Hit in the Crosswalk - Pedestrian v. Van Driver 2020
In 2017, our client, a 71-year-old, retired high school teacher, wife, mother and grandmother, sustained a life-threatening head injury and her husband a loss of consortium, when a delivery van failed to yield the right of way to her in a crosswalk as she walked home from a downtown Portland eatery with take-out for dinner. It was full dark and raining when she crossed the street with the pedestrian “WALK” signal in a marked crosswalk. As she walked in front of the delivery van stopped at the traffic signal, the van driver suddenly accelerated to turn right and knocked her down.
A Tri-Met video camera down the block captured the collision, but the image was distant and grainy, making it impossible to see when our client stepped into the crosswalk. Nor did it show the traffic and pedestrian signal lights. The video revealed a blurry image of our petite client, just as she was struck and tossed onto the roadway like a rag doll. By analyzing the movement of the other vehicles at the intersection and the signal light timing, we were able to show that our client was walking legally with the pedestrian signal in her favor and that the driver was making a right turn on a red traffic signal when he hit her.
Our client’s injuries included traumatic and subarachnoid hemorrhages and skull fractures with traumatic brain swelling. Neurosurgeons had to remove a piece of her skull to accommodate brain swelling and she developed “sunken brain syndrome” before the skull piece could be put back in place. After treatment, our client returned to most of her activities, including walking, and regained essentially all cognitive function.