FACTS ABOUT PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
Pedestrians are completely vulnerable and therefore suffer a vastly disproportionate amount of severe injuries and wrongful death when an accident involving a motor vehicle occurs. Approximately 76,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in U.S. traffic accidents in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Pedestrian accidents raise unique issues, and may involve pedestrians or joggers who are struck in a crosswalk, sideswiped by a motor vehicle, struck while in a parking lot, struck while exiting a bus or car, or otherwise injured or killed by a driver who is at fault. All too often, drivers are inattentive to the presence of pedestrians and don’t sufficiently look in the direction their car is traveling. Pedestrian injuries can also arise from causes other than collisions with motor vehicles, such as hazards created by the defective condition of sidewalks or parking lots. Property owners, municipalities, or other third parties may be held liable if they were negligent.
YOUR RIGHTS IN PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
When a pedestrian accident occurs, the pedestrian has the same legal rights as any motorist. Just like other accidents involving motor vehicles, it is important to hire a sophisticated and knowledgeable attorney familiar with the unique issues involved in pedestrian accidents and pedestrian injuries. If you wait too long to speak with a lawyer, evidence in your case may be lost, witnesses may disappear, and insurance companies may take advantage of you.
Los Angeles being one of the large cities in California is the scene of far more pedestrian accidents than most people might realize. It is a fact that the population of three large cities including San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities in California is in the millions. Add to that the tourists’ influx each year, it is no surprise there are far too many pedestrian accidents each year.
“Why?” you might ask. Well, there are many things that contribute to pedestrian accidents in big cities. For instance, finding parking at a close proximity to where you are headed and the constant traffic problems cause many people to walk, rollerblade, skate board, run or jog. Add to that the large number of people using cars, SUVs or trucks, and the result is pedestrian collisions with motor vehicles.
These collisions or accidents can happen on a sidewalk, at a crosswalk, in an intersection or on the street. Accidents involving children usually happen near schools or with their playing on neighborhood roads.
What Are the Causes of Motor Vehicles Running Into Pedestrians?
Some of the causes of drivers accidentally hitting pedestrians are:
• Drivers’ use of cell phones to talk or text,
• Drivers running stop signs,
• Drivers running red lights,
• Drivers speeding,
• Drivers driving when intoxicated,
• And drivers speeding.
Who Has the Right of Way?
According to California law, the pedestrian has the right of way in nearly all situations. If you are hit by a car, you could receive a serious injury such as a bone fracture, disfigurement or disability as a result. There are times when a pedestrian’s injury can actually be fatal. Few people realize that if they are injured by a driver who is uninsured, they can be compensated by their own insurance provider.
To assist you with determining who is to blame for the accident, California state law clearly stipulates the following:
1. The driver of a motor vehicle should grant the right-of-way to all pedestrians crossing the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. This is clearly stated in California Vehicle Code 21950(a).
2. #1 above does not release the pedestrian from due diligence of using care in safely crossing. A pedestrian simply can’t abruptly leave a curb or place of safety and either walk or run into a vehicle’s path in such a manner as to create an immediate hazard. A pedestrian also can’t delay or stop traffic unnecessarily when he or she is in either a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
3. A vehicle’s driver is required to reduce the speed of his or her vehicle and use due care when approaching any marked or unmarked crosswalk if a pedestrian is within that crosswalk.
4. The driver is not relieved of the responsibility of being required to exercise due care for any pedestrian within an intersection marked or unmarked crosswalk by #2 above.
For further detailed information regarding vehicle and pedestrian collisions refer to JUSTIA US Law.
Behaviors leading to accidental injuries are engaged by both motorists and pedestrians. According to the State ofCalifornia Department of Motor Vehicles, the state’s pedestrian law requires:
• Always use due care in order to avoid a pedestrian collision.
• Slow down or stop if another vehicle in the driver’s lane has stopped in order to determine if the reason for the other vehicle stopping is for a pedestrian.
• Always yield to pedestrians within crosswalks.
• Stop and wait for all persons at a school crossing including the crossing guard before continuing on.
• Always follow traffic control devices.
• Walk on the sidewalk, use the nearest crosswalk, tunnel or bridge whenever possible.
• Never diagonally cross an intersection unless it is designed to be crossed in that manner.
Unique Issues of Pedestrian Accidents
Besides being struck in a crosswalk, pedestrians might be sideswiped by a vehicle, struck when exiting or entering a car or bus, or hit when in a parking lot. A careless driver who in most cases would be at fault may injure or kill a pedestrian. Far too many accidents causing injuries to pedestrians are caused by drivers being inattentive to the pedestrian presence, and their simply neglecting to look in the direction they’re travelling.
Collisions with vehicles are not the only cause of injuries to pedestrians. Pedestrian injuries may be caused by hazardous conditions such as defective sidewalks or parking lots. In those cases, third parties such as municipalities or property owners would, most likely, be liable if they were negligent.
Why You Should Consult Legal Counsel Promptly After a Pedestrian Accident
If you are a pedestrian injured by a vehicle or due to a hazard, it is in your best interest to acquire legal counsel promptly. This is because there are a number of aspects to be considered when presenting a claim of this type. Some of these include:
• The identification of the driver, registered owner of the vehicle, or business owner the driver is driving for at the time of the accident.
• A determination must be made as to whether the cause of the accident was negligence and who was the negligent person.
• Evidence will be lost if witnesses disappear.
• Insurance carriers of both parties must be identified, and claims should be presented quickly in order to prevent the insurance carriers from taking advantage of you.
In the case of accidental pedestrian injury by a vehicle or due to a hazard, you should seek a skilled personal injury attorney with a great deal of experience in representing persons seeking money damages due to pedestrians being injured by motor vehicle collisions or other hazards.
Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
The Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys at the Yagoubzadeh Law Firm provide exclusive representation to individuals in matters of personal injury. They have extensive experience in accident and injury cases including motor vehicle and pedestrian collisions as well as slip and fall accidents. Their outstanding success in these pedestrian injury cases is due to their commitment to obtaining the compensation that you are entitled to.
The Yagoubzadeh Law Firm will work tirelessly to obtain complete coverage for your medical treatments and maximum pain and suffering compensation.
In addition to this, you can be sure they will provide you with:
• Exceptional Customer Service: Besides providing outstanding customer service, they are with you every step of the way in order to ensure your experience is a pleasant one. They will make sure all your questions are answered and all your concerns are recognized and addressed. You will be constantly informed about your case’s status. Their attorneys are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
• A Promise of No-Fee: They offer a Guarantee of No-Fee. They agree to only get paid if they win your case. Their fee is paid at the end after your case is settled and they have obtained money for you.
In addition to their Los Angeles, California headquarters, they also have satellite offices in Riverside County, Orange County, Kern County and San Bernardino County.
If you would like to know more about how they can help you, call for a free consultation at 1-800-982-9070.