Vacaville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
When someone is hit by a car while crossing the street, the ramifications can be deadly. Take, for example, a Vacaville man who was hit by a car on Woodcrest Drive between Alpine and Brown streets. The driver did not see the pedestrian but felt the impact when she struck him. Some reports indicate that the driver is blaming the morning sun.
Unfortunately, the tragic accident described above is not uncommon in and around Vacaville. California is a state with one of the highest fatality rates for pedestrians. In California, 23 percent of all traffic deaths involve pedestrians, which is well above the national average.
Approximately 700 pedestrians lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions in 2014 just in California, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. A similar number of pedestrians, approximately 701, lost their lives in 2013 in California. Nationally, the numbers are not much better. For example, more than 4,700 pedestrians lost their lives on U.S. roadways in 2013. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 70,000 pedestrians suffered severe bodily injuries in collisions with motor vehicles.
The studies conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association discovered that, generally, a pedestrian is three times more likely to lose their life if they are hit by a motor vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour or higher.How Pedestrian Accidents Occur In and Around Vacaville
In the vast majority of collisions involving a pedestrian, the cause of the collision can be attributed to a distracted, intoxicated, or generally inattentive motorist. In fact, it is quite common for pedestrians to get hit by a motorist due to one, or a combination, for the following reasons:
- Driver was operating the vehicle recklessly
- Driver was under the influence of alcohol or prescription medications
- Driver was traveling at an excessive rate of speed
- Distracted driver (e.g., texted and driving)
- Drowsy driver (e.g., someone who was “pulling an overnight road trip”)
- Motorist failed to yield the right of way at a crosswalk or stop sign
- Motorist neglected a signal or traffic sign
Under California law, pedestrians generally have the right of way to cross the street in both designated and unmarked crosswalks located at an intersection. According to California Vehicle Code § 21950, a motorist is legally obligated to yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is attempting to cross the street in a crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
The law also states that a motorist approaching a pedestrian within a designated crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk is obligated to exercise due care. This means a motorist is generally required to reduce their speed and be especially vigilant when they are traveling towards a pedestrian.
If a motorist fails to exercise this due care, they may be held accountable for a personal injury claim.
Warning: Graphic Video: In the video below, a pedestrian was seriously injured after being hit by a police car responding to a report of a robbery.What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Vacaville
If you were hit by a motorist while crossing the street, there are certain actions you can take to protect your legal rights and improve the viability of a personal injury claim against the negligent motorist. If you are physically able, consider taking the following actions after the collision:
- Call 9-1-1 and ask that police arrive at the scene.
- Do not let the motorist leave the scene of the accident until the police have arrived so an accident report can be completed.
- Make sure you obtain the contact information of the driver including their full name, address phone number, and auto insurance information.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the collision occur.
- Take photos of your bodily injuries and the accident scene.
- Do not agree to give a recorded statement to the insurance company until you have had the chance to speak to a Vacaville personal injury lawyer.
- Seek medical attention right away and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
When a pedestrian is hit by a motorist, the pedestrian usually bears the brunt of the damage. This is because the pedestrian absorbs the full force of the impact while the motorist is protected with airbags, seatbelts, etc. As a result, many pedestrians wind up suffering serious bodily injuries, such as:
- Bone fractures and bone compressions
- Traumatic brain injury
- Torn ligaments and muscles
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve damage
- Lacerations on your face and body
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
As you can see from the injuries described above, a collision with a motorist can leave a pedestrian badly damaged. This often leaves the pedestrian harmed both physically and financially. As a result, you have the right to pursue financial restitution from the negligent motorist’s insurance company. For example, you can pursue damages for the following harms and losses:
- Incurred medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost income and future earnings in the event of disability
- Pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience
In some pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian may share some of the liability for causing the collision. For example, a pedestrian may have crossed the road while the hand signal was red or crossed where there was no marked crosswalk. Fortunately, this fact does not mean you are prohibited from obtaining financial restitution for your harms and losses. California adheres to the doctrine of comparative negligence. This legal standard means that a pedestrian can still be awarded damages, but the total amount awarded will be deducted based upon the percentage of fault assigned to the pedestrian by a jury.Vacaville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Vacaville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer. The consequences of an accident involving a pedestrian can be devastatingly catastrophic. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, or worse killed, please do not hesitate to contact me at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
:sid rey [cs 1133]
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.5.19]