City Liability for Dangerous Conditions
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City Liability for Dangerous Conditions

by | Mar 30, 2019 | Vehicle Accidents

A man who was struck by a vehicle three years ago at a dangerous Kansas City intersection has reportedly reached a $310,000 settlement agreement with the city. Kansas City pedestrian accident attorneys are relieved that Kansas City has finally put in a long overdue pedestrian crossing signals at the notoriously dangerous 63rd and Brookside Plaza intersection in order to reduce the number of accidents that happen there.

2016 pedestrian accident

In 2016, Steven Israelite was crossing 63rd street in front of Michael Forbes restaurant when he was struck by a car in the crosswalk. The driver claimed that she did not see him due to being blinded by the sun. Israelite sustained serious injuries to his spine, legs, and wrists and subsequently suffered a stroke, atrial fibrillation, and pulmonary embolism. Fortunately he survived the accident, but his recovery was long and difficult.

Pedestrian laws

Under Missouri law, motor vehicles are required to yield or stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks, but pedestrians are prohibited from suddenly leaving the curb when a car cannot stop. Pedestrians are required to follow traffic signals at all times, including at marked intersections. Pedestrians do not have the right of way at unmarked intersections.

Pedestrian accident liability

In Israelite’s accident at 63rd, he claimed to have looked before entering the crosswalk after which he was struck by the car. Assuming those facts are true, he had the right of way because he was in the crosswalk and did not suddenly leave the curb into the car’s path. At that time, there was not a traffic signal to stop traffic for pedestrian crossing. This would seem to put liability on the driver who did not yield to Israelite’s right of way, but Israelite claimed the city was negligent for the dangerous intersection.

Kansas City’s liability for dangerous intersection

As mentioned above, Israelite and the city reached a settlement for just over $300,000. Israelite claimed that the city was partially responsible for the accident because it failed to make the dangerous intersection safer. Many accidents had occurred prior to Israelite’s accident at that intersection, so the city was on notice that the intersection was dangerous, yet it failed to take necessary precautions to make the intersection safer.

City liability for public safety and maintenance

Municipalities are generally responsible for maintaining safe roads, sidewalks, crosswalks, and other public areas so that people are not injured by dangerous conditions. When an intersection poses a threat to the public, especially when an unusually high volume of accidents and injuries put them on notice of the danger, they are responsible for making that intersection safer. Fortunately the city has now put a pedestrian crossing signal at the intersection in an effort to reduce or eliminate the number of accidents that occur at that location.

Municipalities may be responsible for other dangerous conditions such as potholes, cracked and uneven sidewalks, missing or ineffective traffic signals and signage, and failure to warn of dangerous conditions ahead such as sharp curves in the road and blind intersections. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s fault, contact a Kansas City pedestrian accident attorney at Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C.