In 2014, there were only 15 road traffic accident fatalities in the city of Chula Vista, California. Unfortunately, 9 of these involved pedestrians. That is an incredibly high rate. In fact, it was about 30% higher than the California average for that year.
Sometimes, just going for a walk can be a dangerous experience. This is especially true if someone on the road is driving under the influence of alcohol. Going back to the 2014 statistics again, 6 of the 15 fatal accidents that year were alcohol related.
If you or a loved one have been struck by a vehicle and injured while walking, can you receive any compensation?
You Rights in a Pedestrian Accident
The driver is just about always at fault when a pedestrian is injured in an accident. This means that injured pedestrians are likely due compensation for medical bills, missed work, pain and suffering, and more.
Sadly, a pedestrian may not survive an accident with a moving vehicle. If you have lost a loved one in such a tragic manner, you may be entitled to damages due to what is legally referred to as wrongful death.
The compassionate lawyers at the Petrov Law Firm want to help you get what you deserve. That is why we offer free consultations for those who believe they have a wrongful death case. Contact us today at 619-344-0360. We can help you to obtain the damages you are entitled to as the grieving victim in a wrongful death case.Read More
All drivers are held to the standard of what a normal and prudent person would do in any circumstance. Drivers are responsible for driving carefully, especially when a pedestrian is present. This responsibility is known as a duty of reasonable care in the realm of personal injury law. The law holds that a normally vigilant person is extra cautious and maintains full control of their car when they know a pedestrian is present or might be nearby.
A normal, prudent driver would take steps to avoid hitting a pedestrian in any situation if possible. Usually the driver is held liable in a pedestrian-auto accident due to the expected responsibility of due care. However, if the pedestrian behaves in such a way that makes it impossible for the driver to avoid colliding with them, the pedestrian will be found to be at fault.
For example, if a driver is going the speed limit in a commercial zone and a pedestrian jumps out from behind a parked car or other obstruction when the driver is only a few feet away, the driver will not be held responsible. Due to the pedestrian’s unpredictable presence and erratic behavior, the driver cannot be held responsible for the accident.
If a pedestrian behaves in a manner that forces someone driving in a normal, cautious way to take evasive maneuvers to avoid injury to the pedestrian, the pedestrian will be held liable to any damages incurred by said evasive maneuvers.
As a driver, it is prudent to remain cautious and aware when driving, especially around pedestrians. So long as all possible steps are taken to avoid injury to the pedestrian, the driver will not be found at fault. If a driver happens to sustain injuries when trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian, the driver can make personal injury claims against the reckless pedestrian. A personal injury lawyer should be contacted immediately to provide claims guidance and help secure the fairest compensation for the injured party.Read More
According to some recent studies, pedestrians are more likely than ever before to be distracted while on city streets. With phones in hand, people are walking, talking, texting, listening to music, and ignoring the cars nearby. As a driver, you still have to be as alert as possible for these distracted pedestrians. If you’ve been in an accident with a pedestrian, contact a lawyer immediately to determine if some of the responsibility can be shifted to the pedestrian.
Distractions come in many forms. An alert pedestrian can still cause an accident if he or she is listening to music or talking on the phone. Audio signals are just as significant as visual ones and anyone who steps out onto the street before listening for oncoming traffic is somewhat responsible for an ensuing accident. Of course, a pedestrian busy texting is highly likely to miss a changing light and walk through an intersection illegally.
Distracted pedestrians can also cause a chain reaction. A distracted jogger could force a bicyclist into traffic, causing you to swerve and hit an oncoming car. In a case like this, the accident is between you and another driver, but the pedestrian and the cyclist need to be interviewed to proper distribution of responsibility.
If you contact a lawyer as soon as the accident occurs, you are more likely to find the other people involved in the chain of events. Don’t rely on police reports and insurance underwriters to delve as deeply as your lawyer will to determine the true cause of the accident.Read More
Pedestrians and bicyclists almost always have right-of-way on the roads. While true, this statement has created confusion for some drivers and carelessness by some pedestrians. If you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. A thorough defense for your actions relies heavily on quick action to determine your side of the story. While you might not be charged with a criminal act, you could still face a lifetime of paying off a settlement or judgement.
