The standards for determining fault or liability in a pedestrian accident case in California are the same as for any other personal injury case. If you are a pedestrian involved in an accident, you must prove three things to recover damages successfully.
Pedestrians Involved in an Accident Need to Prove:
1) that the driver of the involved vehicle owed the pedestrian a duty of care
2) that the driver breached that duty of care due to negligence, and
3) the driver's negligence caused the pedestrian's injury.
When Do Drivers Owe Pedestrians a Duty of Care?
All California residents (and visitors) owe a duty of care to the others around them. So, every driver on the road has a duty of care, a duty to be aware of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other cars on the road. When drivers aren't paying attention, they might be considered negligent and thus entirely at fault for any injuries resulting from an accident.
Pedestrians are at Risk in California:
Data for 2013 through 2015 shows California as the most dangerous place for pedestrians in the nation (at least 700 people were killed annually during the specified time, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times). In 2017, 134 Californian pedestrians were killed, and the rate of pedestrian deaths in the state increased by 16% throughout the country in 2016 (according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA)).
Californians Know the Dangers of Being a Pedestrian:
California residents are generally aware that their beautiful state is dangerous for pedestrians, especially at night. One of the more serious safety issues contributing to the problem is hit and runs, particularly in Los Angeles. In LA, close to 20,000 hit and runs are reported each year. That means that pedestrians are involved in nearly ⅓ of all traffic fatalities (almost triple the nationwide average).
Determining Liability in a Pedestrian Accident in California:
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, remember that California offers protection for pedestrians injured in an accident. In some cases, the pedestrian is partially at fault for the accident, but even in this case, the driver can still be at-fault for contributing to the accident. In California, the law interprets the comparative negligence rule when an injured party shares partial liability for an accident. Under the comparative negligence rule, the injured party can still receive compensation for their injury if they are partly responsible, but the amount will decrease by a percentage equal to the level of fault they are assigned for the accident.
If you are a pedestrian and have been involved in a California accident, get in touch with Moss Bollinger, Sherman Oaks, California personal injury attorney. He's dedicated to protecting and asserting the rights of his clients. Call 866-942-7974 today for a free consultation or contact us online.