Finding Unmarked Crosswalks

Posted by Craig F. Schauermann | Jan 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

Street signs are usually easy to pick out… but what about unmarked crosswalks?

Think You Know Where Crosswalks are Located?

Crosswalks can be “marked” and “unmarked”.  The Revised Code of Washington (the Washington laws) are clear that a “crosswalk”:

….means the portion of the roadway between the intersection area and a prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line ten feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk.  RCW 46.04.160

What all of this means is that a “crosswalk” can be “unmarked.”  Simply put, if you are at the corner of an intersection there exists a crosswalk that is ten feet wide between the corners of the intersection- whether or not it is painted on the asphalt.  The pedestrian has the right of way in the crosswalk—whether it is “marked” or “unmarked” and vehicles must give you that right of way.

So what does this mean? RCW 46.61.235 states:

The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.”

That doesn't mean that the crosswalk is always yours—and just yours or that it will provide some sort of safety net for you if you leave the curb suddenly.  RCW 46.61.235 goes on to state:

(2) No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

There are a lot of considerations in these types of cases and determining liability can be terribly difficult—you can rest assured that if there be any doubt, more often than not an insurance company will deny liability and refuse to provide full and fair compensation for the victim of a pedestrian vs. auto collision. For this reason, if you or a loved one are injured in a crosswalk—marked or unmarked it is always wise to hire an attorney experienced in handling crosswalk cases.

The attorneys at Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS have handled cases against negligent drivers who hit pedestrians in crosswalks. We've also handled cases against cities, counties and states that failed to make their crosswalks safe for pedestrians. Knowing your rights as a pedestrian is the first step toward protecting yourself from being injured. If you are injured, consulting with an attorney experienced in protecting and enforcing those rights can be paramount in securing a recovery for your harms and losses.

About the Author

Craig F. Schauermann

Member.  Effective July 1, 2015, Craig Schauermann has transitioned from managing partner of the firm to an “Of Counsel” role with the firm. As a founding partner, along with William “Bill” Thayer, Craig's name will remain with the firm. Craig will continue his long history of mentorship to the firm's attorneys and contribute to the firm's active cases. You may contact him via this page, but he is not taking on new cases directly in his new role with the firm. Location: Vancouver, Washington Phone: 360-558-3766 Fax:               360-696-0583 Contact Craig Schuermann Emphasis: Before going of counsel July 1, 2015, Craig advised and advocated for his clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases for nearly 40 years. He continues to work part time with the attorneys in our office on matters relating to serious personal injuries and wrongful death. Professional Qualifications & Education: Bachelor of Arts, 1973 Washington State University; Juris Doctor degree, 1976 University of Puget Sound; Licensed to practice before all courts in the State of Washington, the Western and Eastern District Federal Courts of the State of Washington, and the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Professional Experience: Craig started work in Seattle as an associate with a small personal injury firm and moved to Clark County in January of 1979. He practiced exclusively after that in the State of Washington, primarily in Clark County. He was instrumental in obtaining for his clients a number of large verdicts, arbitration awards, and settlements. Professional Affiliation: Member of the Board of Governors for the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association from 1996-2001. Political Action Committee for WSAJ from 2004-2015.  Past WSTLA Eagle member for over 25 years. Past President of the Clark County Bar Association. Former Chairman of the Washington State Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education Committee. Craig has been a speaker at numerous legal education seminars. Personal: Craig and his wife are the proud parents of three children and six grandchildren. He enjoys golf, playing bridge, and traveling with his family. Areas of Practice Personal Injuries Wrongful Death Litigation Percentage 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation Bar Admissions Washington, 1977 U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington, 1993 U.S. District Court Western District of Washington, 1977 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1994 U.S. Supreme Court, 1994 Education University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, WashingtonJ.D. – 1976Washington State UniversityB.A. – 1973 Professional Associations and Memberships Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Board of Governors, 1996 – 2001 Washington Trial Attorneys Public Forum Clark County Bar Association, Past President Washington State Bar Association, Former Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Committee


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