California Pedestrian Fatalities Remain High Despite Strict LawsJuly 25, 2016 | Category: Personal Injury
Out-of-state visitors to California often notice the extreme courtesy that our drivers display to pedestrians — even those who jaywalk across the middle of a street. Regardless of this courtesy, the Governors Highway Safety Association issued a 2015 report indicating that California, along with three other states, accounted for 43 percent of all U.S. pedestrian deaths in 2013.
The numbers went down between 2013 and 2014, but each Los Angeles accident lawyer at our firm warns that identifying liability for pedestrian accidents can be challenging, especially since motorists and pedestrian can bear some or all fault for these tragic accidents.
Under CA Law, All Parties in Pedestrian Accidents May Share Liability
CA law takes exceptional measures to try to keep pedestrians safe by establishing crosswalk laws, which require the following actions by motorists:
- Drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- When drivers stop to yield to pedestrians, other drivers are not allowed to overtake those vehicles.
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians before driving over or upon any sidewalk.
- Even drivers who do not stop should reduce speed or take other appropriate action to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
Still, the same laws assign pedestrians with responsibilities as well, such as the following:
- Regardless of right-of-way, they may not leave the curb or another safe area when an oncoming vehicle is too close to stop safely.
- When crossing between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic signal devices or police officers, pedestrians can cross in crosswalks only.
- When pedestrian tunnels or overhead crossings are available, pedestrians who choose not to use those facilities must yield right-of-way to all vehicles that are near enough to pose a hazard.
These laws are not mutually-exclusive between motorists and pedestrians. Without a doubt, the accidents may dent a vehicle fender while severely injuring pedestrians. However, any detail about what transpired is needed to establish clear-cut liability on the part of a driver or pedestrian.
Right or wrong, CA law provides motorists with a number of defenses in this type of legal case. Since the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, pedestrians or their families need to establish strong evidence to support their claims. The attorneys at The Rudman Law Form have the skills and experience needed to carefully analyze police reports, and our investigative resources can potentially uncover forensic evidence at the scene or identify additional witnesses.