When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, there is high potential for devastating and permanent injury. These injuries can be life threatening and even fatal. Sadly, children are particularly at risk because of their small size, which makes them harder to be seen and more likely to be severely injured in an accident. Additionally, while the law is often on the side of pedestrians in crosswalk accident cases, you may be surprised to learn that these cases can be hotly contested in court. If you or a family member has been injured by a car or other moving vehicle, you need a strong pedestrian & crosswalk injury lawyer to represent your case. At California Personal Injury Attorneys, we have the experience necessary to pursue justice and ensure you receive a fair settlement. .
Pedestrian Accidents in California
Pedestrian and Crosswalk accidents are far too common throughout California. We live in a “car culture” where the number of cars on the road usually outnumbers pedestrians on crosswalks or sidewalks. According to the Los Angeles Times:
- 4,794 pedestrians were involved in an accident in California (based on 2013 traffic accident data)
- Pedestrians account for 23% of all motor accident fatalities
- 70% of fatalities occurred at night
- In 2014 and 2015, California had the nation’s highest number of pedestrian fatalities
- 1 out of 4 pedestrian fatalities involve children
Clearly, being a pedestrian in California is risky business. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you deserve to be represented by a lawyer who is highly experienced in pursuing justice for victims of pedestrian and crosswalk accidents. The concept of unmarked crosswalks is a little more difficult to understand. California Vehicle Code §275(a) indicates that an unmarked crosswalk may be located in an intersection where there are sidewalks on either side.
What Constitutes as a Crosswalk?
A cross walk is an area of the road that is set aside for pedestrian traffic. The term pedestrian includes those on foot, rollerblades, skateboards, etc. Many people are surprised to learn that there are two types of crosswalks in California – marked and unmarked. Marked crosswalks are easy to identify because the walking zone is delineated by white lines and, in most cases, signage on the roadway. Marked crosswalks can occur at an intersection or mid-block.
The concept of unmarked crosswalks is a little more difficult to understand. California Vehicle Code §275(a) indicates that an unmarked crosswalk may be located in an intersection where there are sidewalks on either side. Many drivers are unaware or unsure about the location of unmarked crosswalks, leading to collisions when they fail to yield to a pedestrian on the unmarked crosswalks
What to do if you are hit by a car
If you have been struck by a vehicle while walking, jogging, rollerblading, etc., you should seek medical attention immediately. While you may not feel or look injured, there is a risk that you are suffering from a serious internal injury. It’s better to seek medical advice in these situations to ensure you are healthy before continuing with your day. Your next step should be to contact the experienced team at California Personal Injury Attorneys to discuss the circumstances of your accident. We can help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and trauma.
Important Legal Aspects of Pedestrian Accident Cases
At California Personal Injury Attorneys, we possess a deep understanding of California Vehicle Code Sections 21949-21971, which cover all aspects of pedestrian law. We apply our understanding of the Vehicle Code and our knowledge of prior pedestrian accident cases to pursue justice for our clients. In California, the negligent party or parties are responsible for any injuries caused. As such, a key aspect of your case is proving who is responsible using police reports, eyewitness testimonies, photos, and computerized scenarios.
It’s also important that you file your lawsuit within the amount of time allowed under Statute of Limitations for victims of pedestrian accidents. These vary based upon the case and age of the victim, as follows:
- Adult victims have two years after the accident to file a claim
- Children (under the age of 18) have 2 years after their 18th birthdays to file a lawsuit
- The period for filing can be extended if the victim was mentally incompetent during the two year period or became aware of the injury at a later date
- Victims have just 180 days to file a claim against a public agency (such as the MTA)
Proving Liability in Pedestrian and Crosswalk Accident Cases
When a pedestrian is struck in a crosswalk (marked or unmarked), the law is almost always on their side. That being said, insurance companies and opposing lawyers will search for anything that allows them to blame the victim for the crash. This is why it’s important that you choose an experienced crosswalk accident lawyer to pursue your claim. We use specific data and facts to prove liability in your case. We will examine the traffic and weather conditions on the day, speed of the motorist, condition of the crosswalk, and review witness testimonies to demonstrate liability.
The California Vehicle Code can be used against pedestrians in cases. While the code states that pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked and unmarked crosswalks, it also states that pedestrians may not suddenly leave a curb to cross into the path of a vehicle. Drivers must exercise reasonable care, but it can be argued that a pedestrian has not exercised their own reasonable care if they enter a crosswalk unexpectedly. Because the law has some amount of ambiguity, insurance companies and lawyers have leverage to place blame on the pedestrian for the accident. Even if you are partially to blame, it’s important to note that California Comparative Negligence laws allow us to hold the motorist responsible, thereby entitling you to a fair settlement.
Why Choose Us
At California Personal Injury Attorneys, we promise to aggressively pursue your case to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available. With the help of our experienced law team, you can be assured success in achieving a fair and just settlement for your injuries and losses. We use our deep understanding of the California Vehicle Code to identify the responsible party or parties and pursue justice on your behalf. If you have been a victim of a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to contact us today to ensure your case is filed before the Statue of Limitations expires.