Pedestrian Accident Law Los Angeles

Drivers are required to be extra cautious when a pedestrian is present or is likely to be present. But pedestrians are not faultless in all situations. In fact, a pedestrian might even be liable for a driver’s damages after a car-pedestrian accident, depending on the circumstances. This article discusses the law regarding liability when it comes to auto versus pedestrian accidents.

What is the Legal Standard in a California Car Accident Lawsuit?

Fault under California law can be complicated. In general, drivers have a duty to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. If a driver breach’s this duty of care, and it causes someone’s injury or death, the victims have a right to pursue a cause of action for “Negligence”. Negligence is usually some form of careless or reckless behavior. To receive compensation for negligence under California law, the following must be shown: 

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  2. The defendant breached that duty of care through negligence;
  3. The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries; and
  4. The plaintiff suffered damages.

Negligence Per Se

Negligence per se is the legal doctrine that uses laws or regulations to establish someone’s negligence. Because negligence can make someone liable for an accident, showing that a rule or regulation was broken can be strong evidence of liability. It is a shortcut in finding fault for an accident. Using negligence per se means you do not have to look for signs of negligence in the specific details of the accident.

In the context of pedestrian accidents, violations of California’s pedestrian or crosswalk laws can be used to establish negligence per se. If someone violated a traffic law, they are often held liable for the crash caused by the violation.

When Can the Driver be Responsible for the Accident?

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

When Can the Pedestrian be Responsible for the Accident?

  • Ignoring the “walk” signal at an intersection
  • Entering or disrupting the flow of traffic
  • Failing to use marked crosswalks
  • Darting in front of a vehicle

Other Laws Affecting Pedestrians And Drivers

According to the California Vehicle Code, below are several laws affecting both drivers and pedestrians. Among other considerations, a pedestrian accident lawyer will consider the following laws when determining who is at fault:

  • California Vehicle Code (VC) 467, which defines what it means to be a pedestrian,
  • VC 21966, which tells pedestrians where they can walk,
  • VC 21950, which covers pedestrians crossing the road at a crosswalk,
  • VC 21955, which requires pedestrians to use crosswalks at intersections,
  • VC 21954, which tells pedestrians who want to cross the street outside of a crosswalk to yield the right-of-way to vehicles,
  • VC 21970, which forbids drivers from stopping in a crosswalk and blocking it,
  • VC 21456, which tells when pedestrians can cross the street using a crossing light,
  • VC 21952, which covers situations where a driver is pulling into a driveway and would have to cross a sidewalk to get there, and
  • VC 21963 through §21965, which focus on special circumstances to take when there is a blind pedestrian.

There are also several state laws in California that allow cities and municipalities to create their own rules.

What if Both Parties are Partially at Fault for the Car Accident?

Not all accidents have one completely guilty party and one completely innocent party, and that includes auto-pedestrian accidents. If both parties are attributed fault, comparative negligence laws apply under California law. This means that if you contributed to the accident, the amount of damages you can recover will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault.

Example: A jury may say that a plaintiff pedestrian who was jaywalking was 60% responsible, and the speeding driver that hit the pedestrian was 40% liable. Under these circumstances, the defendant driver would be required to pay the plaintiff pedestrian for 40% of the pedestrian’s losses associated with the accident.

What Challenges Will I Face in Bringing a Pedestrian Accident Claim?

Attorneys at Fair Cases will work with you to reconstruct the accident scene to show that the defendant both caused the accident and was at fault in doing so. Insurance companies and defendants will try to shift blame onto an injured pedestrian in the hopes of discouraging the victim from bringing the case or to get them to accept a small settlement. Oftentimes, these parties will argue that the plaintiff was at fault in causing the accident for any number of reasons: jaywalking, failing to notice oncoming traffic, alcohol intoxication, and so on. Such considerations may play a part in determining the plaintiff’s recovery, but, in many cases, the injured victim is nonetheless entitled to recovery for his or her injuries, and an experienced personal injury attorney will work to put your best case forward and make sure insurance companies and defendants do not intimidate you into accepting less than you deserve.

Fair Cases Expertise

Our legal team has successfully helped victims and their families recover from Rear-End Collisions, Head-on Collisions, T-Bone Collisions, Motorcycle Accidents, Semi-Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents, Uber/Lyft Accidents, Public Transportation Accidents, and Pedestrian Accidents. We know that being injured in an auto accident is an overwhelming experience, so we offer you compassion, knowledge and help to get you get back on your feet. Our dedicated attorneys will make sure you get the medical care you need and fight to obtain just compensation for lost wages, past and future medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering and other expenses and losses.

Fair Cases is Key to Your Car Accident Claim

At Fair Cases, our car accident lawyers are here to help victims and their families recover fair compensation after a car accident. Because these injuries are often catastrophic and life changing, victims and their families need to be represented by a skilled car accident lawyer who will fight to get them the full compensation they deserve. If we do not win, Fair Cases Guarantees that you owe us nothing. Contact Fair Cases today for a free consultation.

Did You Know?

Time is Critical: Personal injury laws in California give Pedestrian Accident victims just a Limited Amount of Time to negotiate a fair insurance settlement!

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