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Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in California

Feet of pedestrians who are waiting to cross the road

California is known for its beautiful weather, stunning landscapes, and bustling cities. However, with a high population density and busy streets, pedestrian accidents are an unfortunate reality.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

While every pedestrian accident is unique, several common factors contribute to these tragic incidents. Understanding these factors can help pedestrians and drivers alike take steps to prevent accidents and ensure everyone's safety on California roads.

  • Distracted Driving: With the rise of smartphones and other electronic devices, distracted driving has become a significant problem on our roads. Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, or using GPS while behind the wheel are less likely to notice pedestrians and react in time to avoid a collision.
  • Speeding: Speeding reduces a driver's ability to react to unexpected situations and increases the severity of injuries sustained in an accident. In residential areas and school zones where pedestrians are more likely to be present, obeying the speed limit is crucial for everyone's safety.
  • Failure to Yield: California law requires drivers to give way to pedestrians at crosswalks and when approaching intersections. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to observe this rule and proceed without checking for pedestrians, leading to collisions.
  • Left-Hand Turns: Accidents involving left-hand turns are hazardous for pedestrians, as drivers may focus on oncoming traffic and not notice pedestrians crossing the street.
  • Impaired Driving: Operating a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or narcotics impairs a driver's judgment, reaction time, and ability to control their vehicle. This significantly increases the risk of pedestrians being injured in an accident.
  • Poor Visibility: Accidents involving pedestrians typically occur during nighttime or in poor weather conditions when visibility is reduced. Both drivers and pedestrians should exercise extra caution during these times.
  • Lack of Proper Infrastructure: In some cases, pedestrian accidents can be attributed to inadequate infrastructure, such as poorly designed crosswalks, lack of sidewalks, or insufficient street lighting.

Determining Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

In California, personal injury cases are generally based on the principle of negligence. This means that to recover damages, a pedestrian must prove that the driver involved in the accident acted negligently and that this negligence directly caused their injuries.

To establish negligence, a pedestrian must demonstrate the following elements:

  • Duty of Care: The driver owed a duty of care to the pedestrian. This is typically straightforward, as all drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely and avoiding causing harm to others on the road.
  • Breach of Duty: The driver breached their duty of care by acting negligently. This may involve speeding, driving while impaired, or not giving way to a pedestrian within a crosswalk.
  • Causation: The driver's breach of duty caused the pedestrian's injuries. This often requires showing that the accident would not have occurred if the driver had acted responsibly.
  • Damages: The pedestrian suffered damages from the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

It's important to note that California follows a comparative negligence system. This means that if a pedestrian is found partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced in proportion to their degree of responsibility.

The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in California, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial. An experienced attorney can guide you through legal procedures, gather supporting evidence, and negotiate with insurers on your behalf.

Furthermore, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in the following ways:

  • Determine the value of your claim: An experienced lawyer can assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
  • Identify all potential sources of compensation: In some cases, multiple parties, like drivers, property owners, or government bodies, may be liable for a pedestrian accident.
  • Build a strong case: By conducting a thorough investigation, collecting evidence, and consulting with experts, a personal injury attorney can build a compelling case to demonstrate the driver's negligence and maximize your chances of recovering compensation.

We Are Ready to Fight For You

Pedestrian accidents can have life-altering consequences, and navigating the legal process can be overwhelming. By enlisting the help of a skilled personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley, you can focus on your recovery while ensuring your rights are protected.

Let our Northern California personal injury team help you receive the compensation you deserve — contact us online or by phone to get started. (530) 413-0245

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