Monterey Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian fatalities have risen sharply over the last ten years. Although the reasons aren’t clear, cell phones and their social media apps appear to be a likely reason, increasing the frequency and intensity of distracted driving and possibly distracted walking as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked California as the 11th most dangerous state for pedestrian deaths in 2020, with 986 pedestrians killed. In Monterey, nine pedestrians lost their lives that year after being struck by a vehicle.
The Allen Law Firm helps people injured by the negligence of another recover compensation to help with their medical bills and pain and suffering. Our compassionate legal team is committed to helping you get the very best medical care and compensation that suits your injury. If you were hit by a car in Monterey, Santa Cruz or Salinas, or if a negligent pedestrian forced you into a crash that caused you injury, contact our experienced Monterey pedestrian accident lawyer for a free consultation.
California Pedestrian Traffic Safety Laws
In California, pedestrians are defined as people walking on foot as well as those using rollerblades, skateboards, or similar devices. A person with a disability in a wheelchair or using a device such as a tricycle or quadricycle is also considered a pedestrian under the law. Bicyclists are not considered to be pedestrians, however.
California grants pedestrians the right-of-way in a crosswalk. This includes marked crosswalks in the middle of the street, as well as crossings at intersections and street corners, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or not. The duty of drivers at a crosswalk is to slow down, stop while a pedestrian is crossing, and stay stopped until the pedestrian is safely across. This requirement applies even if the pedestrian is a young child, an elderly person, or a person with a disability who might need extra time to cross the street.
It is also unlawful to pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk. The reason is that the vehicle has likely stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross, and the passing vehicle could strike the pedestrian without seeing them first. It is likewise illegal for a car to stop in a crosswalk, as this could force pedestrians to walk outside the crosswalk and risk getting hit by another vehicle. Vehicles entering or exiting a driveway or alleyway should also watch out for pedestrians on the sidewalk and yield the right-of-way.
Pedestrians, for their part, must also obey the rules of the road. This means that pedestrians should not cross against the traffic signal. Pedestrians should also use caution when crossing the street, including looking both ways and not darting out suddenly into traffic. Pedestrians should not stop walking while in a crosswalk or otherwise take longer than necessary to cross.
Proving Negligence in a Monterey Pedestrian Accident
Proving who was at fault in a pedestrian accident can be challenging, especially when both parties are pointing the finger at the other. If either party violated the rules of the road as described above, they might be considered “negligent per se.” The rules discussed above are California state laws, found in section 21950 of the California Vehicle Code. People who violate the law can be guilty of a misdemeanor traffic violation or even a felony such as vehicular manslaughter. When people who violate a traffic safety law cause an injury that the law was intended to prevent, they can be considered “negligent per se,” meaning the other party doesn’t have to bring in other evidence to prove the person was negligent. Their violation of the law goes a long way toward establishing their fault in causing the accident.
Depending on the circumstances, proving fault in a pedestrian accident case might be simple or complex. If both parties are at fault, California’s comparative negligence law allows the injured party to recover compensation from the other party in proportion to that party’s negligence; the injured victim’s own negligence will reduce their award proportionately. It’s important to retain an experienced and successful injury attorney who knows how to build and present a case that proves the other party’s fault, the full extent of your damages, and who can keep you from being unfairly held responsible for an accident that was the other party’s fault.
Contact the Allen Law Firm Today
At the Allen Law Firm, you’ll find an attorney with over 20 years of experience representing clients and resolving disputes inside and outside of court with a long record of success. We take injury cases on a contingency basis, where we only charge a fee based on our success in winning your case. We invest in you because we believe in you and the merits of your case, and we’ll work hard to get you the best result. Contact our experienced Monterey pedestrian accident lawyer today.