Napa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
With its Mediterranean climate and picturesque landscape, Napa is a pedestrian paradise. More people are walking than ever before for exercise, to run errands or go to work. In Napa, tourists and residents spend time walking from outdoor markets to the many shops that line the downtown area. As the county seat, the city is busy with a growing population that reached 80,011 in 2010. As more members of the community and visitors alike enjoy walking in the area, it stands to reason that more accidents will occur.
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating and cause many serious injuries. If you or a loved one is injured, you need the insight of an experienced Napa pedestrian accident lawyer to obtain the compensation you deserve. No one should pay for the financial costs that result from someone else’s negligence. For more than 38 years, the investigators and lawyers at AutoAccident.com have helped clients in Northern California in pedestrian accidents.Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Given the number of accidents, it is critical to understand why they occur. Some common reasons are listed below:
- Failure to yield: Many times, motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists fail to yield for pedestrians. This leads to a catastrophic accident to vulnerable walkers.
- Distraction: Motorists are often distracted as they talk or text on their cell phones. In the five seconds it takes a driver to write the average text message, the vehicle he or she is in can travel the length of a football field.
- Not looking when making a turn: Drivers who fail to look both ways when turning in an intersection are likely to hit a pedestrian.
- Crosswalk design defects: If the crosswalk is not designed to keep pedestrians safe by incorporating flaws in control of traffic flow, the city may be held liable. This also includes mismanaged timing signals.
- Drunk driving: Drivers who are inebriated lack the ability to control their vehicle. This is a major contributing factor to pedestrian injuries and deaths.
- Speeding: Drivers who are speeding are unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian. At intersections, many motorists speed to avoid being caught at a red light.
- Limited visibility: This can happen in both an urban and rural setting. Winding roads in rural areas make it hard to see pedestrians. Overgrown limbs or foliage can hide a stop sign or make it difficult to see a pedestrian entering a crossing area. In such cases, liability for an accident rests squarely with the government agency in charge of maintenance. This type of claim has a much shorter deadline period in which an injured party can file. When the claim is not filed on time, it is likely that the injured party will be unable to collect damages. Your Napa pedestrian accident attorney will ensure that all documents are filed on time.
The video below provides some basic pedestrian safety tips to help you get to your destination safely.Crosswalk Problems That Affect Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrians feel safer when using a crosswalk, and in most instances, that is true. However, some crosswalks fail due to an absence of flashing signals and signs warning drivers to slow down and be alert for pedestrians. Since children, older and disabled pedestrians find it hard to navigate the crosswalk quickly, federal standards changed to give them more time. Yet, many cities and towns around the state have not made this adjustment. In the past, the greatest concern was to move pedestrians through the crosswalk efficiently. Now, the emphasis is placed on safety as a primary concern.What a Pedestrian Can Do to Protect Themselves
There are ways a pedestrian can protect themselves. Some of the best are:
- Become visible to drivers: Wearing bright colored clothes during the day and carrying a flashlight or using reflective clothing at night can make a pedestrian visible to drivers.
- Keep an eye on traffic: Use a sidewalk if possible.
- Use a crosswalk: When a crosswalk is present, it is a safer way to cross. Enter a crosswalk only when you see a flashing walk signal. Pay attention to your surroundings as you do so. If there is no available crosswalk, wait until there is no traffic. Remember to look left, right and left again.
- Never dart across a street: Darting out into traffic is a surefire way of being hit or killed.
- Do not text: It is critical to be cognizant of what is going on around you when walking. If you are texting, your focus is on your phone and not the road. This is extremely dangerous.
- Do not assume drivers will stop: Technically, the pedestrian has the right of way. However, assuming that a motorist will obey this rule can lead to a harrowing pedestrian accident.
- Keep your eyes on the motorist: Try to establish eye contact with a motorist. This will make him or her aware you are there.
At our law firm, we are ready to do what it takes to win your case. This begins with sending our investigative team to the accident site to gather the necessary evidence. The truth is that without proof that a motorist is responsible for the accident, the case may not proceed, and the pedestrian will end up paying for the costs associated with their injuries. Some of the ways we do this are:
- Our investigators examine the accident site to determine why the crash occurred. This can include malfunctioning signal lights and poorly designed crosswalks. It also includes physical roadway signs that the driver was speeding or intoxicated.
- We interview witnesses who saw the accident happen to obtain their pertinent information.
- Investigators search for security cameras on traffic lights and businesses that caught the accident as it happened.
- We review police reports for inaccuracies that will influence the case as it proceeds.
- Our investigators also check the timing of signal lights and whether the crosswalk has been the site of other pedestrian accidents.
- Once all the evidence is compiled, our pedestrian accident lawyers in Napa use it to construct a strong case for our clients.
I’m Ed Smith, a Napa pedestrian accident lawyer. If you or a family member were injured in a pedestrian accident, I can provide you with free and friendly advice. Call me at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. You can also reach me online.
I belong to the following organizations:
Learn about my practice and the way we resolved former cases using the links below:
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Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash