Pedestrians Who Need a Personal Injury Attorney

California law gives pedestrians the right of way. But with increasing driving distractions, a personal injury attorney is necessary when a car hits a pedestrian. Pedestrians are any person walking, roller skating, skateboarding, or disabled people who use a tricycle, quadricycle or wheelchair for transportation.

Facts about Pedestrian Accidents*

  • California has approximately 58% more pedestrian accident fatalities than the national average.
  • Older adults and children are most likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident with a car.
  • Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas at night, in non-crosswalk situations.
  • Alcohol impairment often plays a significant role in an accident with a pedestrian.

California is very serious about right of way laws, and the pedestrian is the priority. It doesn’t take a lot of evidence to show that the driver was negligent when a pedestrian is hit. Personal injury attorneys know these things, and it also helps you to be aware of the laws as both a pedestrian and a driver:

  • Drivers must yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk and at an intersection even if the crosswalk is unmarked.
  • Drivers must also be aware and take care of pedestrians who are crossing a street illegally.
  • Drivers must not pass a car that is stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to pass.
  • Drivers must stop cars at intersections behind the crosswalk line, not in the middle of the crosswalk.
  • Drivers of electric or hybrid cars must be aware that the sound of the car is not loud enough to be heard by blind pedestrians.
  • Pedestrians should be aware of surroundings and not unnecessarily stop or delay traffic.

Shared Blame for Accidents

A pedestrian may be either partly or solely to blame for an accident if he or she walks right into traffic without looking or crosses the road late at night in the middle of a block while wearing dark clothing. If both driver and pedestrian are partly at fault, the situation falls within the bounds of comparative negligence in California which allows an insurance company to distribute blame for the accident based on the comparative negligence of the parties.

If the pedestrian the pedestrian is at fault, yet suffers serious injuries or death, an insurance company may still pay damages. Drunk, distracted, or speeding drivers may make the driver responsible for damages.

Type of Compensation to Expect in a Pedestrian Accident with a Car

If a person is negligent while driving, then that person is very likely financially responsible. An auto accident injury lawyer knows how to help you get all the compensation you deserve, and will work with the insurance companies so that you don’t have the hassle. It’s an especially good idea to engage a personal injury attorney early, before the bills begin to appear. You can expect compensation for:

  • Ambulance and paramedic charges
  • Emergency room bills
  • All medical bills
  • Rehabilitation bills
  • Lost wages from work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability coverage, if applicable

What to do if you’re in a pedestrian accident with a car at fault

If you’re able to speak for yourself, insist on a vehicle accident report. The police report isn’t essential, but it’s helpful.

How to Stay Safe

  • In areas without sidewalks, walk on the shoulder facing traffic
  • At night, wear light or reflective clothing and/or carry a flashlight.
  • Whenever possible, only cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections.
  • Always be aware of surroundings.

Please contact our office if we can help in the case of a pedestrian accident.

*Sources: California Pedestrian Safety (PedSafe) Program, National Highway Traffic Safety Association



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