30+ Years of Dedication in the South Bay
At AgnewBrusavich, our lawyers have extensive backgrounds in handling personal injury and wrongful death claims that arise from a variety of accidents, including pedestrian accidents. Despite the various pedestrian laws California has in place for our protection, our state's pedestrian fatality rate is almost 25 percent higher than the national average – almost 7,500 pedestrians have died in California between 2009 and 2018. Pedestrians can be injured anywhere, from public crosswalks to grocery store parking lots. If you've been injured or a loved one has been killed by a negligent driver or other party, our Torrance pedestrian accident lawyers have the experience and dedication needed to secure maximum compensation for your family through taking legal action. Our clients can rely on us to handle every aspect of their case from start to finish.
What Are My Pedestrian Rights in California?
Though it's possible for pedestrians to be injured by negligent bicyclists and other pedestrians, most personal injury or wrongful death claims that are filed after pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles and are caused by drivers. It's important, then, for pedestrians to understand their rights under California law. If you believe your rights have been violated and the driver who caused your injuries was negligent or reckless, you may be eligible to seek financial compensation.
Some common pedestrian laws in California include:
- Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians in any marked crosswalk
- Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians in any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection
- Drivers approaching pedestrians must use due care and reduce the speed of their vehicles
Any motorist who breaks these laws can be fined $238 and have one point assessed to their DMB driving record, which is reported to their insurance company. This often results in an increase in the driver's insurance rates. If California drivers accumulate a certain number of points, they can be declared a “negligent operator” by the DMV and have their driving privileges suspended or revoked.
Examples of Driver Negligence
Hundreds of pedestrians are injured or killed every year because of driver errors, meaning that accidents are preventable and injured pedestrians may have a right to be compensated for their injuries and other losses.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some of the main causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Failure to yield: All California drivers are expected to allow pedestrians to cross the road at intersections and in crosswalks. Unfortunately, many accidents occur when drivers fail to yield or slow down and proceed through the intersection, striking anyone who may be crossing the street.
- Drunk driving: Driving while intoxicated (DWI), whether under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is illegal and contributes to thousands of car accidents every year in the United States. A person who operates a vehicle while intoxicated has their motor functions and judgment impaired and may be less likely to notice a pedestrian on the side of the street or crossing the road in front of them.
- Distracted driving: Drivers who divert attention away from their road are distracted, which is a form of driver negligence. Examples of distracted driving include texting, making phone calls, using GPS services, eating or drinking, and talking to others in the car. Even taking a few seconds to change the radio station is enough time for a pedestrian to begin crossing the street without the driver noticing.
In addition to driver errors, there are a number of other factors that can contribute to pedestrian accidents. Poor visibility is a major factor, as it's easy for pedestrians to be obscured in the line of driver vision under certain circumstances. Poor weather conditions like rain or snow, for example, make it challenging for drivers to see much in front of them. Additionally, pedestrians who wear dark clothing at night can easily go unnoticed by drivers.