Street laws and regulations give special preference to pedestrians. Given that they are the most vulnerable on the road, motorists are expected to give way. Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians still happen as a result of reckless driving and sometimes, of their own doing.
If you or someone you know falls victim to speeding drivers in LA who have no regard for pedestrians, you should contact personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles as quickly as possible.
Pedestrians Are Always at Risk
It’s nearly impossible to guarantee that pedestrians will be 100 percent safe if they stay on sidewalks and follow all street rules. Negligent and reckless drivers can still inflict injury and even death on law-abiding pedestrians.
The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that pedestrian fatalities made up 17 percent of all traffic deaths in the country in 2018 — an increase of 3.4 percent from 2017. It’s also worth noting that modern vehicles are equipped with various safety features to protect not just passengers but also the cars themselves. In contrast, pedestrians have nothing to shield them from the impact of oncoming vehicles.
A pedestrian hit by a car has every right to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for the pain, trauma, medical expenses, and other financial burdens they suffered because of the accident.
The Rule of Comparative Negligence
Los Angeles operates under the comparative negligence rule when it comes to personal injury cases. Comparative negligence acknowledges the possibility that everyone involved in an accident might have a degree of fault. Under this rule, the compensation a victim receives might be less than what they demand if it is established that they are partly at fault. The compensation will be reduced according to the victim’s degree of fault (e.g., 25 percent less if the pedestrian is 25 percent at fault for the accident).
What If a Pedestrian Caused an Accident?
Road accidents caused by reckless pedestrians happens more often than most people think.
According to the NHTSA, 42 percent of car crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities were because of alcohol intoxication. The agency breaks down this statistic further and reveals a surprising finding: only pedestrians were alcohol-impaired in 26 percent of these incidents. In contrast, driver impairment was only at 10 percent. Alcohol impairment in both drivers and pedestrians constituted 6 percent of all incidents.
So what happens if a drunk pedestrian gets hit by a car? Who is at fault?
We shall once again refer to the comparative negligence law to determine fault and liability. If it is proven that the pedestrian stepped off the sidewalk or crossed the street at the wrong time because they were drunk, the court could rule them to be 100 percent at fault and be ineligible for a personal injury claim. They may still, however, be eligible for coverage from their personal health insurance.
What to Do If a Pedestrian Is Hit by a Car
Whether you are the pedestrian who got hit or you witnessed an accident on the street, the first thing you should do is call 911 and ask for paramedics to be at the scene. You should also alert your family and ask for assistance if necessary. If, however, you are seriously injured and struggling to stay alert, your next phone call should be to a personal injury attorney.
Keep Haffner Law’s hotline in your emergency contacts. Should you ever be in a road accident, you can call us immediately and our attorneys and staff will also respond in kind.
Haffner Law is a premier personal injury and insurance law practice in Los Angeles. Our attorneys have been offering legal advice and representation in personal injury class actions as early as 1994.
Talk to our personal injury lawyers today. Call 213-514-56881 or fill out the contact form on our homepage.
(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)