Everyone is a pedestrian from time to time.
Walking is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get around and it offers a lot of excellent health benefits as well. But for far too many people every year, careless drivers turn what should be a simple, ordinary walk into a tragic event.
Between 2008 and 2017, the rate of pedestrian accident deaths and injuries increased dramatically, and many of those accidents occurred right here in California.
California law & pedestrians
Under the California Vehicle Code, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing a roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. It also requires drivers of vehicles approaching a pedestrian in any marked/unmarked crosswalk to exercise all due care by reducing the speed of the vehicle or taking any other actions necessary to keep the pedestrian safe.
California’s laws regarding how drivers approach pedestrians aren’t complicated, but negligent drivers make pedestrian accidents a far too common occurrence. When drivers are impaired, speeding, driving recklessly, fatigued, or distracted, a pedestrian accident can happen in an instant.
Pedestrian accident injuries
When a car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian is always at a disadvantage. Motor vehicles are so much bigger and heavier than a person and the pedestrian doesn’t have the benefit of being protected by things like airbags. The faster a vehicle is travelling at the time of the accident, the more serious a pedestrian’s injuries can be. Some common types of injuries caused by pedestrian accidents include:
Who is most at risk for pedestrian accidents?
Pedestrians of all ages and backgrounds can potentially be hurt or killed in a pedestrian accident. However, certain age groups tend to be particularly vulnerable to fatal pedestrian accidents. In the state of California, adults over the age of 50 are 2.1 times more likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident than people under the age of 50. According to the California Department of Public Health, 29% of children 14 and younger who were killed in traffic crashes between 2007 and 2013 were pedestrians.
Data from the California Department of Public Health also shows that between 2007 and 2013, people between the ages of 15 and 24 suffered the highest numbers of non-fatal pedestrian accident injuries, with a total of 20,358 non-fatal injuries occurring in this age group.
Most dangerous places in California for pedestrians
In a 2015 study by the Los Angeles Times, the following intersections in Los Angeles County were ranked as being the 10 most dangerous for pedestrians:
- Slauson Avenue & Western Avenue
- Hollywood Boulevard & Highland Avenue
- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard & Crenshaw Boulevard
- Vine Street & Hollywood Boulevard
- West Way & World Way
- World Way & East Way
- 5th Street & Main Street
- Sunset Boulevard & Western Avenue
- Manchester Avenue & Vermont Avenue
- 7th Street & Alvarado Street
On a statewide level, a 2019 report by Smart Growth America ranked these metropolitan areas as being the most dangerous for pedestrians in California:
- Yuba City
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
- El Centro
Damages in a pedestrian accident claim
When pedestrians are hit by cars, the injuries can be life altering. If you’re considering making a claim for damages related to a pedestrian accident, some types of damages you can collect include:
- Medical expenses, including future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- In-home care
Contact a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer
Pedestrian accidents are a very serious problem in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a pedestrian accident, you’ll need a pedestrian accident lawyer who can fight for you to get the compensation you need. At The Wallace Firm, our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers are ready to go to bat for you. We’re ready to answer any questions you have about your case and help you understand your rights. Contact us today for help with your claim.