Pedestrian Rights and Duties
Drivers are expected to be aware of pedestrians and drive in a manner that does not harm them. When in or nearing school zones and crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way. In areas where children play, drivers are expected to exercise more caution.
Ways Pedestrians Can Ensure Their Own Safety
To ensure their safety, pedestrians should look both ways before crossing a street because vehicles can cover a lot of distance in a short period of time. Just as vehicle drivers are required to exercise caution to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the vicinity, pedestrians are required to follow applicable traffic laws and exercise reasonable care to avoid a collision.
Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks whenever they are available. If a sidewalk is not present, pedestrians must face traffic while walking or keep to the left of traffic. Additionally, pedestrians should cross at crosswalks whenever possible. They should yield to vehicles when crossing the street in the absence of a marked crosswalk.
When a pedestrian crosses the street outside of a crosswalk or jaywalks, they do not necessarily have the right of way; however, drivers are still expected to make reasonable efforts to avoid a collision. Pedestrians that do not exercise necessary care or that fail to obey traffic laws will find that their actions impact their compensation if an accident occurs.
Damages are the financial compensation to an injured victim for actual losses caused by the accident, such as lost wages and medical bills incurred during the recovery process. Additionally, compensatory damages may include emotional distress suffered as a result of the accident. A Carlsbad pedestrian accident lawyer can work with an individual to help them pursue damages for their injuries.
Pedestrians that are injured in vehicle collisions may be entitled to damages if the vehicle driver is at fault for the injuries sustained. In pedestrian accident cases, California uses a pure contributory negligence standard.
Contributory Negligence Standard
This recovery theory allows an injured victim to recover, even if they had some responsibility in causing the accident or for increasing the injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Any damages that the pedestrian is awarded can be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributable to them.
Accordingly, while a driver may have some liability for hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the pedestrian may have liability for their own injuries if they stepped into the crosswalk against the traffic signal without verifying that there was no oncoming traffic.
Talking to a Carlsbad Pedestrian Accident Attorney
While pedestrian accidents occur for multiple reasons, injured victims have some legal recourse. They can initiate legal action against the driver and, in worst case scenarios, surviving loved ones can also initiate legal action.
If you or your loved one has suffered an injury following a pedestrian accident, it is important to have an experienced Carlsbad pedestrian accident lawyer on your side.