Special Circumstances in California Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are more common than many people realize. Despite laws and other efforts to keep pedestrians safe, these accidents occur with alarming frequency and often end tragically. If you have suffered a pedestrian accident, a pedestrian accident attorney can help you understand your options.
The most common type of pedestrian accident is when a pedestrian is struck by an inattentive driver while crossing the street. On the high traffic, high-speed roads of California, the pedestrian can be knocked to the ground with incredible force or even rolled up onto the hood and windshield and subsequently thrown a considerable distance. These accidents typically result in severe injury and often death.
Because the pedestrian comes into contact with a heavy, fast-moving vehicle and is thrown to the ground, the following injuries are quite common:
Many of these injuries usually require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. In addition, they can also result in long-term or even permanent disability.
To successfully pursue a claim, it’s important to understand that each pedestrian accident has its own unique facts and circumstances. Understanding the different types of pedestrian accidents helps you understand what happened and determine liability.
When children play outside, there is always a risk that they will run out into the street. Many motorists will claim that they didn’t see the child in time and therefore couldn’t stop to avoid the accident. However, speed is often a factor in these accidents - too many drivers speed in residential areas. Distracted driving also plays a role, as drivers also have a legal duty to keep an eye out for potential hazards.
School crossings can be especially dangerous for children on high-traffic roads. Most schools try to station crossing officers at dangerous intersections, but drivers can be in a hurry and inattentive. Alternatively, the crossing guard may be absent or simply may not be paying close attention.
Children are also at risk when approaching or leaving a school bus. Despite flashing lights and the extended stop sign, drivers will attempt to pull around or pass the bus, which can lead to a tragic accident.
Road construction is a fact of life in California, and road construction workers face significant hazards every day. Despite lowered speed limits and enhanced penalties in work zones, many drivers still speed and fail to keep a proper lookout. Construction workers can suffer catastrophic injuries in the event of an accident.
These occur when a vehicle is backing out of a driveway or parking space into the road or parking lot, and the driver fails to look behind for pedestrians. Drivers have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and check for pedestrians. Drivers should also back up slowly enough to stop or give the pedestrian time to move out of the way.
Many areas of California, may have roads that do not have sidewalks. As a result, pedestrians may be forced to walk on the shoulder or even in the roadway itself. Pedestrian accidents that occur in these situations are often due to distracted driving, driving while drowsy, or driving while intoxicated.
Another common type of pedestrian accident occurs when pedestrians cross the road at a location other than a crosswalk. While motor vehicles may have the right of way, California law also requires motorists to exercise due care when a pedestrian is on the road.
Many pedestrian accidents occur at busy intersections. Although drivers are required to yield at intersections, many do not, either because they are in a rush or they aren’t paying attention. In other situations, the driver may strike a pedestrian while turning left or right into the intersection. These accidents are often the result of poor visibility, especially in poorly designed intersections.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation. However, you will need to prove that the driver who struck you was negligent. This may be relatively straightforward if you were hit while crossing a marked intersection and in accordance with the “walk” signal. In that situation, the driver will have likely run a red light, failed to yield, or committed some other traffic violation that is clear evidence of their negligence.
Other situations may be far more complex. As mentioned above, outside of a crosswalk, motorists have the right of way. While they still have an obligation to avoid hitting you, the motorist may try to argue that it was impossible to see you or that they couldn’t stop in time. Accidents, where pedestrians entered the roadway between two parked cars, are common examples of where it may be difficult to determine fault. The pedestrian may have been negligent, but the driver may have been speeding or failing to pay full attention.
If you are a pedestrian who has been struck by a motorist and injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Under the law, you are entitled to be made whole. As a result, you can seek compensation for the following damages as a result of your accident:
The total value of your claim could be substantial. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you get fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.
The personal injury attorneys at Banafshe Law Firm have been helping injured pedestrians throughout California since 2003. If you have been injured and need help, call us at 800-789-8840 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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