Drivers owe a duty of reasonable care to all pedestrians. Pedestrians also owe a duty of care to follow traffic signals and crosswalk lights. However, a driver has a higher duty of care because pedestrians are more vulnerable to serious injury. Drivers are responsible for preventing accidents, following traffic laws, and driving safely. To recover damages after an accident, the pedestrian who suffered harm must show that the driver deviated from their responsibilities or acted negligently.
Generally, the pedestrian or the surviving family must show that the driver owed the pedestrian a duty of care, that the driver breeched that duty of care because they were negligent, and that the driver’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the pedestrian’s injuries.
Driver negligence can be shown in many ways, such violating traffic laws, texting and driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For example, California Vehicle Code 21709 VC makes it illegal for a motorist to drive in safety zones. These areas are set aside for pedestrians. A driver who drives in a safety zone and injures another will usually be held legally responsible. Aside from safety zones, if a driver strikes a pedestrian because he was speeding, trying to pass a stopped school bus, or didn’t yield to a pedestrian, they may also be held legally responsible.
Pedestrian Injuries from Car Accidents
There are many scenarios where a pedestrian can be knocked down, these include:
- Vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians;
- Biking on the sidewalk;
- Cars driving on the sidewalk;
- City buses with large mirrors that extend into the sidewalk; and
- Passengers opening the doors of parked cars.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
At any given time on the busy streets of California there may be cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians. When an accident occurs between a heavier more dangerous vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is always at the mercy of the vehicle operator. There is no protection between a pedestrian, heavier vehicle, and the ground. As a result, even a minor knock-down accident can cause serious injuries to pedestrians that are often one sided.
Under California personal injury law, a pedestrian who was injured in an accident can file a lawsuit against those who caused the accident. Damages usually include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you were hit by a vehicle, the driver’s insurance company will be quick to contact you to try to settle the claim for as little as possible. Having a skilled attorney fighting for your rights will ensure that you aren’t taken advantage and that you receive what is owed to you.
Pedestrian Accidents in Cross Walks
Crosswalk accidents are some of the more common accidents. Perhaps the pedestrian started to walk before the walk signal or maybe there wasn’t even a crosswalk. Maybe, the pedestrian instinctively apologized after the accident. The insurance company will be quick to blame the pedestrian and try to use his or her words against them. The question of “fault” is something that is decided by a jury.
An Experienced Advocate by Your Side ~ California pedestrian lawyer
Having a skilled attorney can handle tough questions from the insurance company about who is at fault. Our experienced attorneys will work effortlessly to prove the negligent party’s fault by conducting investigations to gather all the facts. Contact us today at (916) 782-8400 to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you.