Whether you or a family member was hit by a car and injured while walking, jogging or riding a bike, I'd like to help answer your questions. Call me at 916.921.6400 or contact me online for a FREE, no obligation consultation.The Unique Nature of Pedestrian Injury Cases
Among the most serious traffic incidents that can occur are those which involve pedestrians. Lacking any protection whatsoever, a pedestrian is completely vulnerable to serious injuries when struck by a moving vehicle.
Even a relatively slow-moving vehicle can cause fractures and other major injuries to a pedestrian due to the significant mass of the vehicle and the hardness of the outside surfaces in comparison to human flesh.
Leg fractures are particularly common due to the position of car bumpers at the moment of impact - while internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries are not far behind.
An interesting study conducted in Austin, Texas revealed that by far the most common position of a pedestrian at the time of being struck was crossing a street, both outside of and within crosswalks, and the most frequent driver-related factor was a failure to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
These results clearly highlight the importance of taking great care whenever crossing a roadway. It is never safe to assume that merely being in a crosswalk provides protection or to assume that a driver even sees a pedestrian, particularly at night.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a variety of pedestrian safety information here.
Due to their tendency to be inattentive to traffic, children are at particular risk of being injured in vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents.
More pedestrian safety information is available through the U.S. Department of Transportation: Pedestrian Safety RoadshowCalifornia Law on Pedestrian Accidents
The four most common ways pedestrians are injured in California are by drivers making left and right turns, backing up or making U-Turns. Driver inattention by texting, using cell phones or putting on makeup are other ways that lead to frequent pedestrian injuries.Duty to Keep a Proper Lookout
Every driver of a motor vehicle must keep a proper lookout and pay attention to the roadway in front of him including pedestrians. (Johnson v Johnson (1948) 84 Cal. App. 2nd 271.The Driver of a Car has a Greater Duty of Care Than Does the Pedestrian
Everyone has a duty of care, but courts in California have long recognized that the danger posed by a 4000 plus pound vehicle is much greater than that posed by a pedestrian and courts, therefore, require a greater duty of care by the driver of the vehicle. (Arentz v Blackshere (1967) 248 Cal. App. 2nd 638.
If driving in an area where children are frequently present, a driver has a greater duty of care. Hilyar v Union Ice Co. (1955) 45 Cal. 2d 30.
A driver must yield the right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk. California Vehicle Code Section 19150.
Even if a pedestrian is outside a crosswalk, a driver has a high duty of care to look out for them. (Karr v Sherer (1955) 132 Cal App 2d 835.No Passing at Intersections
If a driver stops to allow a pedestrian to cross before him at an intersection, no other vehicle can overtake and pass the stopped vehicle. California Vehicle Code 21951.Pedestrian Struck by a Hit and Run Driver May Nonetheless Have Insurance
Even when a pedestrian is struck by a hit and run driver, so long as the pedestrian has uninsured motorist insurance on his own vehicle or someone else in the pedestrian’s household has such insurance, the pedestrian is normally covered by that uninsured motorist insurance.
The above are just a few of the common laws that apply to pedestrian accidents in California. Please call me anytime if I can help further.
Photo by Fancycrave.com from PexelsEditor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.7.18]