Pedestrian accidents are common in Long Beach and they often result in devastating injuries. Understanding the many laws and traffic codes that apply to pedestrians is an important part of staying safe while walking. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident as the result of a negligent driver or a dangerous or defective roadway, please contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Long Beach to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
Long Beach Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), nine people were killed and 241 were injured in Long Beach pedestrian accidents. Throughout Los Angeles County, 195 fatalities and 4,535 injuries were reported due to pedestrian accidents during that same year.
Crossing at an Intersection
Pedestrians usually have the right of way at intersections. This does not, however, mean that pedestrians can simply step into traffic as they choose. At intersections where there are traffic lights, pedestrians have the right of way when crossing on a green light. This means that drivers, who are making a turn, must yield to the pedestrians who are crossing the intersection.
Additionally, pedestrians have the right of way at intersections without traffic lights. These types of locations are particularly dangerous for pedestrians. It is common for motorists to either overlook a pedestrian or to simply blow through the intersection without yielding to the pedestrian. In either case, the at-fault driver can be held accountable for the crash.
Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians who are legally crossing the roadway at a crosswalk. California Vehicle Code section 21950 states: "The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection." The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk "shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian." When attempting to cross the road where there is no marked or unmarked crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to drivers.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims
It is important to determine whether the motorist was negligent at the time of the collision. Here are some of the important questions to ask. Was the motorist speeding at the time of the crash? Was the motorist drunk, distracted or behaving recklessly?
Negligent car drivers can be held liable for all of the injuries and losses suffered by the victim. In such cases, compensation may be available for:
- The medical bills incurred as a result of the crash
- Hospitalization costs if the victim had to stay in the hospital
- The cost of rehabilitation services if the injury required physical therapy
- Lost wages if the crash forced the victim to miss work
- Lost future wages if the injuries were severe enough to force the worker to miss work in the future or prevent him or her from returning to work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Other related damages including prescription drug costs, medical devices and loss of earning potential
The skilled Long Beach pedestrian accident lawyers at our law firm have a long and successful track record of helping injured victims and their families obtain fair and full compensation. Please contact us for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.