Antelope Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian fatalities related to automobile collisions increased across the country by eleven percent in 2016. The total number of lives lost was estimated to be at approximately 6,000. That makes 2016 the deadliest year for bicyclists, skaters, joggers, etc. in two decades, according to a highway safety report. In 2015, approximately 5,376 pedestrians were killed in accidents and roughly 4,910 pedestrians died in accidents in 2014.
The shocking highway safety report revealed that pedestrians now constitute the largest proportion of traffic fatalities in a quarter-century, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The dramatic increase in the overall percentage of pedestrian deaths is actually the largest since pedestrian accidents were tracked and analyzed four decades ago. In addition to a marked increase in pedestrian death, the total number of traffic deaths increased by six percent.
In California, the data is particularly troubling. Traffic fatality data demonstrates that California is one of the most dangerous states in the country to be a pedestrian. For example, in the first six months of 2015, over three hundred pedestrians were killed in automobile collisions.Causes of Collisions Between Pedestrians and Vehicles
Pedestrian accidents occur in a number of different ways, including the following:
- High speed collisions in crosswalks: Crosswalks are designed to be safe spaces for pedestrians. The notion is that waiting for a walk signal and crossing in accordance with the law is the safest way to walk in a city. But that idea does not always reflect reality. Drivers speed all the time. Sometimes, drivers only speed a few miles above the speed limit. Other drivers regularly gun through cities at incredibly unsafe speeds. When drivers speed, it is hard for them to come to a quick stop. It is very common for drivers to not see a pedestrian in the crosswalk until it is too late to stop. Collisions occurring at a high rate of speed are often fatal, but even collisions at lower speeds can cause serious injuries such as lacerations, road rash, and broken bones.
- Driveway-sidewalk collisions: Similarly to walking in crosswalks, walking on the sidewalk is supposed to be a safe experience. Cars do not drive on sidewalks, but accidents can easily happen when cars either enter or exit driveways. Unfortunately, cars entering driveways almost always do so by turning. This makes it harder to see pedestrians walking through the driveway because drivers may fail to see smaller objects in their peripheral vision or pedestrians may fall within the blind spots of cars.
- Jaywalking accidents: The roadways are normally unsafe spaces for pedestrians. In many cities, jaywalking is a crime (this is also true in Sacramento). Even so, many pedestrians will walk across roadways where there is no crosswalk present. This can be very dangerous, but California law does allow jaywalking accident victims to recover for their injuries if they are hit by a car. This is because California law recognizes the comparative negligence doctrine, which means that even if the victim was acting negligently or recklessly, they can still recover damages if the defendant was also negligent.
- Bicycle/skater accidents: Not all pedestrian victims were injured as a result of an automobile collision. In many cases, pedestrians will be injured when they are struck either on a sidewalk or in a roadway by cyclists and other people like skaters and roller-bladers. While these types of accidents are normally less serious than auto accidents, the negligence of a cyclist can still result in a viable lawsuit.
- Low speed zone (school zone) accidents: Many areas around Antelope are labeled as low-speed zones. The most common types of these zones are school zones and construction zones. These areas are designated as low speed zones because it is more likely that pedestrians will be crossing in those areas. Unfortunately, drivers will often fail to slow down while driving through these zones and that can cause accidents.
Not all pedestrian accidents involve death, but most do result in serious injuries. This is because most automobiles weigh thousands of pounds. As you can imagine, when something that heavy collides with a human body, the harm that can be inflicted is quite serious.California Law Allows Injured Pedestrians to Pursue Financial Compensation for Their Injuries
Under California law, pedestrian accident victims are allowed to pursue a financial recovery for the harms and losses stemming from the accident. In general, California law will allow accident victims to recover damages for personal injuries including reimbursement for medical bills, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering. Additionally, damages for emotional injuries such as post-accident trauma can be recovered in certain circumstances. Finally, in extreme cases, where a defendant driver acted either intentionally or recklessly, punitive damages may be available.
In cases of the wrongful death of a pedestrian, the victim’s surviving loved ones may bring a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased to recover damages resulting from the loss of the loved one. The death of a family member is always tragic and emotionally jarring, and our law firm understands that victim’s family deserves recompense for the loss.Resolving the Case Via Settlement or at a Jury Trial
Many cases settle out of court. In fact, most personal injury and wrongful death cases (over 95 percent) wind up getting resolved out of court through settlement or mediation. Nevertheless, some pedestrian accident cases will wind up going to trial, which makes it incredibly important that you hire a seasoned and skilled Antelope pedestrian accident attorney. There is no guarantee that your case will settle, so it makes sense to retain an attorney who has actually litigated a personal injury case in court and achieved success.Be Mindful of the Personal Injury Statutory Deadline
In California, accident victims only have two years starting from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. This is why you should take immediate steps to preserve your right to recovery in court.Antelope Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Antelope Pedestrian Accident Lawyer. If you or someone that you love has been seriously injured in an accident due to a negligent or careless motorist, please give me a call to obtain some free and friendly advice. My telephone number is 916.921.6400.
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