Who Would Be Considered A Pedestrian?A pedestrian under California law is defined as anyone who is on foot or on transportation that isn’t a bicycle, such as roller skates or a skateboard. Additionally, disabled individuals in wheelchairs can be listed as pedestrians as well.
What Are Some Of The Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents?Pedestrians can be in danger no matter where they are in the streets, whether on sidewalks or in the middle of crosswalks. The accidents can occur if the pedestrians are not careful or if the drivers are negligent. The majority of pedestrian accidents can be attributed to two things. The first is the time of day at which the accident occurs. Most pedestrian accidents happen at night time when there are fewer cars on the road and visibility is at its lowest point. Pedestrians may think that they are safe, but in reality, they are much more difficult to be spotted and could escape a driver’s field of vision. This is especially true if the pedestrian is wearing dark clothing or in a section of the street that is particularly dangerous. Drivers have been known to proceed as usual down streets only to suddenly see a pedestrian in front o them – and by that time, there is almost no way to stop the car. The second factor is alcohol. Alcohol was found to be a contributing factor in nearly half of pedestrian accidents, whether in the system of the victim or the driver of the car. The drivers have a higher risk operating a vehicle while under the influence, but the pedestrians have lowered reflexes, no inhibition, and poor decision making as well. Some pedestrians are erratic when drunk and cannot walk straight; they stumble and fall, and at times, fall right into oncoming traffic. Others have simply fallen asleep or unconscious in the middle of the street and been run over. Additional causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Drivers texting while on the road
- Speeding through stop signs and red lights
- Ignoring right of way laws at crosswalks
- Not looking when pulling out of parking lots and structures
- Pedestrian wearing dark or non-reflective clothing at night
- Inclement weather causing visibility issues or difficulty handling the vehicle
- Children running into the street
What Are Some Pedestrian Injuries?Because of how much more vulnerable pedestrians are than passengers in vehicles, their injuries are often much more debilitating. Those in cars have the luxury of seat belts preventing them from being ejected, air bags protecting their upper body from overly jerky movements and trauma, cushion seats and interiors to absorb some of the impact of crashes, and much more. In fact, some cars are even autonomous enough that they can avoid impact better than most humans can while controlling them. Pedestrians have none of these protections. They are merely dressed in their regular clothes; they closest thing they have to cushions might be backpacks or duffel bags, or helmets if they are riding skate boards and such. They will still take the full force of the crash into their bodies. Injuries in pedestrian accidents can include:
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Broken arms and legs
- Knee and hip damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Closed head injuries.
- Internal organ damage
- Severed limbs and digits
- Torn muscles
- Nerve damage
How Many Pedestrian Deaths Occurred In 2016?2016 alone feature 5,997 pedestrian deaths nationwide. Many of these fatalities occurred in California, the most populated state with a high number of vehicles. Although walking is not the primary mode of transportation in California, there are still people who walk at various points of the day, whether it is to go the last mile to work or to spend time around town.
Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.Further, over ten times as many pedestrians are hurt each year in collisions.
Can A Pedestrian Sue If Hit By A Car?Yes, a pedestrian can sue if hit by a car. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party; the basis of this lawsuit is negligence, which shows that the responsible party was careless or reckless in some way. If you wish to succeed with your claim, you must be able to prove the four points of negligence: that you were owed a duty of care by the driver, the duty of care was breached, the breach caused an accident, and the accident resulted in physical injuries. All drivers owe people on the road and in the streets a duty of care to not harm them, which can be broken by careless or reckless driving and decision making. Importantly, you must have been actually harmed if you wish to file a personal injury claim. The presence of injuries will allow you to collect medical compensation and other damages. On the other hand, if you were not physically harmed, you will only be able to collect minor damages for property repair costs and reimbursement of wages at work. The good side is that you will likely not need a lawyer if you do not suffer any injuries. The insurance agent is more likely to pay out a small settlement as opposed to a large one that would cover extensive medical treatment. It is in your best interests to hire an attorney who can prove that the driver was the negligent in the party. It will likely be very difficult to prove if you do not have years of legal experience.
Can A Pedestrian Be At Fault?A pedestrian can be considered at fault if he contributes to an accident in some way. For example, if he threw an object at a car and created the accident, he would likely be found totally at fault. On the other hand, if he simply jaywalked (crossed at a non-specified section of the road without a crosswalk or signal), he may only be considered partially at fault, especially if he had diligently examined the road and the driver were speeding or not paying careful attention.
What Steps Should I Take After A Pedestrian Accident?If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you follow this procedure. It will help you stay safe and gather sufficient evidence for your lawsuit.
What Can I Earn In A Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?Victims of accidents are entitled to numerous types of compensation. We will fight to have everything covered and ensure that you won’t have any expenses. The accident was not your fault, and you should not be expected to cover the damages. Some of the compensation you can receive includes:
- Coverage of medical bills from the past and future
- Reimbursement of lost wages from missed days of work from the past and future
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering damages
- Wrongful death expenses if a family member or loved one were killed in the accident
- Punitive damages if the responsible driver were grossly negligent or intentionally tried to harm you