Legal Liability and Pedestrians with Disabilities
Preventable accidents strike in Sacramento and throughout California daily. Fortunately, the civil justice system allows those harmed by the negligence of others to receive compensation for their losses to help in their recovery.
Individuals with certain disabilities may be at increased risk of being hurt in an accident, and fellow travelers need to act carefully to avoid causing harm. Consider a resident with hearing impairments. The sound of a running engine or coming traffic acts as a critical signal for pedestrians to get out of the road and avoid an accident. However, those with hearing impairments are not able to use that sound as a warning. This is a reminder of why drivers have an obligation to act prudently at all times, scanning the road for pedestrians who may be in harm’s way.
Drivers also owe an enhanced duty of care to physically impaired pedestrians. That is particularly true when it is clear to the driver that the pedestrian is physically impaired. For example, pedestrians carrying a white cane or walking with a guide dog clearly have some disability and must be taken into account by drivers. Travelers who encounter such pedestrians and fail to yield or to take necessary precautions to avoid injuring the pedestrian can be held accountable for the consequences of their actions.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 4.22.21]