People walk and jog to maintain better health or to get to places where public transport is readily available. While walking is good for your health, it can also result in tragic pedestrian accidents. These accidents may cause pedestrians to sustain catastrophic injuries or even die because they do not have any form of protection between themselves and the vehicle hitting them. When you’re involved in a pedestrian accident and have sustained injuries, you can recover damages by holding the responsible party liable.
However, you first need to know what caused the accident and who to sue for damages. You need a personal injury attorney’s help to determine who the liable party is and maneuver the damage recovery process. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we will employ our effective negotiation skills and ensure the responsible party’s insurance company compensates you fairly.
If the insurance company does not cooperate, we will gather all the needed proof to win the case in court. Call us as soon as you’re involved in a pedestrian accident so we can start working on your case right away. In this article, we will delve deeper into the various causes of pedestrian accidents.
Improperly Constructed Sidewalks
In places where we have uneven or rough steps on walkways that can easily lead to tripping & falling of walkers, the poorly constructed sidewalk becomes the primary cause of collisions. Furthermore, where the walkways are overly narrow to allow several people to pass one another when headed in opposite directions, one of them may need to give way to the other.
This may mean stepping onto the roadway to enable the other to pass. Whereas this may seem like a polite move, the walker who steps onto the road exposes themselves to possible danger from fast-moving autos that can’t swerve to avoid hitting them. Therefore, improperly-constructed walkways cause much harm than good in these situations and become an aggravating element, even when pedestrians strictly adhere to road regulations.
The situation significantly worsens where you come across selfish pedestrians who don’t want to slow down or give way to avoid colliding with other walkers. For instance, people who jog or sprint on sidewalks may decline to stop even where the sidewalk is narrow and may force you off the way. Should you stumble and fall while trying to avoid these joggers or sprinters, it counts as a pedestrian collision, and you can bring a lawsuit for any harm you suffer.
Driver Failed to Yield the Right of Way
Right-of-way is the legal right of a driver or motorist to proceed with precedence in a specific situation or location. For example, suppose the traffic signals direct that a pedestrian is to have the way and proceed onto the crosswalk. In this case, a driver has to allow the walker to cross the roadway before proceeding through the crosswalk or intersection area.
Failure to yield the right of way happens when either a pedestrian or driver commits a traffic offense by proceeding without allowing the party entitled to go to do so, for instance, a vehicle failing to yield to a walker at a crosswalk. This is equally one of the leading pedestrian accident causes because when the walker and vehicle are moving simultaneously, they are bound to collide.
Trucks and Buses Too close to the Sidewalk
Trucks and buses have side mirrors extending out beyond the vehicle’s edge. When a bus stops at a bus station, the side mirror might be hazardous for any person standing close to the edge of that walkway. A bus about to stop at a bus station could be moving fast enough to knock down a pedestrian with the side mirror, leading to head injuries or other severe harm.
Usually, a bus driver is trained to operate their auto and know where the side mirrors extend. In case the driver isn’t attentive or carelessly makes a walker to be knocked over by the mirror, the walker can bring a claim for damages and loss. When a crash results from an employee’s negligence, for instance, the bus driver’s inattentiveness, the pedestrian may also sue the employer. As per the state’s ‘Respondent Superior’ law, an employer could be held vicariously responsible for their workers’ negligent acts.
Putting on Dark Clothes at Night
As daytime turns into night time, the number of pedestrian crashes tends to rise. If you’re planning on walking in the dark, wear white or any other light-colored clothes and carry with you a pocket flashlight to turn on when crossing the streets. Even though street lamps and flashing lights illuminate most crosswalks and intersections, it’s still hard for motorists to notice pedestrians who blend in with background darkness. Nonetheless, drivers should expect pedestrians to be walking along the streets at night and should be able to recognize them.
A Bicyclist on the Walkway Knocks Over a Pedestrian
For walkers, bikes on the walkway may be hazardous. But cycling on sidewalks is generally a city-by-city policy. In certain parts of the state, biking on sidewalks is an offense, whereas, in others, it is legal. But if a bicyclist’s negligent acts cause the crash, he/she may be responsible for any resulting injuries even if it’s lawful to cycle on the walkways.
