Pedestrian Crosswalk Accidents
People living in Southern California often choose to walk to their destination rather than drive, and many communities have crosswalks to help residents and visitors safely cross intersections. Despite this, pedestrian crosswalk accidents frequently occur in Chula Vista and San Diego. In most instances, such incidents are caused by recklessness, and drivers that strike people walking through crosswalks should be held accountable. If you or your loved one were hit by a car while traveling through a crosswalk, you may be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to contact an attorney. The knowledgeable Chula Vista car accident lawyers of the Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth can advise you of your rights and aid you in seeking the best legal result possible under the facts of your case. We regularly represent injured pedestrians in lawsuits in Chula Vista, San Diego, and cities throughout Southern California.California Laws Regarding Pedestrians in Crosswalks
People crossing the street are often struck by vehicles, even though they are in crosswalks. Because pedestrian crosswalk accidents occur so frequently in California, the legislature enacted a statute to mitigate the risk of harm. Specifically, according to California Vehicle Code 21960 VC, drivers have to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the road in marked or unmarked crosswalks at intersections. When drivers fail to abide by the law, it frequently causes collisions.Proving Liability for Pedestrian Crosswalk Accidents
Typically, pedestrian crosswalk accidents happen when drivers fail to notice people walking across the street until it is too late to avoid hitting them. People struck by vehicles often suffer catastrophic injuries, and in many instances, their harm is permanent. As such, they will often seek compensation for their losses via civil lawsuits.
Generally, a plaintiff pursuing damages for a pedestrian accident will allege that the defendant was negligent. In California, to prove negligence, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant had a duty but that the defendant’s actions or failure to act constitute a breach of the duty. The plaintiff also has to prove that they suffered actual losses and that the defendant’s breach proximately caused their damages. In other words, that the accident and subsequent harm would not have occurred but for the defendant’s behavior.
In cases in which the defendant breached a statutory duty, the plaintiff may be able to argue that the defendant is negligent per se. In other words, under California law, if a defendant violated a statute designed to protect a particular class of people and the violation brought about the plaintiff’s harm, the defendant will be presumed negligent as a matter of law.
A defendant in a pedestrian accident case may try to argue that the plaintiff caused the incident in some way, and therefore, the plaintiff should not be awarded damages. Under California’s pure comparative fault law, however, any negligence attributed to the plaintiff will merely reduce their compensation. It will not bar them from recovery.Damages Recoverable for Pedestrian Crosswalk Accidents
Plaintiffs that demonstrate the defendant’s liability may be awarded compensation for their economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include the cost of any medical care they needed after the accident or will need in the future, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages generally refer to the suffering, pain, and emotional and mental distress the plaintiff experienced due to the accident.Meet with a Dedicated Lawyer in Chula Vista or San Diego
People should be able to walk around their communities without fear of suffering harm, but pedestrian crosswalk accidents are prevalent in Southern California. If you were hurt while in a crosswalk, you have the right to pursue claims against the party that caused your harm, and you should meet with a lawyer. At the Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth, our dedicated Chula Vista attorneys are proficient at establishing liability in personal injury matters, and if we represent you, we will zealously pursue any damages you might be owed. We have offices in Chula Vista and San Diego, and we frequently represent injured parties in lawsuits in San Diego County and throughout Southern California. You can contact us at (619) 691-8942 or through our online form to set up a confidential and free consultation.