San Ramon Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The city of San Ramon is located in Contra Costa County, California. Nestled in the San Ramon Valley next to Mount Diablo, San Ramon has a mix of gentle hills and flat terrain, with a mild Mediterranean climate and many mature trees lining its residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. All in all, it's a great place to take a walk. Unfortunately, walking on neighborhood streets and commercial thoroughfares means that pedestrians have to mix with motor vehicles, and that combination can lead to accidents between walkers and drivers -- accidents in which the walker is almost always going to sustain more damage. When this happens, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer like the personal injury attorneys at our law firm can help pedestrian victims receive compensation for the injuries -- sometimes severe -- that they may suffer when being struck by a motor vehicle.Injuries That May Result from a Pedestrian Accident
When a two-ton passenger vehicle (or an even larger truck) strikes a pedestrian, the results can be devastating -- even fatal. Common injuries include fractures and other severe injuries to the legs, often the first part of a pedestrian's body struck by a motor vehicle because that is the typical height of vehicle bumpers. When the force of injury is significant enough to throw the pedestrian either up onto a vehicle's hood into an impact with a windshield or propel them through the air until they strike the ground, another car, or another hard object nearby, damage to the pedestrian's head in the form of skull fractures, concussions, intracranial bleeding, or other traumatic brain injuries are common.
Depending upon the exact physical mechanism of impact -- what part of the vehicle impacts which part of the pedestrian's body and how much force -- other types of bone fractures, blunt force trauma, lacerations, avulsions, and bleeding may occur. Even a pedestrian who appears to have only been impacted lightly by a moving motor vehicle should be checked out medically. For more serious injuries, treatment may be needed on an emergency basis.How Common are Pedestrian Accidents?
The California Office of Traffic Safety notes that pedestrian accidents on the roads of San Ramon and other California cities are not only common but are rising in frequency in recent years and occur at a rate well above the national averages:
- In 2018, nearly 900 California pedestrians were killed on our roads, an increase of more than 25% over the prior four years.
- That same year, more than 14,000 pedestrians were injured on California roadways.
- More than 7,000 pedestrian deaths occurred on California roads during the preceding decade.
- No other state has more pedestrian accident fatalities than California, and the state's pedestrian death rate is approximately 25% higher than the average nationwide.
Avoiding pedestrian traffic accidents in the first place is undoubtedly the best way to reduce injury rates, and doing so is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians. Helpful suggestions are available from many sources, including Safe Kids, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Commonsense tips for pedestrians include:
- Avoid phones -- talking, texting, and browsing will distract a pedestrian, reducing their ability to be aware of their surroundings.
- Keep music at a level that doesn't drown out traffic sounds.
- Look in all directions before crossing a street, and make eye contact with drivers nearby or who appear to be stopping to ensure they are aware of your presence.
- Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks and follow the instructions of traffic signals -- be where drivers will be expecting to look for you.
- At night, wear bright-colored clothing, and use a flashlight if you're walking in unlit areas.
Drivers also have some apparent behaviors to employ that can help avoid pedestrian accidents:
- As at any other time, don't speed, don't drive while intoxicated, follow speed and traffic laws, and don't be distracted by a phone.
- Be aware of your surroundings -- observe the sides of streets and sidewalks where pedestrians are likely to appear in addition to the vehicular traffic that may be near.
- Yield to pedestrians and stop as needed when they are crossing the street, and when stopping at a crosswalk, stop a little ways back from the line so that drivers adjacent to you can have a better view of the pedestrian.
Although the injuries that may result from a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle may be very one-sided (against the pedestrian), investigating and pursuing personal injury claims and litigation from these incidents is very similar to claims from vehicle-on-vehicle collisions. City police or state highway patrol will generally report impacts with injuries in the same way as other traffic accidents. Negligent drivers will have the same bodily injury liability insurance coverage as other vehicle accidents, and an injured pedestrian will be covered by their own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage should the driver have inadequate insurance or none.
Witness statements at the accident scene or taken during later investigation require more diligence than vehicle-on-vehicle impacts. Since pedestrians are smaller, slower, and less well-illuminated than vehicles, there is a well-recognized tendency for drivers and witnesses not to observe them or to inaccurately observe them during a pedestrian accident. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the skills, expertise, and resources to understand the essential differences in pedestrian accident cases and to successfully guide them to conclusions on their client's behalf.
View this video from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that is loaded with valuable tips for pedestrians to get there safely:San Ramon Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Although pedestrians generally have the right-of-way over motor vehicles in California, drivers will only yield or stop for pedestrians they actually observe. While seeing a pedestrian is undoubtedly a driver's responsibility, being visible and walking safely is also evident to the pedestrian's benefit. Unfortunately, the driver, the pedestrian, or both all too often fail to one degree or another, producing the sad statistics noted above. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact our San Ramon Pedestrian Accident Lawyers today at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. You can also reach us through our online contact form.
Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay
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