You are walking along a crosswalk, as you have the right of way. However, suddenly, a car seemingly comes out of nowhere and zooms right into your path. You try to avoid it but to no avail. The next thing you know, you are lying on the ground, bruised and injured.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can easily happen in California due to the carelessness of a motorist on the road. In these situations, it is within your right to seek to hold that driver accountable.
Every year, about 5,000 pedestrians pass away in car accidents. In addition, about 76,000 of them suffered injuries in car accidents back in 2012.
Recovering damages for injuries suffered in these types of accidents is possible if the injured party can establish that another person's negligence led to the accident. Being negligent is essentially failing to do something that any other reasonable individual would have done in the same type of situation, in an effort to safeguard others from predictable risks.
Establishing negligence in pedestrian accidents involves proving that the allegedly at-fault motorist did the following:
- Owed a duty to exercise reasonable care
- Did not fulfill his or her legal study to you, the injured party, through either inaction or action
- Caused a crash in which you were involved
- Caused you harm as a result of the crash
Duty to exercise care
When driving around pedestrians, motorists should be particularly cautious. If they do not exercise caution and instead engage in any of the following behaviors, thus causing injury to pedestrians, then they have been negligent.
- Failing to comply with traffic signals or signs
- Not yielding the right of way to those walking on crosswalks
- Distracted driving
- Not signaling while making a turn
- Driving while alcohol or drug impaired
- Not considering traffic or weather conditions while driving
If you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may unfortunately experience both physical and financial harm. Not only do you have to focus on healing from your injuries, but you may be unable to work for an extended period, which can negatively impact your finances. You might also face hefty medical bills because of the carelessness of the motorist who struck you. Fortunately, you have the right to seek compensation, which -- if awarded -- might help you to address these losses.