Pedestrian-Motorist Accidents in San Diego
Given the ideal weather conditions, the multiple sightseeing options and the large amount crosswalks readily available, it is no wonder that most people choose walking as their preferred mode of transportation. As a pedestrian it is crucial for you to know your rights and understand your responsibilities when crossing the road to avoid being exposed to a personal injury accident with a motorist. It is important to point out that with the advancement of ride share applications, public transportation has transformed in San Diego and motorist on the road now include people riding electric scooters, bikes, motorcycles, cars, or trucks. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident with any one of these types of motorists and you were injured, you need an experienced San Diego pedestrian personal injury attorney knowledgeable in the area of negligence law. Negligence is a legal cause of action that has been established to hold people accountable for their actions or inactions by compensating the injured party whenever the injury was foreseeable and a result of conduct that falls below the legal standard of care that was owed to the injured party. At San Diego Injury Law Office we believe that a successful personal injury claim requires that the client have a general understanding of the legal process and that is why our pedestrian personal injury experts are here to explain each step of the way the elements for negligence: duty, breach, causation and damages. In a pedestrian-motorist accident, pedestrians are specially at risk of not receiving the financial compensation they deserve for the severity of their injuries. At San Diego Injury Law Office we always want you to make an informed decision, so if you should have any additional questions or would like a free consultation to review the specifics of your case please do not hesitate to contact us at (619) 343-2992, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys are here to help evaluate the facts of your you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve to be made whole again!
Understanding Motorists’ Duties in California
In California, right-of-way laws have been enacted to protect pedestrians from suffering personal injury accidents when sharing the road with motorists. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 21950(a), “the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” In other words, the standard of care that a motorist owes pedestrians is a duty to exercise the due care to safeguard the safety of the pedestrians that a reasonable person would have used under the same circumstances. For example, a reasonable person is expected to drive within the speed limit, slow down upon approaching an intersection, come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and remain vigilant to pedestrians crossing unmarked crosswalks. When the law compares the motorist’s conduct to that of a reasonable person, any conduct that falls below this standard will constitute a failure by the motorist to exercise reasonable care, resulting in a direct breach of the duty owed to the pedestrians they share the road with. At San Diego Injury Law Office, our team of legal experts will use the language of the statute to establish that the motorist owed you, as a pedestrian sharing the road, a duty to exercise due care to safeguard your safety. Next, to prove that the motorist breached this duty by endangering your safety, we will send our private investigator to the scene of the accident to collect all physical evidence available of the motorist’s negligent operation of the vehicle. In our vast experience handling pedestrian personal injury cases, we have found that the most successful way of proving that the motorist was negligent is to obtain video surveillance, phone records, speedometer readings and witness accounts at the time that the accident took place. After all the most common causes of these senseless accidents tend to be people driving distracted while texting, talking, eating, driving over the speed limit, running red lights, or driving under the influence.
Understanding Pedestrians’ Duties in California
While California’s right-of-way laws serve to protect pedestrians from accidents with motorists, it is important to point out that pedestrians are still held accountable for their own duty to exercise due care for their own safety when crossing the road. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 21950(b), “No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. In other words, pedestrians cannot unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Due care would require a pedestrian to follow the crosswalk signals, look both ways when crossing the street to watch out for oncoming traffic and to not walk and text or talk on the phone when crossing the road. A failure by the pedestrian to exercise due care for their own safety will result in the motorist raising the defense of comparative negligence. In California, when both parties are found to be partially at fault, comparative negligence allows the motorist to sue for the percentage of the damages that are attributable to the pedestrian. Motorists tend to rely heavily on this defense to shift liability by alleging a much higher percentage of responsibility to the pedestrian in order to significantly reduce the amount of the damage award. If you are worried that you may be partially at fault for the accident do not be discouraged from filing a personal injury claim, at San Diego Injury Law Office our team of skilled personal injury advocates have vast experience protecting our clients’ damage awards by holding motorists accountable. We know first-hand that the only way for your damage award to be reduced under comparative negligence is for the motorist to prove both, that you were negligent and that your negligence was a substantial factor in causing your injury. We will begin challenging the first premise by having our legal analysts meet with you and all of the corroborating witnesses to discuss the specific details of what occurred prior to the accident so that we may mitigate your unique circumstances. To challenge the second premise, we will obtain a copy of the police report and have our accident recreations experts use all of our findings to recreate the moment of impact to prove that liability for your injury remains with the motorist. Do not let these motorists’ attorneys intimidate you into thinking that you have to settle because of the likelihood that you may have been partially responsible for the accident. Remember that they still have the burden of proving it so do not settle prematurely, give our San Diego pedestrian personal injury experts a call first at (619) 343-2992 and discuss the legal avenues available for your particular case.
