigger payday you are entitled to receive.
At Hey Workers, we’ve handled countless pedestrian injury claims and have fought hard for our clients’ rights. If you’ve been injured by a vehicle or during a slip and fall accident, even if you were partly at fault, reach out to the lawyers at Hey Workers today.