Pedestrians do have the right-of-way. Everywhere. In the middle of the street, crossing against a green light, in a parking lot. However, this doesn’t mean you can be held responsible for any and all injuries you cause.
Let’s use the example of a pedestrian crossing against your green light. He is breaking the law. However, it’s in the middle of a bright, sunny day and you are more than 100 feet away from the intersection. As the driver, you have plenty of time to stop the vehicle. And because you are alert (and not looking at your cell phone) you have to give him the right-of-way.
Can he be ticketed by a police officer for jaywalking? Yes.
In a similar scenario (he is crossing and you are 100 feet away), you are texting while driving and therefore distracted by your phone. You don’t see him and you hit him. You will be held responsible for hitting him. You are breaking the law by using your phone, and while he also broke the law, the legal system still puts most of the blame on you — the person driving the two-ton car.
So let’s change the situation. You are driving (undistracted) and as you approach the intersection, the pedestrian walks out suddenly. He is on his phone and doesn’t bother to see if there are any cars coming. You hit him. Here, you won’t face much responsibility. You didn’t have the opportunity to give him the right-of-way.
Right-of-way is a legal construct that can shift and change in just a few moments. Don’t assume that the police or the insurance companies are concerned about your legal or financial future. Contact a lawyer to ensure your story is equally entered into all decisions about personal injury cases against you.Read More
A four-year study out of the San Francisco Bay Area shows that roughly 60 percent of drivers involved in a car-pedestrian accident faced NO criminal charges. And this study only reviewed drivers who hit pedestrians who were within the protected crosswalk zones.
If you hit a pedestrian, you have a 40 percent chance of facing criminal charges. Don’t delay in calling a lawyer — the longer the lag in your own personal investigation, the more difficult it will be for your lawyer to defend you. Time is a critical factor and you can’t depend on a low-priority police investigation to find the witnesses who might be able to vouch for you actions as a driver. In addition, you don’t want to rely on your car insurance company to be the only professionals looking to relieve you of undue burden. You need a lawyer on your side.
If you were a pedestrian hit while in the crosswalk, you also can’t rely on the police to prosecute the driver who hit you. Keep in mind, the driver has a 60 percent chance of walking away without any legal penalties. The driver can simultaneously face criminal and civil charges — meaning that if the driver doesn’t have to face criminal charges, you can still sue for damages in the civil courts.
Once the accident has occurred, there is no time for delay. You need to hire a personal injury attorney to help defend or prosecute your case. The longer the delay, the fewer details your lawyer will be able to recover about the accident.Read More
In busy cities, bicycle-pedestrian accidents are on the rise as more urban residents turn to bicycles as an alternative to cars and public transportation. Bike sharing programs add bicycles to the streets, making collisions with pedestrians more likely.
If a cyclist collides with a pedestrian both can be assigned blame for the accident. However, just as with vehicles, bicycles must give right-of-way to pedestrians. If they don’t, and the two collide, then the cyclist can be held responsible for the injuries that the pedestrian sustains.
Unfortunately, very few cyclists carry insurance that covers them the way car insurance covers drivers. (Although those insurance policies exist.) Luckily, liability for injury is frequently covered through a homeowners policy or renters policy.
So if you’ve been injured by a bicycle rider, you might be able to recover the cost of your medical bills and lost wages through the riders home insurance policy. While you can try to sue the rider directly, a personal injury lawyer can help you easily recover costs through the rider’s insurance policy.Read More
Assigning responsibility is a critical part of personal injury cases. When a car hits a pedestrian, the courts will look at what both the driver and the pedestrian were doing at the time of impact. The more at fault the motorist, the more of the costs associated with the injuries the driver will have to pay. If the pedestrian was careless or irresponsible, the motorist’s insurance company will likely fight a personal injury claim in court.
Here are some of the most common ways in which a pedestrian can cause an accident.
• Crossing against a traffic light or pedestrian signal
• Jaywalking and/or taking a diagonal path to cross the street
• Straying outside of the crosswalk
• Walking on a high-speed road
• Not using the sidewalk
Of course, cars must always yield to pedestrians. However, that does not give pedestrians the right to simply walk anywhere on roadways. For example, if a pedestrian suddenly walks into a busy traffic lane and is struck by a car, the driver is not likely to be held responsible for the accident. Pedestrians must use common sense, maintain general awareness of their environment, and follow local laws.
