Antelope Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents can occur daily across California, particularly in densely populated urban areas with heavy traffic. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), California consistently had one of the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States.
In 2019, California reported 1,057 pedestrian fatalities, accounting for about 15% of all traffic-related fatalities in the state. The number of pedestrian injuries in California is generally higher than the fatality rates. Urban areas tend to have a higher concentration of pedestrian accidents due to increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento have witnessed significant numbers of pedestrian accidents over the years.Causes of Collisions Between Pedestrians and Vehicles
Pedestrian accidents occur in several different ways, including the following:
- High-speed collisions in crosswalks: Crosswalks are designed to be safe pedestrian spaces. The notion is that waiting for a walk signal and crossing by 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 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 quickly 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 typically 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 without a crosswalk. This can be very dangerous, but California law does allow jaywalking accident victims to recover from 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 acted negligently or recklessly, they could still recover damages if the defendant was also negligent.
- Bicycle/skater accidents: Not all pedestrian victims were injured due to an automobile collision. In many cases, pedestrians will be injured when struck either on a sidewalk or in a roadway by cyclists and other people like skaters and rollerbladers. While these accidents are usually less severe than auto accidents, a cyclist's negligence can still result in a viable lawsuit.
- Low-speed zone (school zone) accidents: Many areas around Antelope are labeled 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, which can cause accidents.
Not all pedestrian accidents involve death, but most result in serious injuries, and 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 severe.Pursue Financial Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Under California law, pedestrian accident victims can pursue a financial recovery for the harms and losses stemming from the accident. California law will generally 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, punitive damages may be available in extreme cases where a defendant driver acted either intentionally or recklessly.
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 the 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, making it incredibly important to 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 litigated a personal injury case in court and succeeded.Be Mindful of the Personal Injury Statutory Deadline
In California, accident victims only have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court, starting from the accident date. This is why you should take immediate steps to preserve your right to recovery in court.Antelope Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident due to a negligent or careless motorist, please call me to obtain some free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
Editor's Note: updated [cha 5.16.23] Photo by Katie E from Pexels sb bw [cs 986]