Automobile accidents are devastating. In the case of fatal road accidents, there are elevated chances of sustaining permanent physical injuries and even psychological trauma. According to the Annual United States Road Crash Statistics more than 38,000 people die due to auto-mobile accident-related incidents and another 5 Million people suffer from non-fatal injuries requiring non-fatal injuries. Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists are more at risk of sustaining long-term injuries and in worst-case scenarios even death. Statistics show that over half of these fatal accidents are caused due to negligence on the driver’s part.
The state of California observes the highest number of fatal pedestrian accidents in the country, in fact, it also suffers from the highest rate of pedestrian fatality. However, it is a common misconception that the driver is always at-fault in a pedestrian accident. This misconception comes from the common phrase that the pedestrian always has the right-of-way.
Personal Injury experienced during a pedestrian accident is liable to compensation. Determining who is at fault in a pedestrian accident is crucial to pursuing a claim against the insurance company.
A pedestrian who is hit while crossing the street outside the designated cross-walk is always at fault, as jaywalking is prohibited in California. However, the pedestrian being at fault doesn’t mean that the driver didn’t contribute to the accident. Both sides are required to respect the safety of each other. If the pedestrian involved in an accident violates a statute such as jaywalking or not giving right-of-way to oncoming traffic. The driver can use that violation as Negligence per se for Comparative Negligence in a personal injury suit.
If both the driver and the pedestrian share a certain responsibility for causing an accident, the Californian state follows the Comparative Negligence rule instead of the Contributory Negligence.
In the Californian interpretation of the Comparative Negligence rule, the injuries sustained by the victim are entitled to compensation, but the compensation available will be reduced by the percentage equal to their share of responsibility involved in the accident.
For eg: A pedestrian enters an unmarked crossroad, while actively listening to music on their own and failing to see the speeding vehicle coming their way. The driver then hits the pedestrian causing injury. The pedestrian has the right to sue the driver, however, due to the negligence on their part a jury may determine that the pedestrian is 20 percent at-fault. Hence, the pedestrian’s total damages would be reduced by 20 percent.
Navigating a Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you or your loved one is involved, your first course of action should be to get proper medical care. After acquiring medical care, if you can, try collecting the following information:
- Police Report
- The driver’s license number, car’s license plate number and insurance information.
- The name and contact information of all the people involved in the accident.
- Contact information of the witnesses.
- Contact your insurance
It is extremely important to find a good personal injury lawyer to assist you through the complexities of a Pedestrian Accident Claim.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Orange County, California.
Contact Garcia & Phan Personal Injury Lawyers. We understand California accident laws and the complexities of Pedestrian Accidents.
Call (714)-586-8298 for a no-cost evaluation