Even in California, home to more automobiles than any state in the union, people still walk. While most Californians depend mainly on their cars to go about their daily lives, many are primarily pedestrians, and car owners spend a good deal of time on foot, even if they don’t realize it. Walking the dog, going to the corner store, walking for exercise, dashing across the street for a cup of coffee–we’re nearly all pedestrians at one time or another. And since sidewalks and street crossings tend to put them in close proximity to traffic, pedestrians are often vulnerable to accidents and injury. Once in the path of a car, there’s little a pedestrian can do to protect themselves, and the results can be catastrophic.

Chula Vista, like many U.S. cities, recognizes the importance of keeping its pedestrians safe. In May 2020, the city finalized its Active Transportation Plan, aimed at making it safer and easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to get around town. The ATP is a long-range plan, though, and even when fully implemented, it won’t eliminate auto-pedestrian accidents. Wherever there are cars and pedestrians in the same area, there will be accidents and, unfortunately, injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Chula Vista that wasn’t your fault, contact the Chula Vista personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw today for a free consultation. While you recover from your injuries, you deserve hard-working attorneys working for you. We will do everything possible to see that you can concentrate on your healing process as we move forward with your claim.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw ?

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto-pedestrian accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Such accidents are often not only painful and traumatic but expensive as well. Obtaining compensation for the damages and injuries you’ve suffered can be frustrating, time-consuming, and dizzyingly complicated, and trying to navigate that process without effective legal help can make things even worse. A good personal injury attorney with experience in pedestrian accident injury cases will take on that burden for you.

Since 2002, the lawyers at OnderLaw have been negotiating settlements and winning court cases for our clients. From collecting witness statements to negotiating with insurance companies, from planning a sound legal strategy to representing you in court if necessary, the seasoned attorneys at OnderLaw will take care of all aspects of your compensation claim, big and small, expected or unexpected.

Pedestrian Laws in California

California law makes some specific points that define pedestrian responsibilities and vehicular right of way. The California Vehicle Code chapter titled “Pedestrians’ Right and Duties” generally establishes pedestrian right of way on sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and all crossing areas at intersections, even if unmarked. Vehicles are granted primary right of way on the roadways themselves, and pedestrians are expressly prohibited from entering a roadway other than at a crosswalk.

The chapter notes a few exceptions to the general division of rights of way just described. Critically, at several places in the chapter, the law specifically states that regardless of who has the right of way in a given situation, drivers have a “duty to exercise due care” for the safety of pedestrians, and pedestrians have a “duty of using due care” for their own safety.

So even when the law requires pedestrians to yield the right of way, drivers are still legally responsible for doing their best not to injure pedestrians in any circumstance. Consequently, it is possible that even when a pedestrian has failed to yield the right of way, the driver could bear some liability for failing to exercise “due care.” Every individual accident is different, and if you’ve been injured as a pedestrian, you should consult a lawyer about how liability might be assigned in your case.

Types and Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

In a pedestrian accident, a person who is on foot is struck by a wheeled vehicle, most commonly a car, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle. Less common but not unheard of are accidents involving scooters, golf carts, and all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs). There are several types of pedestrian accidents. These are the most common ones:

  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Back-up accidents
  • Passing a stopped car or bus
  • Pedestrian hit while walking on the roadside
  • Child play area accidents
  • Parking lot accidents

While pedestrian accidents can have many possible causes, these are the most common:

  • Excessive speed
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (drunk driving, DUI)
  • Poor lighting
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Inadequately maintained streets or roads
  • Defective or improperly installed vehicle parts

Many of these causes are due to driver inattention. Drivers are responsible for adapting their speed and level of caution to the driving conditions at the time, including poor weather and visibility. Insufficient lighting could be the fault of the government agency or property owner responsible for the roadway in question. In cases of vehicle malfunction caused by bad mechanical parts or poor installation–brake failure, for example–a parts manufacturer or service garage could be liable.

In any case, you’ll want an attorney to investigate your accident, determine whether another party was at fault and, if so, build an unassailable case for compensation for your losses. The lawyers at OnderLaw are highly qualified to do so.

Common Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian Accidents

An unprotected pedestrian who gets hit by a vehicle of any size is extremely vulnerable to serious injury, and victims are fortunate if they are not badly hurt. Many types of vehicle-pedestrian injuries are possible, but these are some of the most common:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Concussion
  • Road rash
  • Lacerations and cuts
  • Sprains
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Leg injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal injuries and spinal cord damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TMIs)
  • Paralysis
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Whatever your injuries, most will take time and money to heal. Some may even require years for full recovery, and sometimes auto-pedestrian accidents result in permanent disability or death. At firm-name], we understand how devastating and disruptive accidents can be, and you can count on us to do our level best to ensure you’re adequately compensated for any suffering or losses the incident has caused you.

Proving the Other Party Was Negligent

According to California law, everyone is responsible for “an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care.” If you can prove that the driver did not exercise due care in the accident that caused your injuries, they can be found negligent and held liable for damages.

To establish negligence, you or your attorney must prove that the driver had a clear duty of care in the situation, that the driver failed in that duty, and that this failure caused the accident and your injury. You’ll have to show that the driver should have known that their actions could have hurt someone and that your injury caused you to sustain actual damages, which is the demonstrable monetary value of your claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to go about proving and linking all of these elements, establishing a strong foundation for a favorable negotiated settlement or, if needed, a successful court case.

Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident Claim

There are two basic categories of damages you can pursue. Economic damages have a straightforward dollar value, including medical expenses (past and future), lost wages (past and future), and damage to property. Receipts and statements for hospital and doctor bills, physical therapy, medications, medical equipment, and other costs can provide clear documentation of your related expenditures.

Then there are non-economic damages, which aren’t so readily quantified in dollar amounts. According to California law, these may include pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, and loss of society and companionship, among others.

Your OnderLaw lawyer will know how to calculate the costs of non-economic damages, organize documentation of your economic ones, and be sure you haven’t overlooked any other compensation you could rightly seek.

National and State Accident Statistics

In 2018, 75,000 pedestrians were injured, and 6,283 were killed in pedestrian-automobile accidents.

In California in 2018, over 14,000 pedestrians were injured, and 893 died.

In the first half of 2020, California had the ninth-highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the country.

Most pedestrian fatalities happen in urban areas (82%), in non-intersections (73%), and at night or in poor lighting conditions (80%).

Contact Our Chula Vista Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today for Your Free Consultation

If you’re a pedestrian in Chula Vista who was injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact OnderLaw now as your first step in seeking compensation. Your initial consultation is free, and we look forward to discussing your situation and advising you about your options moving forward. Know that if we represent you, we will never charge you if we do not obtain compensation for your injuries.

OnderLaw has been representing accident victims since 2002, and to date, we’ve obtained over $3 billion in awards and settlements for our clients. Our attorneys are compassionate, knowledgeable, and committed to results. At OnderLaw , you always come first. Put us on your team. Call today.