The Possibility of Taking Legal ActionWithout a doubt, this traumatic experience will affect many people. The child’s life came to a tragic end, and her mother and the rest of her family will never be the same. These incidents do not happen without a reason. Depending on the specific reason behind the fatal accident that killed the young girl and injured her mother, there might be grounds to pursue a claim against the party or entity that contributed in one way or another to the incident and to the death of the child (and the mother’s injuries). The child’s parents will likely have grounds to file a wrongful death claim against the liable party or entity. The injured woman (the child’s mother) will likely have grounds to file an injury claim against the liable party or entity. However, before being able to take any sort of legal action, it is important to answer the question of liability.
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Who is Liable?After learning of a pedestrian accident, many people automatically assume that the driver that struck the pedestrian was at-fault. Without a doubt, it many cases liability falls on the drivers; however, that is not always the case. Multiple parties and entities could be liable for the harm resulting from pedestrian accidents. Consider the following points:
- Drivers can be negligent: in most cases, pedestrian accidents can be attributed to the negligent actions of drivers. Drivers that use their phones while driving, speed, ignore traffic signals, and fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians, for example, can all contribute to accidents. In the incident discussed above, it is possible that the driver failed to yield the right of way to pedestrians (in efforts to beat oncoming traffic); it is also possible that the driver ignored a red arrow, for instance. If any of the above were true, the driver could be liable.
- Schools can be negligent: schools have the duty to ensure that their students are safe. This means that schools have to ensure that there are crossing guards at important intersections to ensure the safety of their students. If a school failed to request a crossing guard or failed to follow up after requesting a crossing guide, the school has some liability.
- City agencies can be negligent: the negligence of certain city agencies could contribute to the harm suffered in pedestrian accidents. For example, LAUSD could have failed to assign a crossing guide at the intersection even after many requests from the school. Likewise, the city’s transportation agency (responsible for road safety) could have failed to address any hazards present at the crosswalk (e.g. blind intersections, poorly lit intersections, uncontrolled intersections, defective traffic lights, etc.). If any of the above were true, the city agency could be liable.
- Pedestrians can be negligent: unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents also occur because of the negligence of pedestrians. Pedestrians can walk into oncoming traffic, or disregard signals, for example. Many pedestrians assume that they have enough time to cross and ignore warning signals (do not cross signal). In the incident discussed above, the pedestrians were struck in the crosswalk, so they were walking in a designated area; however, it is unclear whether they were adhering to traffic signals.
Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.Without a doubt, it can be difficult to establish blame after such a traumatic incident. However, it is important to realize that liability doesn’t have to fall on just one party or entity. Depending on the specific details of the incident, it is possible for multiple parties to share liability. For example, the driver could have some liability for the incident (for failing to yield, for example), and the school district could have some liability for the incident (for failing to request a crossing guide). After establishing liability, the child’s parents will likely be able to pursue a claim for her wrongful death. For more information about filing a wrongful death claim after a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance immediately.