California Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you've been involved in a pedestrian accident contact Bisnar Chase for a no fee consultation. We know you have questions. Let our team help cut through the redtape and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 949-203-3814 for immediate assistance.
Pedestrian Accidents and the Dangers
It is dangerous to be a pedestrian in California. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), pedestrians account for about 19 percent of all traffic fatalities. Pedestrian accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Pedestrians are usually unprotected unlike occupants of motor vehicles that are equipped with seatbelts and airbags. In addition, the impact of a large and heavy vehicle can be significant and can result in severe trauma.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 622 people were killed and 12,023 were injured in California pedestrian accidents in the year 2010. That means that nearly two people are killed and 33 people are injured in pedestrian accidents every day.
California Pedestrian Laws
California has several right-of-way laws that apply to pedestrians. These laws exist to protect vulnerable pedestrians. A number of pedestrian versus vehicle collisions in California occur because motorists fail to follow these laws.
- Drivers must stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing in marked or unmarked crosswalks or at intersections. Motorists should wait when other vehicles are stopped at a crosswalk. Vehicles that are stopped may be letting pedestrians cross.
- Motorists must never drive on sidewalks that are designated as safe routes for pedestrians.
- Motorists must also stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other vehicles especially when pulling out parking lots or driveways.
- Motorists must allow older, younger and disabled pedestrians ample time to cross the road.
- Even when a pedestrian is walking outside a crosswalk, a motorist is expected to exercise due caution.
Pedestrians for their part should do the right thing by following the rules of the road and walking only in crosswalks, sidewalks and other areas designated for pedestrians. All pedestrians would be well advised to wear bright clothing at night, only walk where there is adequate street lighting, stay on the sidewalk, make eye contact with drivers before crossing the roadway and steer clear of distractions, such as talking on the cell phone or texting. Walking while impaired can also have serious consequences for pedestrians just as driving under the influence for motorists.
Liability and Damages
If you have been injured in a California pedestrian accident, it is important that you remain at the crash site and call the police. Take down the contact information of the driver and of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. If you have a smart phone or camera with you, take photos of the vehicle, the site of the crash and of your injuries. It is also important to discuss what happened with the police and to seek out immediate medical attention. Getting medical attention right away will maximize the chances of your recovery and also provide a record when you file your injury claim.
If you can prove that you suffered a loss and that the injury was a direct result of the driver's negligence, then, financial compensation may be available for your losses. In a number of pedestrian accident cases, a dangerous or defective roadway may also cause or contribute to the incidents. In such cases, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can be held accountable for the victim's injuries. Any personal injury claim against a public entity must be filed within six months of the incident, according to California Government Code Section 911.2.
A successful personal injury claim can result in financial compensation for all of the victim's losses, including medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, the cost of surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries and other related damages.
Pedestrian Accident Wrongful Death Claim
If your loved one has been killed in a California pedestrian accident, it may be possible to hold the at-fault party accountable for your loss with a wrongful death claim. If the driver is cited or arrested in connection with the crash, it will bolster your claim, but he or she does not have to face charges to be held civilly accountable for the crash. A wrongful death claim seeks compensation from at-fault parties for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.
Examples of Driver Negligence
There are many forms of driver negligence and wrongdoing that can result in a serious injury or wrongful death. A driver can be held accountable for a crash if he or she was:
- Exceeding the speed limit or traveling at a speed unsafe for the roadway conditions.
- Driving while fatigued or sleepy.
- Operating a vehicle while sending a text, checking email, answering the phone, playing with an electronic device or looking away from the roadway distractedly.
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Behaving recklessly such as street racing, weaving through traffic or running through intersections and crosswalks.
It is not always easy to hold an at-fault driver accountable for a California pedestrian accident. Victims and their families often need assistance from investigators, police officers, medical professionals and eyewitnesses. However, injury claims and civil litigation is often the only way to receive fair compensation following a serious or fatal crash.
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