At Maison Law, we offer representation to pedestrians and other victims of California accidents. When a serious pedestrian accident occurs, we believe that all responsible parties should be held liable for the harm that they have caused. Speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident can answer any legal questions that you have and help you get started on moving forward both physically and financially. Please contact us today for a free and completely confidential case review.
Why Pedestrians End Up on Highways
Though it is not the safest place for a pedestrian to travel by foot, there are many opportunities for a pedestrian to end up on a highway. Every week, pedestrian accidents are reported on major highways in California and beyond. California Highway Patrol reported that they deal with approximately 99 calls a day dealing with people walking on highways, posing significant dangers. According to California Vehicle Code 21956, pedestrians are not supposed to walk on a road outside of a business or residence district unless they are on their left-hand side of the roadway. Other than this, California law states very little about pedestrians on highways.
Here are some of the main reasons that pedestrians venture onto highways:
Crossing/Entering: A pedestrian may be walking on the highway due to any number of reasons but there are bigger dangers to a pedestrian when they are jaywalking. In these cases, a motorist may not see a pedestrian until the last minute – leading to a severe and life-altering collision.
Pushing/Working on Vehicles: It is not unheard of for a vehicle to break down. A pedestrian may need to get out of their vehicle to push or work on the vehicle, which can put them at risk if they are on a highway.
Tending to Previous Crashes: A pedestrian may be on a highway after they are involved in an accident with another vehicle. In some cases, a pedestrian may be thrown from their vehicle or exchanging information with another driver.
In the blink of an eye, a pedestrian on a highway could be hurt due to a driver who is distracted, speeding, or even driving while intoxicated. Pedestrians have legal options for recovery after they have been hurt in a serious accident involving a negligent driver.
Liability in a Pedestrian Accident on a Highway
When a pedestrian has been involved in an accident on a highway, they could face many complex issues – especially when it comes to determining who is liable. Pedestrians may be able to file a personal injury claim against a driver after they have been hurt in an accident due to a driver’s negligence. On top of this, a pedestrian may have a negligence claim against state or federal agencies that are responsible for the design or maintenance of a roadway if it led to an accident. These include parties who are responsible for the following:
- Traffic signals seen on highways
- Road construction zones
Agencies have a duty of care toward anybody who utilizes a highway, which can include pedestrians. It can be difficult to bring a legal claim against a government entity due to the fact that these claims are complex and can involve strict deadlines.
A pedestrian may be partially at fault for their own accident as well depending on the circumstances of the accident. If a pedestrian did not use an appropriate level of care to protect themselves, they could find that their damages are reduced by a certain percentage under comparative negligence laws in California. This means that, if a pedestrian was 40% at fault for an accident, their recovery could be reduced by this percentage.
Receiving Damages After a Pedestrian Highway Accident
When a pedestrian is injured in an accident on a highway or in any other area, they have the right to seek damages against an at-fault party. Some of the damages that a pedestrian may be eligible for in a claim include:
- Medical expenses of the past, present, and future
- Lost income and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Therapy costs
- Wrongful death damages for a family if a life has been lost
Damages are supposed to help a pedestrian or their family get back on their feet after a life-altering accident. Speaking with a legal advocate can help you during these difficult times.
Contact a California Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
Drivers owe a duty of care to pedestrians, which is why a driver or any other negligent party can be held liable when a pedestrian accident occurs. However, the insurance company may fight the pedestrian and point the finger at them even when an accident is not their fault. This is why it is important that, as an injured victim, you understand your options after an accident.
Our California pedestrian accident lawyers at Maison Law are here to help you get back on your feet after you have carelessly been injured in an accident. We offer you a free and completely confidential consultation so that we can review your claim with you. Contact us today for the advice that you need to move forward.