For instance, under LA Municipal Code 56.15, cycling on sidewalks is lawful, provided it isn’t done with a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of property or people. If a bicyclist was riding on the walkway and hit a pedestrian, resulting in a crash, the pedestrian can recover damages by proving that:
- The bicyclist’s negligent acts caused the crash. For instance, they were cycling too fast, or
- In case a bicyclist was riding with a wanton or willful disregard for people’s safety, like doing a jump over a walker’s feet, they may be considered to be negligent per se
And in places where cycling on sidewalks is unlawful by local or city statute, a bicyclist on the walkway who causes a crash may be held responsible for any harm he/she causes. Violating the law on cycling on sidewalks could be considered negligence per se in a pedestrian collision.
Some drivers drive while texting while others are going through their mailbox. Others may be looking through the window, taking ‘selfie pictures, eating, or talking to passengers at the back of the vehicle when driving. Consequently, drivers often disregard pedestrian crosswalks and run red lights. A rule of thumb that works to a greater extent is if you are a pedestrian, try making eye contact with an oncoming auto‘s motorist before crossing at a crosswalk. Although you have the right of way at a walkway, you should observe all the precautions to avoid being involved in a collision by an inattentive driver and suffer severe harm.
Reckless & Aggressive Driving
Motorists who have a higher disregard for other road users’ safety are among the primary causes of pedestrian accidents. When a motorist recklessly drives their auto, a pedestrian is likely to be a victim of the resulting accident. The pedestrian may sustain substantial injuries from the crash and force the vehicle exerts on them.
Examples of reckless vehicle operation include driving past the stipulated speed limit, particularly in residential places or areas close to learning institutions. Any driver is expected to drive within a specified speed range when in these areas due to several pedestrians bound to be on the roads. Additionally, roads in these areas usually have marked crosswalks to enable pedestrians to cross the streets safely. Therefore, if a driver drives at an excessive speed and hits an unsuspecting or innocent pedestrian, they may bear full responsibility.
Another common instance of reckless vehicle operation involves motorists who make unforeseen turns or road overlaps that might veer the auto to the sidewalks. This kind of behavior usually causes serious crashes to pedestrians that didn’t see this coming because they may be incapable of moving away on time. Mostly, the motorist who causes the collision carries full liability, particularly when the court considers elements like their reckless driving.
Aggressive drivers are also always rushing to make it before the traffic lights turn red, and all vehicles have to stop. The carelessness in failing to look out for any approaching pedestrians may cause all the difference between causing and preventing a collision. Certain liable drivers often claim that they were reckless because they were responding to emergencies. But your lawyer will do all they can to make sure an argument like this doesn’t prevent you from obtaining a reasonable compensation amount for any loss or injuries caused.
Most pedestrian crashes take place during the night. You may have just come from a restaurant or club and want to cross the road to catch public transport or an Uber. If this is the case, ensure you walk on the sidewalk and don’t jaywalk across the streets. Intoxicated motorists often barrel down the roadway during evening hours. Their vision is also distorted, so they may fail to see you. If you cross at a crosswalk at an intersection, there’s a higher chance that the intoxicated motorist will slow down because of the traffic lights.
Walkers may also cause accidents when they opt to walk on the roads while drunk. When walking while intoxicated, your body balance is substantially compromised, which means you will be staggering all through. At times, there are cases of intoxicated pedestrians who walk straight into the roadway or lose balance completely and fall right where vehicles are supposed to pass. When an approaching motorist fails to see the pedestrian, they may knock or run them over, resulting in severe injuries.
Motorists Turning Left At an Intersection Without Being Observant
Drivers who make a left turn at intersections are more likely to cause pedestrian accidents than motorists making a right turn. When a motorist makes a right turn, the walker crossing is immediately on their right-hand side. But when a motorist makes a left turn, the crossing pedestrian is on the opposite side of the roadway, usually multiple lanes away. Thus, most divers proceed to make the left turn without looking at the crosswalk, which, in turn, causes an accident.
