Car accidents involving pedestrians are increasingly common in Los Angeles. Pedestrians often walk, jog, or run on public roads, including sidewalks, crosswalks, shoulders, and/or in or next to the rain-gutter. Not only are pedestrians totally exposed to the elements, but also the danger of being sideswiped by a motor vehicle careening out of control or a driver who is just not paying attention to the road. A recent study shows that over 4,000 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 injured in traffic-related collisions.
While pedestrians are to follow the rules of the road, such as walking in crosswalks, this does not mean a driver has free rein to hit a pedestrian outside of the marked lines. Although California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states that “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard,” the same section also states that “the provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.” This means that if you or your loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal rights.
When determining fault and liability in a pedestrian accident case, your lawyer will need to find the answers to several questions, including: Was the driver impaired? Was he or she driving above the speed limit? Was the driver distracted or inattentive at the time of the crash? Was there a dangerous or defective condition on the roadway, which may have caused or contributed to this accident?
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s injuries or, in tragic cases, wrongful death. Families of deceased victims, in cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, can seek compensation for damages. These costs include medical expenses, lost future income, funeral costs, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. If you were injured by a negligent driver while walking or running, you might also be able to recover compensatory damages with the help of an aggressive car accident lawyer.
For more information, or to discuss your potential case, contact the trial lawyers at BIKLAW today.