California is the number one state for pedestrians to have a high likelihood of being killed or seriously injured on California roadways. These numbers are substantially getting worse every year. Which party is at fault in a car vs. pedestrian accident case? What if you were a pedestrian who was injured by a car, do you have a case against the driver?
Our car accident attorneys in California represent clients who have been injured in an accident and are seeking monetary compensation for their injuries. For a free no-risk consultation, contact us to determine whether you have a valid claim against the at-fault party. Our attorneys understand that it can be very difficult to recover from serious bodily injuries as a result of a car accident. That is why we are here on your side to pursue your legal claims for you while you focus on healing from your injuries.
California Pedestrian Accident Statistics
- Around 900 pedestrians were killed on California roadways, this is a 25% increase from the year before
- California has the number one pedestrian deaths on its roadways compared to any other state in the United States
- More than 14,000 pedestrians were injured last year
- Around 8,000 pedestrians have died within the last 10 years
- California has the highest pedestrian fatality rates
Every California Driver’s Duty of Care
California mandates that automobile drivers have a duty of care to pedestrians who are on the roadways. This includes driving at a reasonable speed and practicing safe driving to prevent any accidents. Oftentimes, pedestrians who have been injured from automobiles have a claim against the driver for failing to drive in a reasonably safe manner. The pedestrian has to approve that the driver was negligent. This is shown by:
- Duty: the plaintiff must have to show that the defendant (the driver) had a duty to the plaintiff to drive like a reasonable person
- Breach: the plaintiff has to show that defendant reach that duty by failing to drive in a reasonably safe manner
- Causation: because of the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff sustained injuries
- Damages: the plaintiff has to show that they have now sustained damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
Can the Pedestrian Be at Fault in a Car-Pedestrian Accident?
Sometimes, the pedestrian could also be held liable in a car versus pedestrian accident. The pedestrian could have taken specific actions that made the pedestrian most likely to get involved in a car accident. A driver has a duty to avoid hitting any pedestrians on the roadways. But, if the pedestrian acts in a way that also contributes to the collision, the court will most likely find that the pedestrian was also partially liable for their injuries.
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-of-Way?
California Vehicle Code requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is crossing the roadway within a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. However, this does not mean that pedestrians always have the right of way. This California Vehicle Code specifically focuses on crosswalks at intersections. A pedestrian must always find a way to cross the crosswalk legally.
What Damages Could a Pedestrian Receive in an Accident?
Similar to other car accidents, pedestrians will still be able to have a claim for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Personal property damage
- Lost wages
How much your claim is worth depends on a variety of factors. For more information regarding your claim, contact our attorneys immediately.
California is a Comparative Fault State
California is a comparative fault state, which means that the pedestrian could still recover further injuries even if they have contributed to their injuries. The plaintiff’s damages will be decreased depending on the percentage the plaintiff was at fault. For example, if the plaintiff’s damages amount to $100,000, and the plaintiff is found to be at fault 20%, the most the plaintiff could recover from the driver defendant is $80,000.
Car vs. Pedestrian Example
The pedestrian, instead of waiting for the crosswalk sign to turn on, proceeded to walk across the street. The driver failed to look up while texting and crossed the green light. If the driver had looked up, he would have seen the pedestrian jaywalking. In this circumstance, both the driver and the pedestrian could be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.
How Could a Pedestrian Be Liable?
Oftentimes, pedestrians can take some actions that could cause a car accident. Examples include:
- When a pedestrian runs into oncoming traffic
- When a pedestrian fails to cross at the crosswalk
- When a pedestrian fails to wait for the crosswalk light to turn on
- When the pedestrian fails to watch out for any oncoming vehicles that have the right of way
How Could the Driver Be Liable?
There are different causes of pedestrian v. auto car accidents. Different causes include:
- The driver was texting and driving
- The driver of the car was under the influence
- The driver of the car failed to yield for the pedestrian
- The driver of the car failed to watch out for any oncoming cars that were passing the vehicle
- The driver of the car was distracted
- The driver of the car was driving under the influence
- The driver of the car was speeding
- The driver of the car ran a red light while the pedestrian’s light turned on to cross the street
Common Pedestrian vs. Car Accident Injuries
Pedestrians who are involved in car accidents will most likely endure more severe injuries when compared to the driver of the vehicle. Since the driver is protected through the barrier of their car, The pedestrian will most likely have to face permanent lifelong injuries because of the hard impact of the vehicle. Common accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Road Rash
- Spinal cord injuries
Get in Touch with an Experienced Accident Attorney Today
Our car accident attorneys have offices located in California & Nevada. We are also available 24/7 via phone and email to take on your case and discuss the merits of your claim. We have represented clients from many various cities in California and Nevada, including:
Vegas, Reno, North Las Vegas, Sparks, Henderson, Mesquite, Laughlin, Fallon, Fernley, Boulder City, Paradise, Incline Village, Yerington, Hawthorne, Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Mountain View, Irvine, California City, San Mateo, Bakersfield, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, Stockton, Pasadena, Riverside, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Monterey, Visalia, San Bernardino, Santa Rosa, San Dimas, Covina, Glendora, Merced, Pomona, etc.
It is important to note that you should not have to speak to an insurance company without an attorney. Insurance companies will always try to get involved and try to confuse the pedestrian to get a statement out of the pedestrian and take advantage of that statement. That’s why it is important to hire an experienced attorney that deals with insurance companies so you don’t have to. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.