Roads That Do Not Have Crosswalks
At times, roads do not have crosswalks in the areas they should. Consequently, pedestrians are left to cross the road at their own risk. Even if you’re crossing the street where there was no crosswalk, a driver still has to use reasonable care to avoid knocking you down. Put otherwise; even if you are partly liable, you could still recover damages for your loss and injuries in a California pedestrian crash.
Today, there are several electric autos on the roadway. Electric vehicles operate on batteries rather than a combustion engine. Consequently, they are much quieter compared to traditional gas-powered automobiles. When a car is quieter, pedestrians find it hard to anticipate them. Any driver on the road is expected to keep their headlamps on at any time of the day to be visible to pedestrians, even when they cannot hear them approaching.
Bad Weather Conditions
At times, weather conditions may be adverse, for instance, misty, foggy, rainy, and even icy. This leads to impaired vision and loss of control of automobiles. In this situation, a driver may end up hitting a pedestrian. Broken tree branches caused by heavy rainfall may also hit a pedestrian and cause severe harm, particularly if they land on the delicate body parts like the eyes or skull.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident due to bad weather, neither you nor the motorist is at fault. However, you may still recover compensation. The court will properly assess the presented proof and determine the amount the driver owes you.
Multi-lane roadways may pose a danger to pedestrians. Motorists have to note other motorists’ speeding, changing lanes, tailgating, or making unsafe lane changes. Mostly, though, drivers don’t make the effort of watching out for pedestrians or even focusing on traffic signals.
Vehicles Driving in Reverse
Generally, motorists are taught to look behind them when backing up. However, pedestrians shouldn’t, at any point, assume that a driver is paying attention when backing up. Often, drivers rely on rear-view mirrors to guide them. The mirrors provide a partial view at best. Thus, it is better to remain cautious. And motorists should always turn entirely around when driving in reverse. Mirrors aren’t to be trusted.
Drivers Pulling Out of Driveway
The driveway might seem like a danger-free zone, but it can become an area of a fatal accident for pedestrians. Drivers pull out of their driveways every day, and more than once a day. This act can be so regular that most drivers don’t check in their side, front, or rear-view mirrors before departing the driveway. For a pedestrian crossing at just this moment, the motorist’s unintentional actions may yield a catastrophic outcome.
Vehicles moving at even low speeds (as is common when pulling out of the driveway) may inflict severe harm on vulnerable walkers. A pedestrian may be struck by the vehicle’s impact, sweeping him/her under its carriage and sometimes even wheels. A pedestrian may sustain a loss of limbs, broken limbs, head trauma, organ damage, spine injuries, and, sometimes, death.
Minors are specifically vulnerable to being struck by autos exiting driveways. Given their small size and quick movements, children may be victims in a case where an unsuspecting driver fails to check their mirrors adequately before departing the driveway.
Uncontrolled Dog Knocks a Pedestrian Down
Dog owners who don’t control their pets could be responsible for severe collisions. Large dogs may jump up on minors, knocking them down. A dog on the loose may also chase pedestrians, making them fall over and sustain injuries. The dog might have caused the crash, but the dog owner is liable for his/her dog’s actions.
If a dog knocks over or attacks a pedestrian, the hurt victim typically needs to prove that the dog owner was negligent. This could entail showing that the owner was aware or should’ve been aware that the dog could be a threat to pedestrians and didn’t take any reasonable action to prevent harm.
But if the dog owner is violating local or state law, any harm the dog causes makes them accountable under the negligence per se laws. This may comprise having a dog off the leash in a place where dogs are prohibited or required to have leashes.
Hire a Pedestrian Accident Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
Pedestrian accidents can result in catastrophic life alterations, particularly if you suffer severe injuries. For example, you may be incapable of going back to work due to paralysis. In other cases, people lose their loved ones. But regardless of the cause of the crash, you deserve fair compensation, provided the cause was due to another person's negligence.
Even if you incur minor losses, you deserve to recover damages. Do not hesitate to call the Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney if you or your loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident. We will help you seek justice by ensuring you obtain rightful damages for your losses and injuries. Contact us at 424-231-2013 for a free consultation.
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