San Francisco is one of the most walkable cities in the country. Mild temperatures, beautiful vistas, and ease of getting around the city on foot are all likely reasons why, but did you know that San Francisco is one of the most dangerous cities in the state for pedestrians? Every day, at least three pedestrians are hit by a car somewhere in the city.

Have you or someone you love been injured in a pedestrian accident in San Francisco? Did this crash cause you severe injury, and was it caused by another’s negligence? If so, you should consider talking to the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw about filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit for compensation. We have spent the last two decades helping injury victims from all walks of life get the compensation they rightly deserve after a debilitating accident. We know how to make injury law work for our clients, and we can get the results you and your family need to move on after a pedestrian accident. Call today for a free consultation.

Pedestrian Laws in California

Pedestrians in California are required to adhere to certain laws when sharing the roadway with other vehicles. They include the following requirements:

  • Pedestrians have the right of way in all marked or unmarked crosswalks in California, but this doesn’t preclude them from exercising due care when crossing the street. Even in a crosswalk, pedestrians must not stop or delay traffic.
  • Vehicles must stop at crosswalks with pedestrians present.
  • It’s illegal for a vehicle to pass another vehicle stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Jaywalking is illegal in California.
  • When walking on the road, pedestrians must keep to their left-hand side of the roadway.
  • It’s illegal for someone to stand in a road to hail a taxi or solicit a ride in California.
  • Gas-powered motorized skateboards are illegal on any pedestrian walkways or roadways in California.
  • Vehicles cannot block crosswalks.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Pedestrian Accident?

Hiring a qualified attorney for your pedestrian accident isn’t absolutely necessary, but not doing so may hurt your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Filing a claim for compensation requires adhering to certain requirements and gathering the correct documentation to support your claim. The time and effort needed to do this can be overwhelming for someone who isn’t acquainted with the process. Your attorney will handle all this work for you, allowing you the time to process the trauma of your crash or recover from your injuries.

Your attorney is more than your legal counsel. We are your support during a very difficult time in your life. We’ve helped thousands of clients through situations similar to yours, and we know what to expect. We will be there for you when you need us, providing counsel and perspective.

Successfully obtaining compensation requires knowledge of insurance companies and the tactics they use to keep from paying out claims. They may try to convince you that an attorney isn’t necessary or that your injuries don’t warrant any compensation. A lawyer will protect your rights and make sure the insurance adjusters know that you can’t be taken advantage of.

If the insurance company doesn’t believe your claim has merit, they may deny payment completely, leaving you with few options. With an attorney to assist, you can move forward with a lawsuit against the party responsible for your pedestrian accident and let a judge or jury decide the outcome, not the insurance company.

Why Hire OnderLaw to Represent Me?

You have many choices for personal injury representation in San Francisco, but there’s only one OnderLaw.

We could tell you about our dedicated team of legal professionals that will work tirelessly on your case or how we’ve obtained over $3.5 billion in settlements and awards in our nearly two decades of operation. We could talk about our community involvement or how we’ve taken on giant corporations like Johnson & Johnson in lawsuits worth hundreds of millions of dollars and won.

But really, you should choose us because you’ll get a level of personal service and attention to detail that you simply won’t get anywhere else. You’re more than another settlement to us. We understand that behind every accident case we handle, there’s a person or family that needs our help. We will take the time to listen to your story and your needs and ensure that you’re treated with the compassion and respect you deserve.

Head to our Testimonials page to hear from some of our past clients about the level of service we provide.

Types and Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in San Francisco

A pedestrian is anyone traveling on foot on a road or through a developed area. A pedestrian accident occurs when someone walking on foot is struck by a vehicle or cyclist, causing injury. There are many types of pedestrian accidents, such as:

  • Hit and run accidents
  • Backup accidents
  • Right and left-turn accidents
  • Dart-out accidents
  • Freeway crossing accidents
  • Jaywalking accidents
  • Being struck by a bicycle
  • Failure to yield accidents
  • Distracted driving accidents
  • Impaired driving accidents
  • Excessive speed accidents
  • Hit in a crosswalk accidents

The CDC reports that almost half of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2017 involved alcohol for the pedestrian or vehicle driver and that most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, at night, in locations that are not crosswalks. Some common causes are listed below.

  • Distracted driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Poor visibility
  • Impaired driving
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Distracted pedestrians
  • Failure to yield
  • Speeding
  • Jaywalking
  • Construction zones
  • Passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk

Common Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian Accidents

Sadly, injuries in pedestrian accidents tend to be more serious than accidents between vehicles because of the large size disparity. A pedestrian is no obstacle for a 4,000-pound vehicle moving at normal road speeds, and unless they are wearing high visibility clothing, pedestrians can be difficult to see and avoid. Some of the injuries we see in pedestrian accidents in San Francisco include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sprains and strains
  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Concussion
  • Burns
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Knee, ankle, and hip injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Coma
  • Death

Proving the Other Party was Negligent

In most injury claims, we will be dealing with the responsible party’s insurance company when demanding compensation. We must prove negligence, that is, that the responsible party was doing something they shouldn’t have been doing. California law states that everyone has a duty to behave in a way that doesn’t cause harm to anyone else. If we can show, with evidence, that the responsible party should’ve behaved a certain way, didn’t do so, that their lack of care caused an accident, and that accident caused you injury, we should be able to obtain compensation for your losses.

California follows a comparative negligence doctrine, which provides for dividing up the liability for an accident between involved parties if they share responsibility for the crash. This means that in some cases, accident victims can be held partially responsible for the accident that caused their injuries, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you’re hit by a car while crossing the street in San Francisco, but it’s discovered you darted out into traffic at night between crosswalks, a judge or jury may find you were partially at fault for your accident, and decrease the award you may receive as a result. If they find you 20 percent responsible, any award you receive would be reduced by 20 percent.

Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident Claim

Obtaining compensation requires proving the other party was at fault and demonstrating the losses you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. This includes material losses such as out-of-pocket expenses as well as immaterial losses relating to your state of mind and well-being. These losses are called damages.

Economic damages are financial losses. Anything with a monetary value can be included in this category, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Household expenses
  • Lost opportunity costs

Noneconomic damages don’t have a dollar value. These losses relate to the experience of the injury and the mental trauma inflicted as a result. Some examples include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Scarring and disfigurement

California also allows exemplary damages to be awarded in cases of extreme fraud, malice, or oppression. In effect, if we can show that the party responsible for your accident caused your injury knowingly and with intent, you may be eligible for exemplary damages. These are not compensatory. They are designed to punish the negligent party for their actions. Exemplary damages carry a much higher burden of proof and can only be awarded by a judge or jury. Talk to your attorney to see if exemplary damages may apply in your case.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics in San Francisco

Here are some statistics and helpful information regarding pedestrian-involved accidents in San Francisco, California, and nationwide:

  • Over 50 percent of traffic fatalities in San Francisco are pedestrians.
  • 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities in San Francisco are people over 65.
  • 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents nationwide in 2017.
  • 75 percent of severe and fatal pedestrian accidents in San Francisco occur on just 13 percent of streets.
  • 80 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2017 occurred in urban areas.
  • California had the highest overall number of fatal pedestrian crashes in 2017 at 858.
  • Men are almost twice as likely to be in a pedestrian accident than women.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

If you’ve been injured by a vehicle or cyclist on the streets of San Francisco while you were a pedestrian, don’t delay any longer. Call OnderLaw today and let us review your case. California’s statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of injury, so time is a factor. Call today for a free consultation, and let us help you get the compensation you deserve after your pedestrian accident.