Pedestrian Accident FAQ
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Usually a pedestrian is injured due to negligence by a motor vehicle operator, including:
- failure to yield
- driver who hit pedestrian(s) looking left while turning right
- distracted driving (texting and cell phone use)
- alcohol use
How is negligence / liability determined in pedestrian accident case?
Many people falsely believe the myth that a driver is always at fault when involved in a vehicle on pedestrian accident. This is not true. There are times where the other party is found partially at fault.
Negligence, and ultimately liability, is determined by a variety of factors, including:
- Did the driver yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian at a crosswalk (marked or not)?
- Did the driver pass another vehicle stopped at crosswalk?
- Was the driver illegally driving on the sidewalk?
- Did a driver stop in a crosswalk, forcing pedestrians to walk around the vehicle and put themselves in harm's way?
- Was the streetlight at the scene working properly?
- Was the driver distracted?
You should treat a pedestrian accident the same way you would any other traffic accident.
1. Immediately seek medical attention, even if you are uninsured.
2. Contact the police and have them generate a report.
3. Collect the name, driver's license details, vehicle and insurance information of the driver.
4. If possible, gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident (very important).
5. If you are capable, take photos of the accident scene, and later, your injuries, with your smartphone.
6. Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss your options to file a lawsuit as soon as possible.
How do I know if I have a pedestrian accident case?
The best way to determine if your pedestrian accident claim has merits is to contact a law firm and speak with a qualified pedestrian accident attorney. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we offer a free, no risk, no obligation, case evaluation, and you can get started online to schedule your free consultation.
Can I make a pedestrian accident claim if I was not using a marked crosswalk to cross the street when I was struck?
Yes! As long as you were crossing at an intersection and not jaywalking.
California law specifically protects pedestrian right of way by mandating that drivers:
- Always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks
- Always stop for pedestrians crossing at corners
- Never pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk
- Yield to pedestrians when crossing a sidewalk
- Yield to pedestrians who make eye contact with you
- Allow more time for seniors, people with disabilities, and young children to cross streets
- Notice blind pedestrians
- Stop 5 feet from crosswalks
Pedestrians are, however, prohibited from walking on a roadway where a tunnel or elevated pedestrian walkway exists and from walking in bicycle lanes if pedestrian sidewalks exist.
- Fractures are among the most common injuries to both the upper and lower extremities, especially the upper and lower leg, the arm, and the hand/wrist area.
- Soft Tissue Injuries can include a range of injuries from bruises to severe joint dislocations and internal tearing. These injuries often take the longest to heal and can lead to significant pain and suffering.
- Spinal Injuries: Although injuries to the spinal column occur in less than 20% of all pedestrian accidents, they are among the most serious injuries typically suffered after being hit by a car, as even minor spinal injuries can cause permanent disability.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries are also less common than fractures and soft tissue injuries, but some of the most dangerous pedestrian injuries from car accidents, as even mild TBIs can leave a person unable to work, care for themselves, or provide for their families for days, weeks, or even months.
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