Pedestrian accidents are on the rise across the country and in San Diego. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 4,700 pedestrian fatalities every year in the United States. Thousands more are severely injured. Children and older people are at the highest risk for pedestrian accidents, but they can occur to people of any age.
Hit and Run Accidents
Many pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers who flee the scene. These hit and run accidents can be especially difficult because the police have to attempt to locate the offender. Even if the driver remains at the scene, the outcome may require legal action. When a driver leaves the scene it may be due to being intoxicated, driving without a valid license, or having an arrest warrant, among other things. In many situations, the police will successfully locate the driver.
Types of Injuries
When a vehicle hits a pedestrian severe injuries are quite common. The pedestrian is unprotected and therefore will be susceptible to a number of different injuries, many of them serious. Broken bones and bruises are usually minor injuries, but other injuries can happen. Head injuries and spinal cord injuries are among the most serious because they can cause permanent disabilities. Additionally, pedestrians could have internal injuries. For this reason, it is important that anyone who was injured by a vehicle be checked out medically, even if they do not immediately notice any symptoms.
California has several laws in place for drivers that are designed to ensure pedestrian safety. Pedestrians have the right-of-way both in marked and unmarked crosswalks. Drivers are required to be prepared to stop for pedestrians, regardless of where they are located. It is the responsibility of the driver to use care and be cautious at all times and especially when approaching crosswalks, drivers must reduce speed and/or come to a complete stop to allow for the safe passage of pedestrians. Special instructions may be posted, which must be obeyed. For example, a special sign may notify drivers of a blind person located in the area.
Help from a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a family member were hurt as a result of a pedestrian accident, you are likely facing expensive medical and rehabilitation costs. You may be entitled to collect compensation from the responsible driver. In many situations, the driver caused the accident because of his or her negligent actions. Failure to reduce speed, driving over the speed limit, and impaired or distracted driving are all examples of negligence. In addition to medical costs, the victim should seek compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and for loss of enjoyment of life, to name just a few. Your attorney will review every aspect of the accident and will negotiate a settlement that is appropriate. If a settlement cannot be reached, count on your lawyer to represent your case in court. Contact the experienced legal team at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea, APC at (619) 528-4550 to schedule a consultation.