Who’s liable for a broken walk signal?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - November 28, 2023
Compensation for injured pedestrians
The chances of someone getting hit by a car are higher when there’s a broken walk signal. Pedestrians may have to guess when to cross, or drivers may not realize they should stop and yield the right-of-way to those on foot.
Suppose you’ve been struck by a car while trying to cross at an intersection with a crosswalk light malfunction. In that case, you may be able to seek compensation from the driver who hit you and the municipality in charge of ensuring that the crosswalks are safe.
A skilled Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you learn your rights. Call us today at (800) 985-1819.
Pedestrian accidents caused by a broken walk signal
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDoT) notes that obstructed signs and broken crosswalk lights are a safety risk and could result in lawsuits against the municipalities responsible for their upkeep.
Although Illinois rules of the road cover when a pedestrian has the right of way, it can get more complicated when there is a broken crosswalk button or walk/don’t walk signal. Driver and pedestrian confusion can easily increase the odds of an accident.
Liability in pedestrian accidents caused by malfunctioning crosswalk signs
Liability in these cases may not be clear-cut. It depends on the circumstances of the accident. Usually, drivers, pedestrians, and others on the road should treat an intersection with a broken traffic sign as a four-way stop. If you don’t stop, you could be liable for an accident, even if you’re the pedestrian.
If a pedestrian follows Illinois traffic laws and is struck by a car, the driver will likely be liable. However, if the accident happened because of a malfunctioning traffic signal, you may also have grounds to name the municipality as a defendant in your pedestrian accident claim.
How do I file a pedestrian accident suit against the government?
For the most part, states and cities have sovereign immunity or protection from lawsuits. However, there are a few exceptions for injured parties to file claims if the city or a city employee is responsible for property damage, bodily injury, or both.
Illinois exceptions are as follows:
- Illinois Court of Claims Act, limiting sovereign immunity and setting a statute of limitations of one year from the date of the accident to file a claim.
- Claims Against Municipalities, which contains limitations stated in the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, including the statute of limitations for filing the claim.
Proving liability against a government entity
Proving liability against the municipality that failed to maintain safe crossings for pedestrians works much like proving liability against another party. Your Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer must establish that the municipality must ensure that crosswalks are in good working order. You must also prove that the municipality knew about the damaged walk signal or should reasonably have known about it and did not repair it within an acceptable period of time.
Once your lawyer establishes negligence on the part of the municipality, they connect that negligence to the accident. They’ll demonstrate that the damaged walk signal was the cause or a significant contributing factor to the accident.
Finally, your lawyer must show that you suffered harm from the accident, like bodily injury or financial loss.
Our attorneys can take on even the most complex multi-defendant cases
Pedestrian accident claims against the government can be more complicated than those against the negligent driver alone. We’re here to help. We have the knowledge and resources to pursue a tough case against the government and secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today at (800) 985-1819 for a free consultation.