It is the responsibility of all that use public roads to drive responsibly to ensure the safety of themselves and those that they share the highway with. Pedestrians use public roadways as well when crossing streets or walking in the absence of sidewalks. A driver’s responsibility does not diminish because the person that is sharing the road is not in a motor vehicle.
If you were injured by a motor vehicle driver as a pedestrian in Oceanside, contact our skilled Oceanside pedestrian accident attorneys to learn about your rights. Our injury attorneys can help walk you through the legal process for filing a claim and ensure you know what to expect throughout the civil claims process. En Español.
Liability in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident
Although motor vehicle drivers are often at fault in pedestrian-vehicle accidents, the motorist is not at fault solely because they were less likely to be seriously injured in the accident. Pedestrians are required to exercise reasonable care and follow traffic laws, just as motorists are, in an effort to avoid a collision.
Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks whenever a sidewalk is available. If a sidewalk does not exist, pedestrians must walk while facing traffic or to the left of traffic. When crossing the street, pedestrians must also yield to vehicles, if there is not a marked crosswalk or the pedestrian is not at an intersection. Failing to exercise necessary care or obey traffic laws could impact a pedestrian’s compensation options.
When a pedestrian is injured in an accident, they may be entitled to damages. Damages include compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate an injured victim for actual losses. Actual losses include expenses associated with the injury, such as medical bills or lost income.
California follows a pure contributory negligence standard. Following a contributory negligence standard is one of the fairer standards in personal injury cases in the United States. It allows an injured victim to recover, even if they had some responsibility for the injuries suffered. As an Oceanside pedestrian accident lawyer can tell you, any damages that the victim is awarded may be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributable to that victim.
Statute of Limitations
Injured victims in California can be time barred from filing a lawsuit since there is a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is set in law and is not adjusted based on the seriousness of the injury, lack of knowledge that it existed, or losses that were not anticipated. The time begins tolling immediately following an accident and once it ends, it is unlikely that a judge would find good cause for the late filed lawsuit.
Injured victims have two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit against the person or people responsible for causing the injury if that person or entity is not employed by and working for the government at the time of the accident. If the pedestrian accident was caused by someone that was working within the scope of a government job, the injured party or their Oceanside pedestrian accident lawyer has six months from the date of the accident or injury to file a lawsuit.
Thus, if a pedestrian is hit by a car that is driven by a government employee, who is driving a government vehicle to a job assignment, they only have 180 days to file the claim. The same person would have 730 days to file a claim if the driver of the vehicle was employed by a private mail delivery service.
Talk to an Oceanside Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured by a motorist as a pedestrian, an Oceanside pedestrian accident lawyer can advise you of all your legal options and possible next steps, including litigation. If litigation is deemed the best way forward, then your accident attorney will make sure to build the most robust case possible so you receive potential compensation for your pain and suffering.