While many people might still think of Salinas and the area around it as an agricultural community, it also faces some of the issues that larger communities face. Accidents between motor vehicles and pedestrians are more common than most people think. In fact, the California Office of Traffic Safety notes that Salinas is one of the unfriendliest cities for pedestrians in the state. Its most recent published numbers show 76 Salinas accidents involving pedestrians and drivers. That’s an extremely high rate for a city of about 156,000.
Common Pedestrian Accidents in Salinas
As per section 21950 of the California Vehicle Code, a motorist is required to yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian who is in a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Regardless of that statute, many drivers violate it and cause pedestrian accidents. Here are some of the common causes of those accidents:
- Distracted Driving: When drivers are texting, talking on a phone, inputting information into an infotainment center or otherwise engaged, pedestrians are placed at risk.
- Disobeying a Red Light or Stop Sign: When a person is driving, a red light means stop. A stop sign means the same thing. These are located at most intersections, but drivers don’t realize that pedestrians in those intersections have the right-of-way.
- Speeding: When a driver is in an area of pedestrian traffic, speeding diminishes that driver’s ability to avoid pedestrians or stop for them. Increased speed translates into increased injuries and a greater likelihood of a fatality.
- Turns: When making left turns or right turns, drivers might not be looking for pedestrians in crosswalks or even on sidewalks.
- Intoxicated Motorists: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two impairs judgment, depth perception and slows reaction time. Drivers are aware of this, but they continue to drive under the influence and endanger pedestrians.
- Bad Weather: Poor weather coupled with any of the above driving behaviors increases the possibility of an accident with a pedestrian as a victim, especially after sundown.
- Backing Accidents: These might occur at home backing out of a garage or driveway or in a public parking lot when backing out of a parking space.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries:
Unlike passenger vehicles, the only crumple zones that pedestrians have are their bones and joints. They have no airbags or seat restrain systems either. If they’re hit by a vehicle, pedestrians are completely exposed to serious injuries. Here are some common injuries that they suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Femur fractures in the upper leg.
- Hip fractures.
- Knee and ankle injuries.
- Injuries to spinal vertebrae and discs.
- Injuries to vital organs.
- Abrasions with the likelihood of infection.
- Soft tissue injuries.
Pedestrians vs. Insurance Companies
Even if you were in a clearly marked intersection with a pedestrian traffic light saying that you could cross, the insurer of the person who hit you will allege that you weren’t watching where you were going. That allegation will be made in an effort to shift some of the blame for the accident and your injuries over onto you in order to try and devalue your case.
While you should absolutely give a statement to the police, you do not want to give a statement to the other party’s insurance company without speaking to a lawyer first. Your own words will be used against you in the future, so don’t give that insurer the opportunity to try to do that, no matter how its representative might try to threaten or intimidate you.
Contact a Salinas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Rather than speaking to that insurance company’s representative and jeopardizing any case that you have, contact us at Maison Law instead, and you can arrange for a free confidential consultation and case review with a Salinas pedestrian accident lawyer from our offices. We want to know what happened to you, how you and your family have been affected by it, and answer any questions you might have. After that, we’ll tell you how we believe that your case should be approached. If we’re retained to represent you, our objective will be to obtain the maximum settlement or award that you deserve.