Pedestrian Accidents

One in six traffic fatalities in California is a pedestrian. The law defines a pedestrian as someone who is walking or using a “personal assistive mobility human powered device” such as a wheelchair, skateboard, or roller skates.

Pedestrian AccidentsAlthough pedestrians have a duty of due care for their own safety, there are laws and systems in place in California which protect pedestrians. These include traffic control devices; crosswalk and speed laws, which require drivers to reduce their speed and yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing an intersection within any marked or unmarked crosswalk; right of way laws on sidewalks, bike lanes, pathways, and trails; and the duty of a driver of a vehicle to exercise due care for the safety of a pedestrian on a roadway. Drivers whose violations of these laws cause injuries to pedestrians are liable for the damages that result from their negligence.

Of interest, technology has also placed pedestrians at greater risk than they were ten years ago. A recent federal study found that hybrid electrical vehicles are 40% more likely to collide with pedestrians (and bicyclists) than vehicles with internal combustion engines. The study determined that, at low speed maneuvering such as when turning, backing up, entering or leaving a parking space, and at intersections, hybrid electric vehicles are quieter and do not emit the sounds that pedestrians rely on for warning as the vehicle approaches.

A pedestrian can also be injured in a trip or slip and fall accident as a result of hazardous conditions on public or private property. These include uneven sidewalks, potholes, tree roots, or slippery substances. The owners or occupiers of property have a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe condition, to inspect their premises to discover dangerous or unsafe conditions and correct them, and to warn of any hazardous conditions on the property. Failure to fulfill this duty is negligence.

A personal injury lawyer can determine if you are entitled to make a claim for compensation for your damages. If you have been injured while walking on public or private property, you will need the help of a personal injury lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of Catharine Kroger-Diamond and arrange to meet us for a free no obligation consultation.