What are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents?
There’s a presumption that the pedestrian has the right-of-way in California. If there’s a pedestrian crossing within 20 feet of any intersection — whether it’s a marked crosswalk or not — they have a right to step off the curb and cross that street. Even if a pedestrian is in the middle of a block, and is jaywalking, under California law, a driver has to use extraordinary caution in avoiding striking them. There are exceptions to that. They’re not supposed to cross if it’s a red light.
What compensation is available?
It is a terrifying event to be struck by a vehicle. When struck, a pedestrian can fly into the air and land on hard pavement, which often results in fractures and open wounds. Sometimes bone penetrate the skin, and results in what is called a “dirty open-wound,” which can lead to infection, loss of limb, or amputation. Pedestrians have a right to full compensation for those injuries. Sometimes, the injuries are well in excess of the insurance policies that cover the negligent drivers.
As with motorcycle and truck crashes, our attorneys look at root causes. Why did that driver hit that pedestrian? Is there something in the roadway that made a crash more likely to occur? Did it involve a brake failure or an unintended acceleration failure of a vehicle? Did it involve a defect in the steering mechanism?
Sometimes, there is an obvious cause such as driver inattention. Other times, a cause requires some investigation like a product, a dangerous component, a failure of a component in the vehicle — like the brakes or accelerator. These are all the things that a lawyer in our firm will specifically look at.
What about hit-and-runs?
If the hit-and-run vehicle is not identified, it would be classified as an uninsured motorist claim. Even if a pedestrian owns a vehicle, or if they live in a house where a relative owns one, they would be covered under that uninsured motorist component of that vehicle’s policy. This is true even if they were not riding in the vehicle at the time.
If there is contact between a hit-and-run vehicle and a pedestrian sustains injury, then the pedestrian should immediately see a lawyer who should prosecute an uninsured motorist claim.
What are a pedestrian’s rights?
We say the pedestrian has most of the rights. A pedestrian has a duty to exercise care when crossing the roadway, but a driver has a duty to very carefully avoid crashing into a pedestrian.
Although not absolute, the pedestrian is protected by California law. They do have the right-of-way in California at any unmarked crosswalk. In other words, when a pedestrian steps off the curb, the vehicles have a duty to stop — at any corner, including a T-intersection or a full intersection, whether there is a marked crosswalk or not. The pedestrian rules when it comes to the larger responsibility on the roadway.
How can Fox and Fox Corporation help?
Injuries from pedestrian accidents are usually very serious and often include severe fractures to the extremities, spinal cord trauma, and head and brain injury. Our firm is uniquely positioned to represent people and prove the nature and extent of the injury — the lifetime consequences of fractures, or a spinal cord or brain injury.
Although bones heal, fracture injuries typically result in long-term problems like arthritis or joint disease. Sometimes an injured knee, ankle, or elbow requires joint replacement. A replacement could be required within days or weeks after a crash and sometimes even years or decades later.
Fox and Fox tries to anticipate those needs when we settle a lawsuit or try it in front of a jury. We present evidence not only of the current injury, but of the likely course of that injury through a client’s lifetime.