If you’ve been in an accident involving a pedestrian and car (as either the driver or as the pedestrian), call a personal injury lawyer immediately. The lawyer will guide you on how to process with the case and ensure that you will see a fair settlement based on reason and responsibility.Read More
You were driving, and you hit a pedestrian. The pedestrian was jaywalking, but you don’t know how fast you were going. The police came and asked lots of questions. The pedestrian was taken away by an ambulance, and you were left on the side of the road feeling very guilty and holding a pile of papers.
The first thing to do is call a lawyer. While you may not have been charged with a crime (like driving drunk), you may be assigned blame for the accident. To make it more complicated, the police and the insurance companies may assign blame differently.
Blame is particularly important because, depending on the injuries, you could see your home, your savings, and your future earnings taken away if you don’t carry enough insurance. (Don’t be fooled by thinking that because you have “full coverage” so are totally protected.)
The insurance companies have teams of lawyers working to save them money on settlements. The pedestrian you hit will likely call a lawyer as soon as he can pick up a phone. The US legal system is fair, but complicated. Unless you have a law degree (and even if you do), you need a lawyer to ensure your rights (and assets) are protected.Read More
There are two kinds of hit and run accidents — the ones where you are present and the ones where you are not.
If you walk out to your car in the morning and it’s been hit while you slept, you simply call your insurance company. Typically, this damage is fixed with your collision coverage as if it is your fault. You will have to pay the deductible. With no witnesses, there is not much else you can do.
If you are present, and the other driver takes off, write down the license plate number and a detailed description of the car and the driver. (Don’t try to commit anything to memory. Write it down on your hand if you have to.) Immediately find witnesses and collect their contact information. Get them to verify what you saw. You will need to speak to them again in the near future. Call the police and file a report.
Next, call a lawyer.
Hit and run accidents get complicated very quickly. Generally, there is a reason why the other driver ran. That driver may not have insurance or may not have permission to be using the car. If someone is willing to run from a car accident, he or she is not likely to tell the truth about the accident. The police are busy and might not be as dedicated to your case as you might like. A good lawyer will know how to navigate through the system to get the right answers.
Medical problems arising out of the accident will mean a significant amount of money will come into play. Emergency room bills, long term care costs, and lost wages are just a few ways a car accident with injuries can influence your finances for years.
If you were to blame (in whole or in part) for the accident, you will need a lawyer to protect your current and future assets — including your income for the next 20 years. Insurance companies are paid to represent your interests up to a certain point. Then they walk away. Your lawyer will stick by your side until all the bills have been paid and the other driver is held financially responsible for the accident and the fallout.Read More
First and foremost, it’s not a fair fight. When a person and a car collide, the person will never win.
Right of way is a tricky conversation. The walker’s cry, “Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way!” is not accurate. But if you’ve ever stuck your head out of your car window to “talk” to a pedestrian in front of your car, you will find emotions, not laws, quickly dominate the rest of the conversation.
While the laws vary from state to state, most states (including California) do not give pedestrians the right of way at all times. They are required to yield to cars in some circumstances. For example, the California code 21950 (b) (Right-of-Way at Crosswalks) states, “No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”
Practically speaking, however, it’s a good idea to avoid hitting people with your car. And you are required, by law, to drive with caution. For example, if you are driving down a straight, empty street on a sunny day and you see a man crossing illegally, you don’t have the right to maintain your speed and knock him off his feet.
In a circumstance like that, both parties were breaking the law, and lawsuits will inevitably ensue. Lawyers, insurance companies, and hospitals will all start billing hours and fighting over the details of exactly what happened and who is at fault.
Drivers never have the right to endanger a pedestrian on purpose. Pedestrians don’t have the right to walk into the street whenever they want.
Bottom line: be careful when you are walking and be even more careful when you are driving. If you’ve been involved in an accident between a car and a pedestrian, call your lawyer. You might be surprised that the law is on your side.Read More