Traffic in the Los Angeles area is known for being congested—and it is becoming more so every year. This often makes being a pedestrian in our city extremely dangerous, and we’re all pedestrians at one point or another. In fact, simply getting from the parking lot to our final destination puts us in the position of being a pedestrian. There are plenty of associated risks for pedestrians in the Los Angeles area.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need the professional legal counsel of a skilled pedestrian car accident lawyer near Los Angeles. Contact us today for a free case consultation!
When you are on foot, you are extremely vulnerable to being injured in a traffic accident. While motorists have the sturdy shell of their vehicles to protect them in the event of a collision, nothing comes between pedestrians and the impact of dangerous traffic accidents. As a result, pedestrian accidents are often deadly. When they aren’t, they can result in extremely serious injuries that can affect victims for the rest of their lives.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show just how dangerous pedestrian accidents can be. Some of the most shocking numbers include:
- In 2017, nearly 6,000 people were killed in pedestrian accidents in the United States.
- Pedestrian accidents made up 16 percent of all the fatal traffic accidents in 2017.
- Alcohol played a role in almost half of all fatal pedestrian accidents in 2017.
- 19 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents involved a hit-and-run driver.
Dangerous pedestrian accidents happen, and they are often the result of dangerously negligent drivers.
What are the main causes of pedestrian accidents?
Every pedestrian accident is different, but many are caused by one of the following types of driver negligence:
Driving safely requires motorists to focus all of their attention on the task at hand. Drivers who engage in any kind of distraction behind the wheel endanger everyone with whom they share the road, especially pedestrians. As smartphones continue to consume more and more of our attention, distracted driving is becoming an even bigger problem.
Every driver understands the inherent dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, yet many motorists continue to engage in this incredibly risky practice.
Speed limits are posted for one very important reason, and that is to help keep our roadways safer for everyone, including pedestrians. Drivers who shoot past the speed limit greatly increase their stopping distances and decrease the amount of time they have to react, both of which make dangerous pedestrian accidents much more likely. Additionally, the faster the vehicle is traveling, the more dangerous the ensuing collision will be for the person on foot.
Failing to account for the condition of the road
Driving safely is about more than simply adhering to the posted speed limit. Every driver must factor in the road’s condition and must alter his or her driving accordingly. The fact is that inclement weather can reduce visibility considerably, which obviously necessitates lower speeds.
Slippery roads also require drivers to greatly reduce their speed and employ extreme safety precautions. When the road itself is in disrepair or there is road construction, drivers are responsible for making the necessary safety accommodations. Those who fail to do so engage in negligent driving that endangers pedestrians and others on the road.
What happens if you accidentally hit a pedestrian?
When you get behind the wheel of your car, you take on the responsibility of driving safely. This includes safely accounting for any pedestrians in your midst. Some drivers—such as those who are impaired at the time of the pedestrian accident or those who leave the scene of the pedestrian accident—can face criminal charges for their actions.
Drivers who don’t reach this level of culpability typically face personal injury lawsuits (or insurance claims) for the damages incurred by pedestrians. Further, if the pedestrian in question dies, the driver can face a wrongful death charge, which is a civil—not a criminal—charge.
Can the pedestrian be at fault in a car-pedestrian accident?
Because pedestrians are obviously far more vulnerable to serious injuries than motorists, pedestrians generally have the right-of-way and typically aren’t found at fault for pedestrian accidents. This, however, isn’t always the case. Both motorists and pedestrians are responsible for employing reasonably safe practices.
While an impaired motorist is obviously not living up to this responsibility, neither is a pedestrian who darts into traffic unexpectedly from an obscured point of entry. Generally, when a pedestrian is following the basic rules of safety, he or she is not at fault for any accidents that ensue.
An experienced pedestrian car accident attorney near Los Angeles can help
Pedestrian accidents are among the most dangerous traffic accidents. If a negligent driver leaves you injured in a pedestrian accident, the dedicated Los Angeles pedestrian-car accident attorneys at Blair & Ramirez LLP are committed to aggressively advocating on behalf of your rights. Your case is important to us, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (213) 568-4000 for more information today.