Pedestrian’s One-Sided Injuries in Pedestrian-Motorist Accidents
As you would expect when it comes to injuries, pedestrians are at a serious disadvantage in an accident with a motorist on the road. This is because unlike the motorist who is protected by the physical structure of the vehicle and all of its safety features, in an accident the pedestrian is completely exposed to injuries at the time of impact. These one-sided injuries oftentimes range from cuts, broken bones, internal bleeding, spinal injuries, or nerve damage to serious brain injuries. That is why if you are involved in a pedestrian-motorcycle accident it is crucial for you to seek immediate medical attention to ascertain the extent of your injuries and receive the proper medical treatment. Do not allow the fear of overwhelming medical costs keep you from receiving the medical assistance that your injuries require. Time is of the essence both for ensuring your health and for proving the causation element of your negligence claim. In California, the victim of a pedestrian-motorist accident is responsible for proving that it was the motorist’s failure to exercise due care to safeguard the pedestrian that caused the accident. While this may seem like a straightforward concept, in reality proving causation in a negligence claim will require a two-step process. First, we have to establish factual causation, the connection between the motorist’s breach of the duty owed to you as a pedestrian and the injury that you suffered as a result of the accident. Second, we have to establish proximate causation by demonstrating that it would be fair to hold the motorist liable for the accident that resulted in your injuries. At San Diego Injury Law Office we count on a large network of medical specialists willing to work on a lien basis, which means that you do not have to assume any medical costs upfront in order to obtain an assessment of your injuries. Once we have obtained a medical diagnosis we will turn it over to our accident recreation team who will use it along with the accident report to demonstrate how theses specific injuries were caused by the motorist’s negligence. The accident recreation experts will analyze the location of the accident, the speed that the vehicle is traveling at, and the position in which the pedestrian is facing the vehicle at the time of impact to determine causation. If you are a pedestrian involved in an accident with a motorist, you have suffered enough with your injuries, you should not have to face the challenges of building a personal injury claim against the motorist alone. With our vast resources at your complete disposal, you will have the best chance to be made whole again! Do not waste any more time, give our San Diego pedestrian injury experts a call today at (619) 343-2992 to get started with your personal injury claim.
Best Approach for Pedestrian’s Damages
Damages are the monetary compensation that the law provides to pedestrians for the injuries and losses caused by the motorist’s negligence in a pedestrian-motorist accident. It is important to point out that just like the duty, breach, and causation elements in a cause of action for negligence, the pedestrian is required to prove damages to succeed in a personal injury claim. In order to recover damages in a personal injury claim the pedestrian has to prove that he or she suffered an actual injury or loss, assign an economic value to it and prove it up. Otherwise, even if the pedestrian establishes that the motorist was negligent, without evidence of an injury or loss, the pedestrian will not recover damages. At San Diego Injury Law Office we understand that you have just survived a terrible ordeal and are undergoing a tremendous amount of stress trying to handle the physical, emotional and financial consequences of your injuries. We are here to tell you that you do not have to face these challenges alone, instead of trying to figure out how to measure the cost of all your pain and suffering, we want you to focus on your rehabilitation and your family’s well-being. Let our knowledgeable pedestrian personal injury attorneys address all of your financial concerns, we will help you determine the value of your injury and prove the worth of your personal injury claim so that you may receive the maximum compensation available. Our damages experts know that the best way to assign a value to the severity of your injuries is to work directly with your medical provider to collect past medical bills, itemize current medical costs and assess future medical expenses associated with your injuries and prognosis. Also, if your injuries have temporarily or permanently incapacitated you for work, we will personally reach out to your employer to obtain time sheets, work evaluations and pay stubs to account for your loss of past, present and future earning capacity. Lastly, to determine the cost for all of your pain and suffering, our legal analyst will meet with you and your loved ones to privately discuss how your injury has changed the quality of your everyday life and impacted the lives of those closest to you. At San Diego Injury Law Office we share your same values of family and responsibility, so we know first-hand that when you were injured in that collision, the first thing that crossed your mind was that everyone who depends on you for any financial, emotional and physical support suffered a loss. Therefore, our commitment to you is that we will do everything in our power to ensure the well-being of your family and provide you peace of mind by holding the negligent motorist financially accountable for this loss. If you are a pedestrian that was injured by a motorist while walking down the streets of San Diego, you need an experienced pedestrian personal injury attorney that you can trust, give us a call at (619) 343-2992 our damages experts are standing by to provide you with a free consultation today!