Understandably, being hit by a car can be a life-altering, traumatic experience.
In the aftermath that follows an accident, a lawsuit might be the furthest thing from the injured victim's mind.
But if the accident occurred due to someone else's negligence, and you've suffered serious injuries, it is important to keep your legal options open.
At the Elk Grove-based O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm we help people understand what their legal rights are and assist them in obtaining just compensation for their injuries and damages.
Despite the many laws that encourage safety on California roads, every year some accidents involve pedestrians. Studies show that pedestrian fatalities have been rising since 2005, and can account for 15% of total traffic deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that about three-quarters of pedestrian deaths occur after dark and the majority of these are male.
In 2014 alone there were over 4,000 pedestrian deaths and over 65,000 pedestrian injuries that were reported in the United States. These statistics are a sobering reminder that, as with every mode of travel, there are some risks associated with walking.
California drivers should extra cautious when pedestrians are sharing the road with them. In personal injury law, drivers are held to what is called "duty of responsible care" or "due care." This means that drivers are held to a standard of what a normal, prudent, and careful person would do in the same circumstance.
For example, a driver has the right to operate his or her vehicle up to the posted maximum speed limit on any given road or highway. On a residential street in Sacramento that speed limit is usually 25 miles per hour. For the most part, normal drivers would slow down if they see a pedestrian is sharing the road with them and has no access to a sidewalk. More caution is taken if a driver notes that the pedestrian happens to be a young child on a small bike. In fact, most prudent drivers would not only slow their vehicle but, if able, move further away from the child to ensure his or her safety.
A few of the most common factors contributing to driver negligence are:
Pedestrians have an obligation to exercise reasonable care for their own safety. There are a wide variety of circumstances that can happen while traveling, the amount of care must be proportionate to the danger that is to be avoided or the possible consequences anticipated.
Failing to do so can lead to contributory negligence being assessed against the pedestrian. This suggests that the pedestrian may have contributed to his or her injury by being negligent of the obvious and known conditions.
A few of the most common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence are:
It is not uncommon for the responsible party to attempt to lay blame on an innocent pedestrian. There are many factors that can come into play that complicate a pedestrian accident. It is wise to seek legal counsel if you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian-auto accident.
Choose a pedestrian accident lawyer who specializes in personal injury and wrongful death claims, not a general practice attorney. Why? Personal injury law is intricate.
A lawyer who specializes in it has the skill, experience, and reputation with insurance companies that can maximize your recovery.
Check the attorney's ratings from Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo. Choose a lawyer who is highly experienced and trustworthy.
Attorney John M. O'Brien has the highest possible peer rating with Martindale-Hubble, 5/5 or AV Preeminent, and a perfect 10 (superb) Avvo rating.
At the Elk Grove-based O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm, we understand what you are going through, and we know how to help.
We are a results-oriented law firm, committed to justice for each and every client we represent. We care about our clients and are always prompt in returning your phone calls and emails. We keep you in the loop at every stage of the process.